3 Reasons I Check My Credit Card Balance Every Week

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Here's why I insist on reviewing my credit card spending regularly.

When we think about fun ways to spend our free time, we tend to land on binge-watching TV shows or curling up with a good book -- not sitting at our laptops combing through our credit card statements. In fact, a lot of people check their credit card balances once a month -- namely, when they receive their monthly statement in the mail or via an email or online alert. But I make it a point to check my various credit card balances every week. Here's why.

1. It helps me track my spending

Ever since I started collecting a paycheck, I've made sure to stick to a budget. Doing so has helped me avoid unhealthy debt and stay on track to meet my financial goals. And checking up on my credit card spending each week helps me follow my budget.

Between my home, two vehicles (mine and my husband's), kids, and dog, my household has a lot of expenses. And it's hard for me to remember what groceries cost me on a given week or how much I just spent filling up my car. Checking my credit card balance jogs my memory and serves as an alert that I may need to curb my spending if I'm at a point where I've charged up more expenses than usual.

2. It serves as an extra fraud alert

Even the most vigilant credit card users can still fall victim to fraud, but checking my balances weekly has helped me avoid that. In the past, reviewing my balances has helped me notice pending charges that were not legitimate. And somewhat recently, I was able to get a pending charge removed before it went through and stuck me with an unnecessary dispute. (I did so by calling the company behind the fraudulent charge and asking them to reverse it and investigate on their end, which they did.)

3. I can see what my spouse is spending

Though my husband and I have a policy of checking in with each other before making large purchases, we usually don't update one another on smaller purchases -- things like a new $20 pair of jogging pants or a $40 tool at the hardware store. But sometimes, those small purchases can add up. Checking my credit card balances weekly helps me see what I've been buying and what my husband has been charging on our shared credit cards. At times, if I see that he's racked up a few extra charges, I might cut back or postpone a nonessential purchase of mine until the following month to stay within our budget.

While I don't feel the need to check my credit card balances every day, I think a weekly check-in is a reasonable thing to do for people who use their cards frequently and put a lot of expenses on them. Doing so also helps me gear up for my actual bills so they don't come as a surprise at the end of the month. If I see my balance grow from $400 to $800 to $1,300 week over week, my $2,000 total won't be a complete shock. And that heads-up alone makes my weekly check-ins worth it.

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