this is what i got in my email this morning from mary hunt, the everyday cheapskate...
"Wishing You a Deadbeat Christmas
Deadbeats. That’s what credit card companies call their cardholders who use their credit card, pay the balance in full every month and never pay a nickel’s worth of interest. Deadbeats drive credit card companies crazy! [i told you those bastards won't give me a new credit card!]
It does take some effort to maintain a sterling deadbeat status. But for those of you who will be buying things online or using a credit card for the purpose of convenience, it is absolutely mandatory.
Want to learn how to be a deadbeat this Christmas? These three simple steps, if followed religiously, will give you the title of a world-class deadbeat.
REGISTER AND DEDUCT. When you use your credit card, immediately deduct the charge from your checkbook just as if you made the purchase with a check. Use a different color ink, like red, to indicate these purchases. You spent the money. It is gone!
During the holidays, also keep a running total of your credit purchases on a separate piece of paper you keep right in your checkbook. It will become a visual reminder of just where you are with your holiday spending.
CHECK OFTEN. Even for the most diligent among us, opening that credit card statement and seeing that balance can be quite a startling experience. Here’s how to counteract that kind of shock:
Go to your card company’s website and register your account. Now you can check your balance online daily, or as frequently as necessary. Or call the toll-free number on the back of your credit card. During periods when you are particularly credit-card-active, call at least once a week to get your current, up-to-the-minute balance. Even with all of your careful tracking, just hearing that number will keep your feet planted in reality. [i do this online--it is rather alarming, but it will keep you from spending. it has prevented several heart attacks in my house--largely because i'm not totally sure rich knows what to do if i have one...]
WRITE THE CHECK. The very moment that statement arrives, write out a check for the full amount and send it in. You’ve already deducted the total amount (in increments) from your checkbook balance. You’ve known all along what the balance is because of your frequent calling, so all of the surprise and mystery has been eliminated.
Make sure you enclose the payment stub from the statement and use only the preprinted envelope. Your mission is to get that entire payment into the company’s system and credited to your account without any delays and in plenty of time. [better yet pay online--that way it is there on time and that really pisses them off.]
The trade-off for enjoying the convenience of using a credit card is responsibility. Practice it diligently and you will avoid paying a very heavy price."
this woman is cheap/thrifty/responsible, and she rocks. i so love that she posted this right before christmas! okay, enough preaching.