This week's challenge: Make a credit card list!


#1

If you’ve ever experienced losing your credit card or being hacked, you might remember how annoying it is. Not only in canceling it and awaiting for a new one, but having to then go back and remember all the places that card was linked to.

This week’s challenge is to make a list of all the places your CC/debt card(s) are linked!

Put it in a spreadsheet, email draft, write it down on paper - it doesn’t matter. Just make sure you have it somewhere for whenever the next time you get a new card happens (and believe me - it’s going to happen again).

This will bring you four major benefits:

  • It will make updating spots in the future much, much easier (and quicker!)
  • It will prevent late fees from happening, or worse - shutting off of services since you remembered what to update!
  • It keeps stress levels to a bare minimum (never totally avoidable, but def. better)
  • And it forces you to re-evaluate all the services/apps/products/bills you currently have set up to see if it’s still worth including in your life. If not, cut 'em and save!

While you are accomplishing this, think about the areas you love spending money on and those you don’t. Tell us which services/bills make you happy, and which are annoying!


#2

One of the first things I did when I started reading FI blogs was create my “Money Map”

Not only did I chart the flow of money but listed what bills are charged to where!


#3

Haha. When I read the title of this challenge, I thought you meant to keep a little cheat sheet of what cards to use when. I literally just did that yesterday so that I don’t have to scratch my head at the grocery store to strain to remember which card I’m supposed to use for the best cc reward.

In regards to your intent though, I did this not long ago when my hubby and I were going on a long trip. I sent our financial details to a trusted family member with some other instructions (just in case) and included details about how certain bills were paid and what accounts we have. My boys are 18 and 17 so they would need help from their uncle in the case of something serious happening to both of us. I know you didn’t necessarily mean it that way but good to think about as well.


#4

Ohhhh, a money map. I really like that idea.

What else was involved in your money map?
(Is there a post where we can learn more?)


#5

You know what, this “credit card list” would be a good item to include with your will and other “when I die” information. I had not even thought of that!


#6

My money map:
Income( without 401k, FSA, and HSA):

DD-> bank 1
----> Mortgage (ACH)
----> Credit Cards (M)
----> Daycare (ACH)

DD-> bank 2
----> 529 (ACH)
----> Roth IRA (ACH)
----> Cash Budget

DD-> emergency Fund -> Save
DD-> bank 2 core Savings -> Save

Bills outline:

  • bank 1
    ++Water/sewer/garbage (ACH)
    ++Electric (ACH)
    ++Internet (ACH)
    ++Gas (ACH)
  • CC1
    ++Netflix (ACH)
    ++Cell phones(ACH)
  • CC2
    ++Insurance (ACH)

Key:

  • M - Manual
  • ACH - Auto Withdrawal
  • DD - Direct Deposit

Couldn’t find the original post that got me to make one but these guys talk about it too.


#7

Oh that’s awesome!


#8

I track the crap out of stuff and project estimates for the future base on the trends… #superGeek


#9

Not to hijack the thread, but, Yay, Money Maps! Never heard of it before, but I totally have to do this anytime we make a tweak to our system. We always talk about/draw it in terms of “flows”. And call our accounts “buckets” (that once they are full can flow into other buckets). Then, when all out buckets/buffers/emergency funds are full, we call it “Shields Up”, like we’re the USS Enterprise or something. No splurging til Shields Up! :wink:

We have a bunch of bank accounts, as we originally started structuring our accounts sort of following the “60% Solution” categories. We’re starting to make some updates to this (now we have a kid, we set aside money for kid expenses in a separate account too), but this has been the basic system that has worked for us for maybe 10-15 years. (It’s how we check our budget without micromanaging it anymore.) It’s definitely a “pay yourself first system”.

We have checking/savings accounts called:
ME=Monthly Expenses (budgeted, regular monthly expenses)- Gets “Zeroed Out” at the end of each month.
STS=Short Term Savings or Irregular Expenses (“Irregular” regular expenses: repairs, small gifts, doctors appointments, misc.) We keep a set buffer, maybe 3k, but depends on the size of your lifestyle. Your buffer could be x-months of living expenses/emergency fund.
LTS=Long Term Savings (for goals, and a holding place for transfers to IRA’s, etc.)
(We include “Fun” in LTS… so it’s technically LTS/Fun… but these could be separate, of course) We like to have a good size buffer in this account, so it’s also our emergency fund.

We also have:
Insurance Account= budgeted monthly amounts for premiums that come due at different timeframes, so it’s no surprises: car insurance, property insurance, life insurance, disability, health insurance. All premiums are paid from this account.

How it works:
Paychecks flow into ME (once a month, see below*) and then automated transfer distribute set amounts (based on our savings/spending plan) to Insurance Account and STS and LTS.

Then (for the brave…) we pay expenses during the month from both ME and our Credit Card (CC points!). At the “end of the month” AKA the day after the new monthly income transfer/“paycheck” comes into ME, the money that had been left in ME gets transferred to STS (to pay ME’s share of the Credit Card Bill, which gets paid out of STS). It’s a quick “budget check”, as I know what the amount should be month to month. Then I quick scan the CC Statement for anything that is not an ME or STS/Irregular expense, like a vacation expense or Fun purchase, and then transfer that amount out of LTS/Fun to pay the LTS/Fun portion of the CC. The transferred in amounts plus the previously transferred fixed monthly STS transfer SHOULD be equal to or less than the amount of the Credit Card bill (we leave a “fixed buffer” of maybe 3k in there), so it should be at or above the buffer after paying off the card. Then the month starts over again.

It’s actually simpler than it sounds, but you can see why a Map is useful when tweaking the system. Do you guys do anything similar?

*Since we’re self-employed with irregular income, we usually have a sort of “Feeder Account/Central Hub” from which we create a monthly “paycheck” for ourselves. I think this might be useful for folks who get paid biweekly or irregularly also. Also because we are self-employed we also have a "Tax Holdings" Account where we set aside % of income for Quarterly Estimated Taxes, etc.


#10

So this was sounding crazy complicated, but by the end I was like, oh… yeah, that’s EXACTLY what we do too. Sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: We even do the “account that cuts us a paycheck” and "tax holdings"because we’re self-employed. Haha! I literally could have written that whole post.


#11

Money Map Twins! :yum:


#12

Love this idea!


#13

Not a bad idea. Although I like things neat and tidy. Therefore the bank is used for everything (which isnt much) and the cc is used strictly for business expenses. Short n sweet.


#14

I love this so much.