Using a credit card instead of writing checks for everything you have to pay for during the month is tempting. If you could use a credit card, and knew that you wouldn’t wind up in debt up to your ears, wouldn’t you like to? Think of what it would mean to use a credit card for everything:
Better Organization & Record Keeping
Credit cards offer an itemized statement every month, detailing each purchase. You can see exactly where your money is going at glance, which actually makes it easier to budget.
Your checking account register will be much easier to balance, if you’re only writing one check a month to pay off your credit card bill instead of multiple checks and debit card transactions for every purchase and expense throughout the month. You’ll also save money on purchasing checks since you will be writing them much more infrequently.
Rewards Card Benefits
If you are using any type of rewards card, chances are you are being rewarded based on how much you spend using the card. The more you spend, the more you get rewarded. Using a credit card all month long for all purchases and expenses will quickly add up in rewards.
When you’re ready to file taxes, it can sometimes be difficult to track down your eligible deductions and paperwork to go with them. If you’ve been using a credit card for everything, you’ll be able to request an annual statement, or copies of monthly statements if you’ve misplaced any, in order to find the data you need for filing your taxes.
Ease and Speed
Sometimes searching through your pocketbook or wallet for that $10 bill you know is folded up somewhere can be time consuming. Swiping a credit card at checkout, the gas pump, or anywhere else is typically faster. You can even use your cards for fast food purchases now and without a signature if it’s under a certain dollar amount.
Buying with credit card almost always provides purchase protection. If you don’t receive an item you’ve ordered, your credit card company helps you out. If the item isn’t as described, the credit card company can help you out. Try that with cash.
How to Do it:
If you want to use your credit card instead of cash or checks throughout the month, but need to be sure you don’t spend more than you can afford to pay when the bill comes in – there is a very simple way to accomplish this.
Each time you swipe your card to pay for something, record the transaction in your checkbook register just like you would if you had used your debit card or wrote a check. You can highlight it so you know it’s a credit card transaction. At the end of the month, when your credit card statement arrives, you should be able to add up all of the highlighted entries in your check register, which you’ve already accounted for by subtracting from your available balance, and write a single check to pay for all of your transactions on your credit card. (Don’t forget to write in a “dummy deposit” of the amount you’ve been subtracting all along which is really still in your checking account so that you can subtract your credit card balance when you write the check to pay it off).