Because there are so many finance magazines on the market, selecting the right ones to read regularly may seem daunting. I have compiled a short list that will get you headed in the right direction on your path to mastering the basics of investing and personal finance. Spend a few hours per month and you’ll pick up knowledge at a fast pace. Browse through the selection below and find one that fits your reading style.
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.
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Best for Budgeting: EveryDollar. The EveryDollar app uses the zero-based budget method recommended by personal finance expert Dave Ramsey. The zero-based budget gives every dollar a purpose in the budget, hence the app’s name EveryDollar. A built-in monthly expense tracker allows you to connect to your bank to import transactions to keep up with your spending. You can even split expenses between multiple budget items. The tracker shows you the amount you’ve spent so far for the month and the amount you have left to spend. Through the app, you’ll be able to connect with money management experts who can help you with your financial planning. You’ll be able to access your budget through the app or via a desktop computer. All new users receive a free trial of the premium version of the app. You can permanently upgrade through the app menu.
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.
It’s suitable for both personal use and small business needs with double-entry accounting. It operates on basic accounting principles that are easy to understand and that also ensure your books and financial calculations are kept and done right. Mac and Windows ports are available, too, if you’re not a purist, and GnuCash offers a pretty nice mobile app as well, although it won’t sync with your software. Users claim that KMyMoney is as easy to use as Quicken—in fact, that’s one of its claims to fame. But for all of its user-friendly features, it’s also a pretty comprehensive program.