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How do you do this, keep track over a dozen different billing cycle close dates that all move each month?

I'm keeping my overall spending below 10%, but sometimes one card gets into the 50%+ range, and I've had my scores tank from missing a close date with one card in a high usage %.  Now paying these well before the close or due date is no problem, but with so many cards and the close dates changing every month how does one keep track? This was so much easier when I just payed cash for everything, but I'm really starting to get into the bennies of cash back and travel points. I am also starting to feel stressed from so many cards with so many different and changing closing dates.... 

Then with all non CC autopay on top of all this, I'm really starting to wonder what tools other folks use that could help with all this growing chaos...

What I'm really looking for are your tips or tricks for managing so many different close dates.  I seem to be spending too much time with my google spreadsheet, scrolling through several times a week, or even every day.... 

There's got to be a better way....
 

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I just have an excel spreadsheet that I track every thing with...one of the fields I use is statement due date and I know the closing is within a few days afterwards for most of them.  I used to track closing dates, but once I realized the three or four days, I took that field out. 

 

Although I don't do minimum payments, I do keep the field, along with the statement balance for the few things that DO have a balance (utility/insurance and AXP and whatever AZEO I let show a balance in a given month).  Also tracked is what I paid, along with how and when (some allow payment by CC), with a separate notation for whether it cleared or not.  And a big field for various notes like when the CLI last occurred and whether it was auto- or requested).  I did add another field within the past year to keep up with what model was being used on those which offer scores...

 

I tend to keep the window open in the background but it isn't a time-suck once set up.  Each month, I just save it as the next month (ie. Expense 07.2022 then gets saved as Expense 08.2022 with new data being plugged in). 

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I have a set of cards I pay on the 1st of each month, and a set of cards I pay on the 15th.  And I typically set up a card payment on the date I receive a statement (assuming I haven't already done so, prompted by something else). 

 

Credit card due dates don't shift around a lot.  Anything due by the 20th gets paid by the 15.  The "20th" never advances such that the payment on the 15th isn't on time.  (Still, I pay attention to actual due date when scheduling.)

 

Does it need to get more complicated than that?

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  • 3 weeks later...
How do you do this, keep track over a dozen different billing cycle close dates that all move each month?

I'm keeping my overall spending below 10%, but sometimes one card gets into the 50%+ range, and I've had my scores tank from missing a close date with one card in a high usage %.  Now paying these well before the close or due date is no problem, but with so many cards and the close dates changing every month how does one keep track? This was so much easier when I just payed cash for everything, but I'm really starting to get into the bennies of cash back and travel points. I am also starting to feel stressed from so many cards with so many different and changing closing dates.... 

Then with all non CC autopay on top of all this, I'm really starting to wonder what tools other folks use that could help with all this growing chaos...

What I'm really looking for are your tips or tricks for managing so many different close dates.  I seem to be spending too much time with my google spreadsheet, scrolling through several times a week, or even every day.... 

There's got to be a better way....
 

I realize it is a struggle for low IQ individuals to handle Excel in a manner that requires minimal effort and time. For the rest of us, 15 minutes every few days is not too much of an effort.

Another trick to prevent UTIL from creeping up is to make frequent payments and not wait until the statement date. Paying off credit card balances weekly will generally prevent UTIL from ending up very high come statement date. If you can't afford to do that, perhaps sticking with debit is best.


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It helps to change your statement date so they are all the same. Mine are usually around the 15th of the month with my mortgage on the 1st.

 

As PotO recommended, I will sometimes go into every other week and make payments. I am less concerned (right now) about utilziation, its more about ensure I pay it on time.

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9 minutes ago, PhoenixDown said:

It helps to change your statement date so they are all the same. Mine are usually around the 15th of the month with my mortgage on the 1st.

 

As PotO recommended, I will sometimes go into every other week and make payments. I am less concerned (right now) about utilziation, its more about ensure I pay it on time.

Unless you have a card reporting mid-cycle, then mid-cycle utilization is a moot point. 

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5 hours ago, PotO said:

I realize it is a struggle for low IQ individuals to handle Excel in a manner that requires minimal effort and time. For the rest of us, 15 minutes every few days is not too much of an effort.

I just don't understand the vitriol on CB.  Here is a newbie that joined a couple of months ago, has only nine posts, and he gets absolutely SLAMMED by a nine year member with 9,700 posts.

 

 

 

On 7/1/2022 at 2:16 PM, iam said:

How do you do this, keep track over a dozen different billing cycle close dates that all move each month?

Iam - What I do is put all my credit cards in a spreadsheet and sort them by date due.  Then twice a month I go in and verify that everything due for the next 3 weeks is taken care of.  For CCs that are autopay statement balance in full, I mark those in blue.  Some of my BT cards are min pay or min pay + autopay, and I mark those in green.  If there are any cards I want to PIF before they cut, I take a good look, set the payment date, then give myself a reminder (PI Reminder Chrome Extension is a godsend for this) to check the day after the payment was scheduled to be applied.  That way I can check to make sure nothing else was charged and I can still pay it.

