Mint, Intuit’s personal finances apps, is one of the most well-known personal finance apps that provides your complete financial picture in one place. Once you link your credit and debit cards to your account, Mint pulls your transactions, categorizes them and shows how you’re spending your money. You can keep track of your bills and spending and create a budget you can stick to. Free access to your credit score is one of the more recent additions. You can get a breakdown of the factors contributing to your credit score to stay on top of your credit health. Plus, you can track your investments and schedule utility payments. For bills that you manually pay, the app can send e-mail reminders or add the due dates to your phone calendar. You can use the app exclusively or access your account via computer.
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.
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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.
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.
Complete Idiot’s Guide to Managing Your Money. Don’t be offended by the title. This plainly written book shows that anybody can learn to manage their money effectively, and is full of consumer tips, advice on mortgages, debt, mutual funds, auto loans, bank fees, credit cards, and other money-related matters. The book, written by expert financial columnist Robert K. Heady and financial writer Christine Heady, has already gone through four editions and sold millions of copies.