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How I Set up My Credit Card System and Why

Credit card companies make more money off you from one slip up than you can make off them being perfect.

That was one of the responses from last week’s post on credit cards. It’s a fair point, but if you’re going to spend money anyway, you may as well earn reward points for it.

BUT: And I think our guest blogger would agree, you need to have good discipline.

Here with another contribution on how to make credit cards work for you is Mr. Oscar Zorrilla!

Welcome back, in this installment, I will share how my credit cards are set up and why, how I keep track of them, and what I pay and do not pay on the credit card bills.

Before I begin, I would like to emphasize a point from part 1: You will only incur a late fee if the minimum payment is not received by the due date.

I currently use four credit cards and they are set up as follows:

  • Card 1 has a due date of the 4th with a closing date on the 7th
  • Card 2 has a due date of the 14th with a closing date on the 17th
  • Card 3 has a due date of the 21st with a closing date on the 24th
  • Card 4 has a due date of the 25th with a closing date on the 28th

The reason I set up the credit cards this way is for a term I call “delay payment period,” meaning the amount of time I have allotted myself to pay those set charges for that particular card.

As a gentle reminder from the previous post, you can change both the due date and closing date of your cards.

Let’s elaborate on each card usage:

  • Card 1 – from the 8th to 17th (10 day usage period)
  • Card 2 – from the 18th to the 24th (7 day usage period)
  • Card 3 – from the 25th to the 28th (4 day usage period)
  • Card 4 – from the 29th to the 7th (8-10 day usage period)

Remember, only use one card at a time so as not to confuse yourself but most importantly, to space out your payments on those charges for each card. If I charged $1k on Card 1 within the 10 day usage period, I will not owe that payment in its entirety(to avoid paying interest) in 48 days. Yes, that is right, in this example, beginning on the 18th of June to the 4th of August.

Here is how it works:

In June the $1k is charged within Card 1 usage period, that will become your statement balance on the 7th(closing date) of July, and will not be owed until the 4th(due date) of August. For the rest of the cards, the delay payment period for Card 2 is 51 days, Card 3 is 54 days and Card 4 is 49 days.

Now onto how I keep track of my Credit Cards.

Instead of carrying all my Credit Cards, the mobile app called Google pay comes in handy here; I only carry one physical card, but its only the card for that usage period. Google Calendar reminds me of each cards due date coming up. Using a notepad app like Google Keep, below, will be the three part layout I am currently using to keep track of everything revolving around my credit cards.

  • The month owed – If currently it is June, it will be for July
  • The amount owed – Left column will have the last four digits of each card, the middle column will have the due date of each card and the right column will have the statement balance owed for each card
  • The closing dates – Left column will have the last four digits of each card and right column will have the closing date for each card

What I pay on my credit card bill is simple-the statement balance in full. Just so that you know, your statement balance and not your current balance is the only data that is reported to the credit bureaus.

Since implementing this system, I have been able to increase my credit score, enjoy the perks that come with each card, have more cash in my accounts but most importantly, I always have the funds in place to pay for the credit I have used. In my next installment, I will share how I use my credit system in creative ways and also, how I was able to lend a helping hand to a loved one to establish better credit.

I hope that by reading this post you will have a better understanding on how to properly use a Credit Card and enjoy the power of credit. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments.

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My blog is a collection of advice I wish someone had shared with me when I was young and targets subjects like personal finance, careers, and relationships. It publishes Mondays with the occasional bonus article. Sign up to have fresh content delivered straight to your inbox, no SPAM!


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