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balancing credit card statement

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Replies to: balancing credit card statement

  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 9042 replies79 threads Senior Member
    I still balance the checkbook (few checks, lots of autopay)... but more for continuing the tradition than true need. The step that has been extremely useful is along with checkbook balance activity is monthly tally of "outflow" (all from credit union ..... checks + cash + withdrawals incl Visa online payment; college payments excluded). It is has given us to have realistic numbers for retirement planning.

    I have started to pay medical bills over $100 by Visa (for points), but I put an FYI line in the checkbooks as easy way to remember in case another bill for same comes.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 21574 replies226 threads Senior Member
    If you don't use the cars, why not close down the account?

    How many cards does one need? I have 2 - a primary and a backup that gets used occasionally.
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  • cshell2cshell2 730 replies10 threads Member
    I'm a credit card churner for sign on bonuses, so I end up with a lot because of that, but I have a few older cards I keep around just because my length of credit history would be abysmal without them due to the churning. Plus it increases available credit amount which helps credit too.

    Having said that, I don't really CARE about credit score anymore because I don't intend to borrow ever again, but it's so beaten in me that a good score is important that it's one of those, "might as well do it rather than not" things for me.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 21574 replies226 threads Senior Member
    edited October 20
    cshell2 wrote: »
    Having said that, I don't really CARE about credit score anymore because I don't intend to borrow ever again,

    This.

    Plus, I don't believe in playing the credit card score games and tricks. In the past 25 years, I've always had just a few cards, don't get extras like store cards (I don't want to keep track of multiple bills; I like keeping my finances streamlined), pay off bills monthly and pay on time or early. With no thought at all to credit score over the years, my credit score and my spouse's really couldn't be any better than it is which is well above 800.

    Even my kids in their 20s, who have one card each and pay it off each month, have a credit score approaching 800.

    Point is, you really don't need to worry about a lot of the stuff you read to have a good credit score and above a certain point, it really doesn't make a big difference. 800 vs 830, as an example, really doesn't matter.

    I'd be more concerned about fraud, record keeping, identity theft, etc.



    edited October 20
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  • jym626jym626 56048 replies2918 threads Senior Member
    edited October 20
    While I don’t care all that much about a credit score, and don’t plan to open any more credit anywhere, there are silly times when it comes up. Our credit is frozen (by our choice) some it would be even more of a PITA to unfreeze for whatever reason, but just the other day I was comparing natural gas rates as it’s time to renew my fixed rate (again, our choice). My current provider will match other provider’s rates (per therm and the customer service fee). I called the vendor currently offering the best price to find out their service charge fees. Turns out it ranges by several dollars a month based on... you guessed it... your credit rating.

    So here it was helpful to have a strong credit rating, to keep the customer service fee at the lowest (which my provider matched). Are we talking a boatload of $? No. But I’d rather have the $ in my pocket than theirs.

    And, like @cshell2, its ingrained in me, and I like having a credit score one can eat off of. And every now and then something comes up that is a special offer with, say, citicard, so, though I rarely use it, I pull out the citicard for the offer. I enjoy finding deals, and if it means have it an AmEx, Discovercard, visa, and mastercard , so be it.

    And if a card gets accidentally left somewhere, or misplaced (Ahem, DH.. talking to you) and it happens to be one where we have the same account # (some of the cards have separate #sw for the same account, which is handy) we can temporarily stop that card unti we find it,or close it and get a new one sent, and in the meantime have a few other options to use for purchases.

    And some places don’t take AMEX, so its helpful to have another backup or 2).
    edited October 20
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  • cshell2cshell2 730 replies10 threads Member
    doschicos wrote: »
    Plus, I don't believe in playing the credit card score games and tricks. In the past 25 years, I've always had just a few cards, don't get extras like store cards (I don't want to keep track of multiple bills; I like keeping my finances streamlined), pay off bills monthly and pay on time or early.

    And that's why personal finance is "personal". I enjoy playing the credit card games. Last year I took in over 2K in tax free sign on bonuses with very little effort on my part. That's a lot of money in my world! I don't carry balances or wait for a bill, in fact usually everything is paid off weekly. I run a pretty tight ship with my finances and am OCD about tracking all my spending. I abhor debt actually. I also realize that for a lot of people doing what I do is a very bad idea and I preach the dangers of cards to my kids all the time.

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  • doschicosdoschicos 21574 replies226 threads Senior Member
    Yes, of course it is personal. But worrying about unused cards and fraud and having to do all kinds of downloads and tracking does seem like more than a little effort.