 

You mentioned the issue with variable closing and due dates.  It appears much worse than it is.  You can go through old statements and find the earliest closing date and the latest closing date - rarely are they more than 3 days apart.  And the due date will almost always be x number of days before the cut date.  So it's not hard to find the absolute earliest due date possible.

 

Below you can see what my spreadsheet looks like.  On 7/1, I went in and verified all the rows you see.  I changed the text to red for telling myself I did it.  The next column is the due date.  Blue means auto pay, red means manual pay, and the black ones are sock-drawer, so I know I don't need to bother (but I usually do anyway, it would be awful if there was some once a year recurring charge that snuck by me).  In the Card Name column, the two red ones are BT cards.  I put the date the cards were opened because there's another column that figures out age and keeps track of 5/24 for Chase.  I also mark down if I or my wife is primary, and if one of us is an AU on the other's card.  Then there's CL and balance, and from there I can figure out percentage of credit line being used.

 

Complex?  A little.  Bulletproof?  A lot.  But 30-45 minutes twice a month and I've got myself covered.  And if I don't have 30 minutes, I at least verify everything that isn't auto pay.

 

Welcome to Credit Boards Iam - most of use are really nice to each other.  Hope to see you here for a long time.

 

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12 hours ago, PotO said:

If you can't afford to do that, perhaps sticking with debit is best.

Most people can't control or have no control over their credit card spending, and that's where service debt comes in! The debt is getting bigger and bigger every month!

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It helps to change your statement date so they are all the same. Mine are usually around the 15th of the month with my mortgage on the 1st.
 
As PotO recommended, I will sometimes go into every other week and make payments. I am less concerned (right now) about utilziation, its more about ensure I pay it on time.

It's impossible to change a statement date. Current law requires payment due dates to remain the same. Since every month does not have 30 days, the statement date can vary every month by a few days.

The best ways never to pay late is to sign up for text message and e-mail alerts and / or check accounts on at least a weekly basis. Since you have shown an aversion to Excel, I suppose you would also not be fond of using accounting software to manage accounts.

I spend approximately 10 minutes a day on an average day managing finances on over 100 revolving accounts and have *never* had a late payment or UTIL above, at most, 5%. It is not difficult.


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Most people can't control or have no control over their credit card spending, and that's where service debt comes in! The debt is getting bigger and bigger every month!

If someone cannot control their spending then they are in line to become the next financial train wreck.

People who cannot control their bowel movements use diapers. There are diaper-equivalents for those who cannot control their credit card spending.


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I just don't understand ...

 You are right. You do not understand.

 

This is anything but rocket science. The OP already complained about having to go through their spreadsheet a couple of times a week. Well, too freaking bad. Let me see if I can dumb this down a bit ... if someone is a rocket scientist and cannot do all those complex mathematical problems in your head yet refuse to use a calculator, maybe they should just be flipping burgers instead.

 

It would seem that The Brethren,[mention=767] Hegemony[/mention],[mention=7045] Centex[/mention],[mention=31973] HDPorter[/mention], have more than a few credit card accounts yet they manage their finances very well. I am sure they have to invest a little time to keep things in line.

 

I also have more than a few accounts. On an average day, I spend maybe ten minutes using a combination of Post-It Notes, MS Money and Excel. Others use other methods. The bottom line is that if you cannot afford a few minutes on a regular basis to keep your finances in order, you should be banned from possession of plastic in any form.

 

 

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45 minutes ago, PotO said:


If someone cannot control their spending then they are in line to become the next financial train wreck.

People who cannot control their bowel movements use diapers. There are diaper-equivalents for those who cannot control their credit card spending.


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Hahahahaha! I'm running an AZEO strategy this

month, and my total debt is $49 reporting on a single account tied to dozens of credit accounts.

 

Regarding managing credit accounts, I do check every account every day, plus pay all accounts off before the statement is cut, so there are absolutely zero potential mistakes!

 

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Hahahahaha! I'm running an AZEO strategy this
month, and my total debt is $49 reporting on a single account tied to dozens of credit accounts.
 
Regarding managing credit accounts, I do check every account every day, plus pay all accounts off before the statement is cut, so there are absolutely zero potential mistakes!
 

And that is precisely why you are able to manage your credit in an intelligent and responsible manner.

While I don't bother much with the $2 Trick anymore, I do spend less than 15 minutes each day updating and reviewing my accounting program. Every few days I'll spend an additional 15 minutes paying off any balances. Zero mistakes is the objective and not that hard to achieve if you use common sense.


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1 hour ago, PotO said:


And that is precisely why you are able to manage your credit in an intelligent and responsible manner.

