If, for some reason, your minimum payment is less than your finance charge, paying the minimum will result in a bigger, not smaller, balance. Can You Lower Your Finance Charge Amount? Since your finance charge is based on your interest rate and credit card balance, you’ll pay higher finance charges when these amounts are high. You can reduce the amount of interest you pay by paying off your balance faster, requesting a lower interest rate, or by moving your balance to a credit card with a lower interest rate. You can also avoid finance charges altogether by paying your entire balance before the grace period ends. If you pay your balance in full each month, you’ll avoid finance charges completely.
Motley Fool’s You Have More Than You Think. The creators of one of the most popular financial stock market sites, www.fool.com, brothers Tom and David Gardner also wrote the New York Times Bestseller You Have More Than You Think. The Gardner brothers’ book aims to show how even inexperienced investors can invest the smallest amounts of money and still make a profit. Their far-from-foolish advice includes how to reduce your debt and find money to invest, how to find the best investments, how to manage your 401(k), and more. As with most of their writing, this personal finance book is a fun and easy to read.
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Before downloading transactions, you can select predefined periods of time for the transactions you want to see in the register, and it’s great to have this option, which is particularly helpful if you only want the past six month’s worth (for example) of transactions instead of two years worth. Not all personal finance software offers this option, and you can easily end up downloading months of transactions that you don’t want to track.
US News & World Report: Although US News & World Report is not a finance magazine, it has an excellent money section that is sure to give you insight into the latest market and economic events. The pulse of what’s going on is usually summarized nicely. New York Times: The New York Times has an outstanding reputation for quality journalism. Rather than sensation, you’ll get a thoughtful analysis of current issues. Business Week: Business Week, a weekly publication, is going to give you insight into business and management trends across the globe. Of course, there are many, many more financial magazines on the market. You don’t need to read them all – a sampling of the ones above and you’ll get all the financial news and education you’ll need.For those near retirement, I’d also check out my top ten retirement blogs, which all offer great coverage of age 55+ related topics.
Different credit cards calculate finance charges in different ways. To find out how your creditor calculates your charge, look on the back of a recent billing statement. You should find an explanation there. If you know how your credit card issuer calculates your finance charge, you can estimate your own finance charge and even find ways to minimize the finance charge you pay. Regardless of how your credit card issuer calculates your finance charges, you can avoid paying interest on your balance by paying in full each month. Below are six ways finance charges can be calculated – one has been made illegal within the past decade. Click on the links for a more detailed explanation including example of how each finance charge calculation method works.