If you tend to carry a credit card balance rather than pay off your balance every month, then you’ve seen a finance charge added to your balance. Finance charges are applied to credit card balances that aren’t paid before the grace period. Unlike most other credit card fees, finance charges aren’t a flat fee. Instead, the finance charge is calculated for each billing cycle based on your balance and interest rate. Generally, higher balances and interest rates result in higher finance charges.
The interface is clean, but perhaps a little too clean. There are no icon buttons for frequently used features. All commands are done from the File, Edit, or another menu. But the online documentation is understandable, so this is definitely worth a try if you want personal finance software with bare-bones features. It’s released as Open Source Software, designed specifically for use with Linux. AceMoney for Linux offers a variety of personal finance reports plus budgeting, investment tracking, and e-commerce features. It imports account transactions from most financial institutions using QIF or OFX downloads, and it supports over 150 currencies. It automatically downloads exchange rates via the internet.
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Best for Debt Payoff: You Need a Budget. You Need a Budget. Courtesy of You Need a Budget. You Need a Budget is a personal finance app that’s built around YNAB’s Four Rules. The rules – Give every dollar a job, Embrace your true expenses, Roll with the punches and Age your money – not only help you build a better budget but also help you gain control of your spending. Import transactions from your checking account and apply them to each budget category to get an accurate picture of your spending. Keep a balanced budget by adjusting budget categories if you accidentally overspend (or if you underbudgeted for a certain category). Detailed reports show you how your spending is progressing throughout the month and help you spot places that you can improve your spending. According to YNAB, the average new user saves $600 in the first to months and more than $6,000 in the first year. You can try the app for free for the first 34 days.
If you continued making minimum payments and no additional charges on this account, you’d pay $18.00 in finance charges over the course of a year. Why Does the Billing Cycle Matter? Credit card companies state your interest rate in terms of an annual percentage rate, or APR, to make it easier to compare various credit cards and loans. However, you are not charged interest on an annual basis. You’re charged interest periodically based on your billing cycle. Including the billing cycle in the finance charge calculation ensures you are charged interest only for that specific period of time.
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.