    For those not playing the credit card incentive game, I still think closing out unused cards is a prudent step to take. And the fact you can ignore all the online tips for maintaining a good credit score and still achieve a very solid one.
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  • HouseChatteHouseChatte 824 replies1 threads Member
    We have a debit/"credit" card tied to our money market account and a "real" credit card. That's it. It sometimes feels a little scant, because we're down to one with no backup if one of the cards is compromised. And I concede there's likely an opportunity cost to not having a credit card we've chosen to go with our usage. Time to make the headspace and do some research.

    One thing that unsettles me is the way some charges don't finalize before falling off and then posting again for good. I end up post-dating those in my Gnucash register to make sure I don't forget the money is going away. It serves as kind of a mini-reconciliation.

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  • jym626jym626 56048 replies2918 threads Senior Member
    Some financial talking heads suggest putting credit cards with open accounts that you don’t plan to use unless necessary in a ziplock bag in the freezer !
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  • cshell2cshell2 730 replies10 threads Member
    doschicos wrote: »
    Yes, of course it is personal. But worrying about unused cards and fraud and having to do all kinds of downloads and tracking does seem like more than a little effort.

    Meh. I also have a 5 acre yard that a lot of people would think is a lot of work. But I love to mow.
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  • SybyllaSybylla 3989 replies51 threads Senior Member
    edited October 20
    Most accounts allow you to lock the cards you aren't using online, on the app, etc. That won't save you from yourself, but it means you can have rare use or unused CCs with less anxiety.
    edited October 20
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  • IgloooIglooo 8237 replies214 threads Senior Member
    I would love to keep one or two at most. Unfortunately, I haven't found one that has all my desired features, free foreign transaction, 0 annual fee, rental car coverage. I keep one for rental car coverage, the other for free foreign transaction, and the third for ease of use. I use the third most of the time. But switch out when I am renting a car or traveling oversee. It is pain to switch cards. I am willing to sacrifice points if I can get all three features in one card.
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  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 9042 replies79 threads Senior Member
    We don't care as much about credit card score now that we don't need to take loans. But it sometimes can be advantage elsewhere. For example, our Allstate agent once pointed out that with our good credit score we qualified for a home insurance plan that allowed option lower deductible ($500 instead of $2000... and it cost Less). Five months later our roof was destroyed by hailstorm, so timing was good
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  • jym626jym626 56048 replies2918 threads Senior Member
    My BIL used to have TS clearance with a government job. Fa in law had to constantly bail him out financially as debt and/or bad credit would cause problems.
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  • jym626jym626 56048 replies2918 threads Senior Member
    Just went to watch our football team lose. Rode public transportation and had to take a small clear plastic purse (nfl stadium rule). And the stadium is a no-cash (debit/credit card only). One thing I don’t use is debit cards. So I took a small wallet, put in 2 of the credit cards I care less about if something were to get lost/stolen/compromised in any way. Easy peasy.
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  • HImomHImom 34557 replies393 threads Senior Member
    Gee, @jym626, your BIL was lucky daddy was willing to bail him out! H, I, my brother and my S all needed excellent credit on an ongoing basis for our govt jobs and never had trouble maintaining it on our own.

    It would astound me to have to bail out my S with a financial problem and I’d be very concerned if it was a repeated issue.
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  • jym626jym626 56048 replies2918 threads Senior Member
    edited October 20
    @HImom - I gather you haven't read my various posts over the years about my *)#($&)(#%)#$ BIL. He and his wife constantly live beyond their means and mismanage money right and left. Its a story for another thread. We, and the "good" SIL have also done our share of paying for things we should not have for $*#(*&$)#& BIL and his wife, but the gravy train has now stopped. Many decades ago we offered to pay for consumer credit counseling for them. They were incensed.

    (We and "good" SIL have also helped financially 2 of their grown s's, and hope they will learn better financial sense than their ##&&(*%*& father , but again that's for another thread.
    edited October 20
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  • HImomHImom 34557 replies393 threads Senior Member
    Ah yes, i remember now. I’m sure that was tough to live through and daddy did no favors to anyone, sadly by enabling.
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  • jym626jym626 56048 replies2918 threads Senior Member
    edited October 20
    Actually, @HImom, while I completely agree that enabling their financial mismanagement was not the best choice, (A) it was FIL's money to do with as he pleased and (B) it probably kept my (#*)%#%& BIL from losing his government job back then (if BIL had to declare bankruptcy or something back then he would probably have lost his TS clearance, if not his job as well) and being in a bigger financial mess. He is a perfect example of someone who should not have had too many credit cards, as he ran them all up and couldn't pay the bills.

    But that is taking this thread a bit astray from the topic. Lets not do that.
    edited October 20
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