Whenever you make a purchase using the card, deduct that amount from your checkbook register just as if you had used a check. When the credit card bill arrives, pay in full. Treat your credit card like real money!
I thought that I was the only one who did this. Everyone always says to only use cash and save your charge cards for emergencies, but I've found that if you are able to be disciplined, you can get the best of both worlds.
I charge everything--utility payments, groceries, Wal-Mart necessities, drug store items--everything. I subtract it from my checking ledger when I make the purchases, so I always know how much money I have in my account, to the penny. If my balance is low, I know not to spend for any reason. I pay off my card in full each month. I use a card that gives me cash back, so it's like a free refund on money that I would have had to spend anyway. And I even get to save on postage by combining payments or paying over the net -- 1 charge vs several smaller bills.
But again, you must be disciplined and not spend more than you have, or you can get into trouble really easy this way, since it's so easy to pull out the plastic.
Several years ago Discover credit card ran a special promotion. If you sign up for their card and charge one purchase on the card, they would mail you a free Garmin Nuvi GPS. I used my Discover credit card at restaurants, stores, dollar stores, and charged a cruise and airlines tickets on the card. By using the card I saved my miles, and cashed them in for a newer model Garmin Nuvi GPS. I asked my army son if he was wanted our other GPS, and he was happy to receive it in the mail.
We always pay off our credit card charges and In this way we don't have to pay those high percentage rates.
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