While I don't bother much with the $2 Trick anymore, I do spend less than 15 minutes each day updating and reviewing my accounting program. Every few days I'll spend an additional 15 minutes paying off any balances. Zero mistakes is the objective and not that hard to achieve if you use common sense.


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Yep, that's precisely how it's done, utterly none,
Nada, zippo mistakes!

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TBH, getting and keeping good credit does take hard work. I have a friend who only has one credit card with Wells Fargo. He pays in full and has good credit. BUT, he is lazy. I've been trying to get him to do at least some mild bonus chasing, especially with some of these bonuses being valued at $1,200 or more. It's worth the effort to apply and manage the account for at least a year or two, IMO. But he's too lazy to do it, so that's his loss.... Not to mention the risk of having your only card closed for some BS reason and watching your scores tank. 

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1 hour ago, RehabbingANDBlabbing said:

TBH, getting and keeping good credit does take hard work. I have a friend who only has one credit card with Wells Fargo. He pays in full and has good credit. BUT, he is lazy. I've been trying to get him to do at least some mild bonus chasing, especially with some of these bonuses being valued at $1,200 or more. It's worth the effort to apply and manage the account for at least a year or two, IMO. But he's too lazy to do it, so that's his loss.... Not to mention the risk of having your only card closed for some BS reason and watching your scores tank. 

If your friend adamantly on using only one credit card, he has the privileged of doing so, his stubborn short-sightedness will cost him in the future as you say, maybe if he gets caught Stuck on vacation or in a foreign country, the price will be steeply high.

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16 hours ago, A Credit Ed said:

I just don't understand the vitriol on CB.  Here is a newbie that joined a couple of months ago, has only nine posts, and he gets absolutely SLAMMED by a nine year member with 9,700 posts.

 

With great respect to all parties involved, PotO's Insult Comic Dog shtick is better accepted than understood. 

 

It just "is"; and CB is better for his presence.  Read between the lines and typically he's calling out behavior that I suspect that the target themselves is less than happy with.  Think of it as a "kick in the seat of your pants" exhortation to "be better".

 

(It only took me the greater part of a year to arrive at this rationalization.)

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On 7/1/2022 at 4:16 PM, iam said:

How do you do this, keep track over a dozen different billing cycle close dates that all move each month?
There's got to be a better way....
 

I just don't use all of mine at the same time.  I've had to recently figure that out the hard way.   I think the best thing I can do is rotate them.  That way I only have to worry about paying down/off one or two a month. 

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Yep, that's precisely how it's done, utterly none,
Nada, zippo mistakes!

Zero mistakes is the goal and not that hard to achieve.

Even if one makes a mistake, though, the objective is to have several redundancies built into the system so that the mistake corrects itself and no damage is done.

I made a mistake a few years ago when I used BillPay to pay on what I thought was my Citi card, but actually paid on my wife's. That mistake could have been disastrous had I not built several redundancies into the system one of which was a text message every day with all account balances. I caught the mistake, discovered why it occurred and tweaked my system to fix the loophole that caused it.

Every morning I wake up to 50+ text messages with various account balances. I sign up for every alert imaginable sent by e-mail and text message. The goal is to make everything unfookupable.


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TBH, getting and keeping good credit does take hard work. I have a friend who only has one credit card with Wells Fargo. He pays in full and has good credit. BUT, he is lazy. I've been trying to get him to do at least some mild bonus chasing, especially with some of these bonuses being valued at $1,200 or more. It's worth the effort to apply and manage the account for at least a year or two, IMO. But he's too lazy to do it, so that's his loss.... Not to mention the risk of having your only card closed for some BS reason and watching your scores tank. 

Only one???? OMG!!! Is he a caveman????

 

[mention=162190]MP80[/mention] is right. I also think having anything fewer that half a dozen accounts with different credit card companies is a huge risk.

 

Fortunately with Wells Fargo he shouldn't have to worry about them going out of business like PisPay and others have done, but he's still at risk for CLDs when the economy sours and Wells Fargo is under pressure.

 

 

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I just don't use all of mine at the same time.  I've had to recently figure that out the hard way.   I think the best thing I can do is rotate them.  That way I only have to worry about paying down/off one or two a month. 

Rotation is easier said than done. There can easily be times when it makes better sense to use a certain card when you would otherwise not have it scheduled for use that month.


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2 minutes ago, PotO said:


Rotation is easier said than done. There can easily be times when it makes better sense to use a certain card when you would otherwise not have it scheduled for use that month.


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Understood.  

 

I read your above and the idea of waking up to 50+ text messages would drive me over the edge. lol 

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Understood.  
 
I read your above and the idea of waking up to 50+ text messages would drive me over the edge. lol 

You know what is infinitely far worse?

Waking up to an alert from the credit bureaus saying you have a 30-day late on your credit reports. Then the follow-up notice from your credit card company saying you now have a $30 late fee and about $600 in interest added to your debt is a real kick in the pelotas.

Thanks, but I'll take the 50+ text messages every day.


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