by Maurie Backman | March 15, 2021
The Ascent is reader-supported: we may earn a commission from offers on this page. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.
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.
Get free access to the select products we use to help us conquer our money goals. These fully-vetted picks could be the solution to help increase your credit score, to invest more profitably, to build an emergency fund, and much more.
By submitting your email address, you consent to us sending you money tips along with products and services that we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe at any time. Please read our Privacy Statement and Terms & Conditions.
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.
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.)
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.
If you have credit card debt, transferring it to this top balance transfer card can allow you to pay 0% interest into late 2022! Plus, you’ll pay no annual fee. Those are just a few reasons why our experts rate this card as a top pick to help get control of your debt. Read The Ascent's full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.
We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.
The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters.
Copyright © 2018 - 2021 The Ascent. All rights reserved.