3 Simple Ways to Track Your Credit Card Spending
by Lyle Daly | Updated July 21, 2021 - First published on March 29, 2021
With the right method, tracking your credit card spending doesn't take long.
When you use credit cards, tracking your spending is a must. It's easy to overspend, and extra purchases here and there can add up. Consumers often don't realize just how much these occasional purchases are costing them until they look back later.
There's also always the possibility of credit card fraud. You're much more likely to catch it if you keep an eye on your transactions.
The key to tracking your credit card spending is finding a method that works for you. You'll be able to do it more quickly, and it won't feel like a chore. Here are a few simple, effective ways to check up on your credit cards.
1. Download a budgeting app
A budgeting app is a convenient way to manage your money. Many budgeting apps let you link all your financial accounts, including your credit cards. Once you do, you can view balances and transactions in the app. Here are some popular budgeting apps with this feature:
- Personal Capital
Those three apps are available for free, without subscription fees. Pocketguard offers a premium version with a yearly fee, but the basic version doesn't cost anything.
The biggest advantage of budgeting apps is how easy they make it to stay on top of your spending. With your credit cards connected to the app, you can view all your transactions in an instant.
It's vital to remember that you should never use a budgeting app while connected to a public Wi-Fi network. These networks aren't secure, so it's possible for cybercriminals to watch what you're doing, and potentially even steal your data.
2. Review transactions in your online account
You can log in to your online credit card account and check your transactions there. Some credit card companies offer detailed spending reports that break down your purchases by category and show you where you're spending the most.
This option is a good choice if you'd rather not connect your credit cards to a budgeting app. These apps typically have the same level of security as what you get from major financial institutions, so they're not inherently risky. Still, not everyone likes tying all their accounts to a single app.
If you're going to use this method, it's a good idea to review transactions every week or two. That way, you can find out more quickly if you've overspent with credit cards in any areas. You'll also notice suspicious transactions sooner.
3. Use your credit card company's mobile app
Just about every major credit card company has its own mobile app now. If you want to track your spending from your phone, you can download your card issuer's app. Mobile apps generally offer the same services you get online, although features may be more limited.
The same warning about not using budgeting apps with public Wi-Fi applies here, since these apps carry the same security risks as mobile banking. Public Wi-Fi is not a secure connection. Hackers could view your activity and get their hands on your data. Only use your credit card company's mobile app while connected to a trusted network, or with your mobile data.
If you're looking for a way to track your credit card spending, these three methods are easy to do and work for anyone. Budgeting apps tend to be the simplest way to monitor everything, especially if you manage multiple credit cards. But credit card company websites and mobile apps are also good options.
Pick a method you'll use consistently. What's most important isn't how you track your spending, but that you do it often so you don't miss anything.
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