In the video segment below, The Motley Fool analysts Nathan Hamilton and Michael Douglass asked one of the Fool's credit card specialists for his top credit card tips. One smart insight is included below and it could help simplify your finances.
Michael Douglass: Let's turn to No. 4. Dan Caplinger, who is a valued --
Nathan Hamilton: Long-time Fool.
Douglass: Yeah, longtime Fool. Hey, Dan. He suggested, talk to your credit card companies and see if you can get them to align the due dates for your payment cycles.
Hamilton: Yeah, I like this one. It's an efficiency one for people who may be do hold multiple credit cards.
Douglass: Yeah, this isn't something that's going to make you a lot of extra money, but it can simplify the process and make your life easier, which is really a big part of this.
Hamilton: Yeah. When I asked him about one of his tips and he submitted this to me, I thought to myself, oh man, I have to do this as well, because my bills specifically are spread throughout the month. And it is a hassle to track all of them and make sure everything is paid. But if you have multiple credit cards, and you call up your issuer, most issuers I know of allow you to change the due date to wherever you please.
Douglass: Sure, as long as they get paid.
Hamilton: Yeah. So, calling up your issuer to do that and, say, put it on the 15th of every month, whatever date you choose, whatever works with your budget and how you like to have it set up, can absolutely simplify your finances. It's a very useful tip that's very easy.
Douglass: Yeah, and one of the nice things about this is, the way I often think about it is, let's say you know you have $2,000 in credit card bills that are going to come to you at different parts of the month, and you're making more than that, you're pulling in more than that with your paychecks and all. But, if you aren't managing when that cash is coming in versus when it's going out, you could be in a position where you don't have any money in your checking account, you're overdrawn, and all that stuff gets ugly. So, putting it all together means you could be like, "Cool, by the 6th or the 15th or whatever, I just need to make sure that I have this amount," as opposed to, "I have this amount by the 5th, and this amount by the 10th, and this amount by the 12th, and hopefully stuff comes in by the 14th." That'll make your life easier.
Hamilton: Living paycheck to paycheck, it's absolutely important.