Credit cards have become a needed essential in everyone’s life in contemporary times. Almost everything can be paid with a credit card, and many card companies offer benefits for using a credit card. In addition, credit cards can be handy financial tools. Credit cards, when used wisely, can protect you from fraud, earn you valuable rewards such as cashback and points toward travel, and help you create a decent credit score over time. On the other hand, if you don’t manage your credit cards responsibly, terrible financial habits can come back to bite you.
Maximize your credit card spendings
To maximize your credit card accounts, it goes without saying that you must pay your bills right on time and in full each month and avoid harming your credit scores. The key to achieving these objectives is a solid budgeting system.
You require a consistent, simple method for tracking your credit card activity, especially if you have many accounts. Continue reading for four professional ideas on how to keep track of your credit card spending and payments. Your credit card can give you another valuable benefit when you track your spending correctly – a more straightforward method to manage your money.
So how can you do this? There are a few methods to utilize your credit card spending.
1. You can use an app to keep track.
- The new The Points Guy app offers a free and straightforward platform for tracking all of your credit cards in one spot.
- Not only can you see how much you owe on each of your accounts. But you can also track your purchases by category. As a result, it is making it easier to keep to your monthly spending targets and determine which cards to use for which purchases to enhance your income.
- To that end, the TPG app includes tools to help you earn more points – and maximize the value of the credit card and loyalty benefits you already have – while you work toward your travel goals.
- Qube Money is more than just a budgeting app. It’s a digital money management platform combined with an online bank. The app is available for free and a premium edition, which costs $6.50 per month if paid annually or $8 per month if paid monthly.
- Your Qube Money account is linked to a debit card, which you must “unlock” before using it. However, you can utilize a workaround to pay using credit cards instead, which is a better option than debit cards in many (if not most) circumstances, especially when it comes to fraud prevention.
- Here’s how you can use the app’s spending tracking feature while still using credit cards. To begin, make “cubes” with your monthly variable expenditure targets (for example, $600 for grocery, $400 for petrol, $250 for dining, and so on). Next, create a new Qube called “Credit Card Spend.” When you use a credit card to purchase any section of your budget, manually move that money from its original account into the Credit Card Spent fund. Finally, utilize the cash from your credit card quota to pay down your credit card debts.
- Multiple apps are available to assist you in managing your money. For example, Mint is one of the most popular expenditure trackers online because of its low cost — its accessibility — and user-friendly interface.
- It reminds you about your payment, and it has a payment tracker. This tracking system will assist you in categorizing your spending as well.
- This is super easy. You can install a customizable spreadsheet. There are many online templates with dates, formulas, and labels. Both google sheets and Microsoft excel give more free templates to you.
The free software gives you a bird’s-eye view of your credit cards, bank accounts, and even cash apps like Venmo. It may also track assets and real estate properties, allowing you to see your whole net worth as well as your spending. Finally, Mint may be used to track your credit score and set monthly financial objectives.
2. Enroll in transaction alerts from your credit card company.
Getting signed up for free transaction alerts with each of your credit card companies is another helpful approach to keep track of your credit card spending. Depending on which credit card company, you may be able to set up automatic text or email alerts for any of the following account activities:
- A transaction occurs when the total amount exceeds a specific threshold (that you set).
- Your account balance has surpassed a particular threshold.
- Your balance approaches your credit limit.
- Your monthly payment deadline is coming.
- Suspicious activity is detected on your account.
Check your online account to discover if your card issuer provides mobile alerts (and customize those alerts as allowed). Account alerts will not only help you keep better control over your monthly spending, but they can also be an effective strategy to avoid credit card fraud because you’ll be notified promptly if any unauthorized purchases occur.
Even if you have transaction notifications, you should review all of your credit card bills every month. A comprehensive statement review can assist you in detecting red flags such as billing errors or fraud so that you can take appropriate action.
3. Set up automatic payments
Some people are scared to switch from debit cards to credit card spending because they are worried about going into debt and paying hefty interest costs or late penalties if they accidentally miss a payment. However, there is a simple approach to ensure that you pay your bill in full each month (and avoid interest as a result). First, you may set up automatic payments with your credit card companies.
You must be able to set up one of the following payment choices when you enter into your online account to arrange autopay:
- The bare minimum owed.
- Your account balance.
- A predetermined payment amount.
The most excellent option for your bank account and credit score is to pay your bill in full. You may, however, wish to retain a bit more control over when larger payments are deducted from your bank account.
Even if you don’t want to set up an automatic payment for the total amount due, setting up a draft for the bare minimum amount may still be a good idea. This approach can assist you in avoiding unintentional late-payments and the severe penalties that may result from such errors.
4. Make several payments
Making numerous payments each month is another approach you can use to remain on top of your credit cards. This method does necessitate some additional effort, but it may provide you with two significant advantages.
The first step is to be conscious of one’s financial situation. Paying your credit cards weekly or even biweekly rather than monthly will help you stay more in control of your expenditures. For example, assume you establish a monthly grocery budget of $600. Then, if you make any credit card payments throughout the month, you can keep track of how much money you’ve spent from your food fund and how much is still available.
Second, making numerous credit card payments each month may help you maintain a lower credit card utilization rate. Credit utilization is one of the most important elements influencing your credit score, contributing to 30% of your FICO Score. When you maintain a low credit use rate, your credit score may benefit from this proper behavior whenever a lender reviews it. Lower credit card usage indicates to lenders that you are less likely to default on a loan.
So, in conclusion, these methods can help you utilize your spendings. Of course, there is no such thing as an optimal credit card number. Nevertheless, you must monitor your spending to keep a high credit score, whether you open a few or several credit cards. Plus, maintaining your credit wisely is essential to maintaining a good credit score.
Fortunately, there are numerous ways available to assist you in staying on top of your credit usage and avoiding problems. First, find a system that will work for you and consider adding some backup safeguards if the unexpected occurs. As long as you stick to excellent credit card practices, your accounts should help you establish good credit and earn more rewards along the way.