Save using credit card? How can that be? Yes, you have read the title of this post well. Next, we are going to consider six ways to make a saving use of the credit card, so that our pocket mate becomes a saving tool.
The usual thing is to think that a credit card serves, as the name implies, to give us a credit. To do this, at times when we do not reach the end of the month, use it and pay it the following month, or distribute it in more installments. True, that option is there. However, now we are going to reflect on what uses can be made of the credit of a card so that, paying on the monthly settlement date (without charging us interest), we have a useful tool in our monthly savings planning.
It is not necessary to explain much about the operation of a credit card, but anyway, before continuing, we will put on the table its main features:
- We pay for purchases and they are not charged to the account at that time, but are grouped during a period of the month.
- They are charged to our account at the end of the month or the first days of the following month and, if we cannot pay at that time, they can be deferred.
- With some we can get money from debit or credit at ATMs.
As we already tell you in Saving which is gerund, we can save on time to, for example, go on vacation, or as a habit, thinking more in the long term. And in both cases, we set a savings strategy: “I’m going to save from now until summer $ 200 per month” or “of the $ 1,500 I charge, I can’t spend it all, I’m going to save $ 200 every month “.
As the amount we save is the result of what we enter less what we spend and the payroll we charge monthly, we usually mark the savings periods from month to month: “I have to save $ 200 this month” or “this month I am spending a lot “
Well, how do we save with something that is made to spend? Using credit card so thrifty:
Easily control the expense of the month
If we want to save we will have to reduce the cost. So, let’s think for a moment about the main expenses of each month:
- receipts (electricity, gas, community, telephone, insurance, etc.)
- car letter
- purchases of the month (supermarket, clothes, gasoline, etc.)
Right at the last point is where we use the card. Whatever our savings strategy it is essential to know how much we have spent in the month, to know if we are doing well to meet our savings objective or if we need to adjust expenses more.
If we always pay with the same credit card, all operations will be grouped in the same bank statement, so we can quickly check how much we spent that month. Faster and clearer impossible: simply enter the summary of credit card movements on the website or in the mobile application of our bank.
With a debit card, we can also know how much we have paid each month, but we would have to filter the movements of the bank account, stop at each of them and add them by hand, or help us with an Excel table. And in the case of paying in cash, we would have even more lack of control, because we would only see the cartoons for taking money from the cashier, but not what we have spent it on.
Control spending on something concrete
There are many ways to save on everyday purchases. By varying the previous approach a little, we can also control how much we spend per month on something concrete. For example, in eating out or in gasoline. We would only have to always pay for those purchases with the same credit card.
Pay at the time of monthly settlement
If the monthly settlement is charged to our checking account on an established day, the bank will not charge us any interest. On the other hand, if we decide to postpone it, we will already enter new expenses for the interest of that postponement and then we would not be making a saving use of the card.
Buy now that is cheaper
It has happened to all of us: we have to change an appliance, the computer or the wheels of the car and right now they have a good discount. Or searching the Internet for a flight for the holidays, precisely today it is at a very good price. Do we buy it now?
It is an expense that we had not planned yet and may not be the most convenient decision if we look at the availability of our checking account. But if we wait to collect the next payroll, surely those offers are gone. It may be a good idea to pay with the credit card, which will not be charged until the end of the month and then we will have the most healthy account.
Promotions and returns when paying at certain establishments
There are cards that return a percentage of purchases made in some establishments. It is not usually a high amount, but if they return us 2% of what we have paid in gasoline or in the purchases of the supermarket, then very good it is and something that we save.
Major credit card brands such as MasterCard, Visa or American Express offer additional insurance to the cardholder: anti-fraud, travel, accident or life insurance, among others. They may not have the coverage we want, but we should keep them in mind if they are enough on occasion and we save another contract with an insurer.
On the other hand, today we all buy online but what happens if our personal data fall into improper hands? The cards incorporate extra security measures, such as entering a key or a code received in a text message, thus reducing the likelihood of someone making fraudulent use. And in the case of detecting an operation that we have not performed, it will be enough to notify our entity. With that security, we buy online with peace of mind, while taking advantage of the best prices online, which ultimately will save us.