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.
How Much Is the Finance Charge? Finance charges are calculated each billing cycle based on your APR and credit card balance, so your exact finance charge will typically vary from month to month. Creditors have different methods of calculating finance charges based on how they calculate your balance. Credit card issuers may calculate your finance charge using your daily balance, an average of your daily balance, the balance at the beginning or end of the month, or your balance after payments have been applied. It’s now illegal for credit card issuers to charge a new finance charge on a balance you paid off in a previous billing cycle.
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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.
Best for Managing Subscriptions: Clarity Money. Clarity Money. Courtesy of Clarity Money. More and more companies are moving to subscription models. In the process, it’s easy to lose track of subscriptions you’ve signed up for. Clarity Money aims to help you stop throwing away on unused subscriptions by helping you uncover and cancel subscriptions you’re not using. On top of getting rid of extra subscriptions, the app analyzes your spending behavior and gives you recommendations to improve your financial health. Clarity Money allows you to make regular savings deposits and attach a goal to your savings. You can even create several savings funds with different goals. Your savings deposits are helped at an FDIC-insured bank and are insured up to $250,000. Stay on track with your monthly budget by showing how much you’ve already spent – provided you’ve linked your debit and credit cards. You’ll also get access to your free VantageScore credit score by Experian.
The Best Finance Magazines That Cover Personal Finance. Kiplinger: I think Kiplinger offers some of the best practical, no-nonsense and objective personal financial advice you can find. For example, they pick their top 25 mutual funds every year, and at the end of the year they objectively compare their picks to an equivalent portfolio of index funds and publish the results, which often show that the index funds outperform. Kiplinger offers monthly magazine subscriptions broken into specific topics as well as the Kiplinger Letter and the Kiplinger Tax Letter which come out weekly. They also have the Kiplinger Retirement Report.