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.
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.
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If you take your time paying off your credit card balance, your credit card issuer will charge a fee for the convenience of taking your time rather than paying your balance right away. This fee is called a finance charge and is simply an interest fee charged on money you’ve borrowed. Finance charges usually apply to any balance carried beyond the grace period. You can generally avoid paying a finance charge by paying your entire balance before the grace period ends.
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 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.