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Tools to managing your finance

Your FICO® Scores can impact your loan interest rates, terms, approvals and more.
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Tools to managing your finance

Nice thorough response by OldMan.

 

As he points out, micromanaging utilization (i.e. getting it to 1-5%) has value before a crucial credit application, but otherwise is not worth doing.  If some months your total utilization goes up to (say) 45% it's no big deal -- unless your score was so shaky/borderline that a 1-month score drop might result in adverse action by a CC issuer. 

Message 11 of 50
Super Contributor

Re: Tools to managing your finance


@ZeeA wrote:

I've always wondered how highly successfuly people manage all their CC bills, finances and any other bills. I have over 10 CCs and 3 bank accounts and have several bills.

 

I am tired of doing all of that manually and keeping tracking. It is taking a toll on me. Almost becoming a full time job.

 

How do you manage yours and make sure you dont miss any payments and is there a tool that you recommend?

 

Thank you v much!


I just keep a record of everything, and monitor the accounts daily. I like doing it. If I didn't, I would reduce the number of accounts.

 

 



FICO8 EQ 749 TU 773 EX 743 Total revolving limits 670800 (559800 reporting)
Message 12 of 50
Valued Contributor

Re: Tools to managing your finance

Hi OP

All my bills—CCs, loans, utilities, subscriptions, HOA fee, mortgage, cell phone, you name it—are displayed in an Excel file with payment due dates coinciding with paydays.

Every bill is pre-scheduled and/or autopaid through my NFCU billpay.

I have notification alerts setup for when bills are due.

I also have all my bills scheduled in my Outlook calendar with due dates 2 days before payment is due just in case I want to change an amount or just as a friendly reminder.

I’ve been doing this for 2 yrs now and I’m on autopilot. Easy, fun and relaxing tinkering with my accts.
GOALS: Garden til DEC 2020 and 800 Club

Scores
JAN 2019: EX 794, TU 783, EQ 801
DEC 2018: EX 777, TU 783, EQ 799

|| AmX ED $25K || NFCU CashRewards $20K || Macy's $20K || Discover IT $15.7K || NFCU CLOC $15K || NFCU Platinum $12.5K || AmX Magnate $11.5K || CitiCostco $7K || CitiDC $6.3K ||
Message 13 of 50
Established Member

Re: Tools to managing your finance

Thank you all for all the great tips. Greatly appreciated!

Message 14 of 50
Valued Contributor

Re: Tools to managing your finance

Take a look at YNAB. I find it to be a great budget program and it may help you organize your accounts.

Message 15 of 50
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Tools to managing your finance


@Appleman wrote:

Take a look at YNAB. I find it to be a great budget program and it may help you organize your accounts.


I like YNAB but it's getting more awkward for me as a traditional PIFer and their current CC setup.  It's a budgetting tool and not an expense or balance tracking tool.  If you need a budget though: YNAB YNAB YNAB!

  

Personal Capital I've been trying recently and that's not bad for expense tracking and not terrible for aggregate portfolio management (and it's free unless you sign up for their weath management service, which I'm going to have to politely decline I think).

 

Ultimately I do the minimum auto-pay, and then have just resolved to check my reports every so often anyway and if there's a balance out there I make sure to go pay it.  My financial life is pretty easy these days though, I'm really only using 3 credit cards and they're all Chase currently, and Chase has something like 66% of my liquid and near liquid assets, so really I don't need much in the way of fancy tools anymore.




        
Message 16 of 50
Frequent Contributor

Re: Tools to managing your finance


@Revelate wrote:

@Appleman wrote:

Take a look at YNAB. I find it to be a great budget program and it may help you organize your accounts.


I like YNAB but it's getting more awkward for me as a traditional PIFer and their current CC setup.  It's a budgetting tool and not an expense or balance tracking tool.  If you need a budget though: YNAB YNAB YNAB!

  

Personal Capital I've been trying recently and that's not bad for expense tracking and not terrible for aggregate portfolio management (and it's free unless you sign up for their weath management service, which I'm going to have to politely decline I think).

 

Ultimately I do the minimum auto-pay, and then have just resolved to check my reports every so often anyway and if there's a balance out there I make sure to go pay it.  My financial life is pretty easy these days though, I'm really only using 3 credit cards and they're all Chase currently, and Chase has something like 66% of my liquid and near liquid assets, so really I don't need much in the way of fancy tools anymore.


