Here’s how it works. Your credit card has a grace period, which is typically between 21 and 25 days after your billing cycle ends. You can typically find the length of your grace period on the front or back of your billing statement. The grace period is your chance to pay your full credit card balance and dodge finance charges. Your statement may even include a disclosure that states the date you have to pay off your balance to avoid finance charges. Pay the full balance listed on your credit card statement to avoid seeing a finance charge on your next statement. If you pay just part of your balance, your next billing statement will have a finance charge calculated based on the unpaid balance and any new purchases you make.
There is no rational explanation for these occurrences, but they can be explained by human behavior. Consider the so-called, “January effect” which suggests that many stocks outperform during the first month of the year. There is no conventional model that predicts this, but studies show that stocks surge in January because investors sold off stocks before the end of the year for tax reasons.
Credit cards give you the ability to make purchases today and pay for them later. If it takes you longer than a month to pay off your balance you’ll pay a fee in the form of a finance charge. Paying finance charges increases the cost you pay for having a credit card, even moreso if you never fully pay off your balance. You can avoid finance charges on almost all credit cards, but it’s all about the timing and amount of your credit card payment.
Calculating the Average Daily Balance
The ending balance method uses your balance at the beginning of the billing cycle minus payments plus charges made during the billing cycle – which is essentially your balance at the end of the billing cycle. The number of days in the billing cycle doesn’t affect the amount of the finance charge. Having a high balance at the end of your billing cycle would increase your finance charges under this method. The previous balance method uses the balance at the beginning of the billing cycle which is also the ending balance of the last billing cycle. No payments or charges are included in the balance. The number of days in the billing cycle doesn’t affect the amount of the finance charge.
Best for Shared Expenses: Spendee. Many other personal finance apps are for individual use. Spendee allows you to create shared wallets with friends and family that you can use to manage shared expenses for a household budget. Import your bank transactions and let the app categorize them for you to tally how you’re spending money each month. You can manually add cash expenses for a more accurate picture of where your money goes. Keep from going over budget by creating budgeted amounts for each spending category and tracking your progress toward the budgeted amount. The bill tracker functionality ensures you remember to pay each of your bills and avoid late payment penalties. If you’re going on a trip or another special event, you can create a category specifically for that event to track your spending and keep yourself on budget.
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