@Revelate -

Would you mind sharing why you have issues with how YNAB handles credit cards?   I didn't have credit cards until this year (except for a store card in college >20 years ago), and not until *after* getting YNAB.  So technically I went from nYNAB (for clarification) to then using credit cards and then finally adding them to YNAB, so I have very little experience using credit cards without it.  Since I had no credit cards, I cash-onlied most of my adult life, and have only ever PiFed (heck, the issue of fraud and debit cards is the only reason I even got one credit card until MF taught me that I could be getting rewards and that I should want to have a good FICO).

Straight up curiosity, no lecture from me, since I can't give any feedback or other experience.  I sometimes help people in my real life with it and want to make sure I can help them to the best of my abilities, and you clearly have a different experience.

(and  to stay on topic - I YNAB + Mint to manage things).




Garden goal: Gold spade and completely clean reports
Message 17 of 50
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Tools to managing your finance


@calyx wrote:

@Revelate wrote:

@Appleman wrote:

Take a look at YNAB. I find it to be a great budget program and it may help you organize your accounts.


I like YNAB but it's getting more awkward for me as a traditional PIFer and their current CC setup.  It's a budgetting tool and not an expense or balance tracking tool.  If you need a budget though: YNAB YNAB YNAB!

  

Personal Capital I've been trying recently and that's not bad for expense tracking and not terrible for aggregate portfolio management (and it's free unless you sign up for their weath management service, which I'm going to have to politely decline I think).

 

Ultimately I do the minimum auto-pay, and then have just resolved to check my reports every so often anyway and if there's a balance out there I make sure to go pay it.  My financial life is pretty easy these days though, I'm really only using 3 credit cards and they're all Chase currently, and Chase has something like 66% of my liquid and near liquid assets, so really I don't need much in the way of fancy tools anymore.


@Revelate -

Would you mind sharing why you have issues with how YNAB handles credit cards?   I didn't have credit cards until this year (except for a store card in college >20 years ago), and not until *after* getting YNAB.  So technically I went from nYNAB (for clarification) to then using credit cards and then finally adding them to YNAB, so I have very little experience using credit cards without it.  Since I had no credit cards, I cash-onlied most of my adult life, and have only ever PiFed (heck, the issue of fraud and debit cards is the only reason I even got one credit card until MF taught me that I could be getting rewards and that I should want to have a good FICO).

Straight up curiosity, no lecture from me, since I can't give any feedback or other experience.  I sometimes help people in my real life with it and want to make sure I can help them to the best of my abilities, and you clearly have a different experience.

(and  to stay on topic - I YNAB + Mint to manage things).


Sure.

 

Basically credit cards in their default account are setup as budget accounts: so spending on them and paying them creates a secondary budget item which isn't accurate from a cashflow perspective.  Basically my transaction gets put into my budget categories (like my Pick-up Stix habit, goes into the food budget line) but it also creates an entry to be "budgeted" for in Credit Cards.

 

That's really where the issue is for me: currently at least my credit card balances are not debt per se, I'm transacting and YNAB doesn't recognize that. 

 

I'm not sure if making them tracked accounts would really be better though, as that's a manual update of their balances and don't think I'd get the transaction record in there.

 

It didn't used to be like this I don't think under their older versions, but I went a while ignoring YNAB and then when I recently started using it again my budget numbers were all shot to hell and I couldn't figure out how to fix it.  I'm going to try to redo it for January and maybe it'll be better.  Admittedly I'm in a spot where I make more money than I spend right now, and I need more expense tracking rather than a strict budget so I'm probably in the wrong tool to begin with.

 

Honestly it's probably a dream tool, best in class, for a Dave Ramsey follower.  That's just not, and never will be, me.




        
Message 18 of 50
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Tools to managing your finance

Actually, I just checked and I do get automatic transaction imports for tracked accounts.

 

Maybe that's really what I should be doing instead of their default CC setup.




        
Message 19 of 50
Frequent Contributor

Re: Tools to managing your finance


@Revelate wrote:

Actually, I just checked and I do get automatic transaction imports for tracked accounts.

 

Maybe that's really what I should be doing instead of their default CC setup.


I was going to mention that, because I have way more tracked accounts than I do budget accounts and I use their autoimporting for that.

Thank you for sharing your experience!
I just find the 'paying' out of my credit accounts and payments to my credit accounts to be easy, but again, I've never used them any other way, so I figured I'd ask someone who feels differently instead of guessing.

And I don't like Dave Ramsey (on a personal level, I dislike him; and on a monetary level I disagree with much of his advice because I know how to math), but I do like 0 based budgeting, so YNAB works for me.

And before any Dave Ramsey fans come for me - For someone struggling with debt who has few/no money management skills I totally understand the appeal, I don't think all of his advice is bad, he's just not for everyone/me.




Garden goal: Gold spade and completely clean reports
Message 20 of 50