Make Wealth Flow Towards You!

How to make money run after you (Part 8)

Posted by on Jan 28, 2012 in Money Management | 29 comments

“How to Make Credit Cards Work for You!”

Credit Cards, are the proverbial stepping stone to wealth. This article explains how I use my credit cards so that I minimize my monthly cash flow burden, use it without incurring interest (and get even super discounts in the process) and lastly get loans without collateral at ‘minimal’ interest.

Credit Cards Do Not Give You More Cash, It Gives You More Time.

You see, most people view credit cards as an extra amount of cash to spend. If you view it that way then you are already doomed from the start, that thinking is actually what got me in trouble many moons ago with my two credit cards back in the early 90’s. (I discussed that in Part 7 of this article series).

The truth is, credit cards don’t give you more cash to spend, it gives you more time to pay for your expenses.

Let’s start with the basics. Every credit card has a ‘cut-off’ date, say the 10th of the month, a statement date, say the 15th of the month, and a due date of say the 7th of the next month. This is how it works:

Let’s use November as an example. All your credit card expenses on or before November 10 (your cut-off date) will be included in your credit card bill for November 15 (your statement date). When you receive your bill, you have to pay the total amount on or before December 7 (your due date).

Now here’s how to use this often overlooked information to your advantage.

If you use your credit card between October 16 (Day after your statement date) to November 10 (your cut-off date), all of those purchases will need to be paid in full on Dec 7, remember always pay in full so you do not get charged exorbitant interest rates and finance charges. If you do this then you get roughly 22 to 27 days before you have to come up with the cash to pay your bill (Nov 10 to Dec 7).

But

if you start using your card after your cut-off date of November 10, say November 12 onwards, guess what? You will only start paying those purchases on January 7 instead of December 7, giving you twice the time (44 to 54 days) you need to come up with the cash to pay for your card!

So the first lesson is to learn how to ‘time’ your credit card use. Find your cut-off date and only start using your card after that date.

If you do not know how to find your cut-off date, get your credit card bills for the past 3 months. Look at the itemized expenses and look at the last item and the date of that purchase for all three bills, they will usually fall around those dates. In some cards, the statement date IS the cut-off date so familiarize yourself with your credit card immediately and try what I am suggesting as soon as possible.

The first time I did this, I was amazed at how much time I was able to enjoy my purchases before I had to pay for it. The problem however was that I ended up over-spending on the card and could not pay it in full even with 44 to 54 days extension.

To solve this problem, I got additional credit cards.

Whoa, before you read any further, please remember that before you do this, you must have No Outstanding credit card debts before you apply for another one and apply what I will be sharing next. Because if you don’t having multiple credit cards will really eat you up alive.

Okay, the purpose of getting additional credit cards is to have cards with different due dates. Unfortunately, you cannot request a convenient due date from the credit card company, so what you do, as I did, is to keep on getting credit cards from different banks but only accept the cards that have no annual fees at least for a year. Then, select the cards to use based on the Due dates. You really only need 2 cards with far apart due dates, so if you have more than 2 and once you find the 2 cards, you can cancel the rest of the cards.

Load Balancing on Multiple Credit Cards is the Goal

 

  1. Go to http://www.wealthflowproject.com and Comment on this article, tell me why these methods won’t work for you or tell me if you (and your spouse) have started doing these already.
  2. Let your husband or wife read this article and comment on it as well.

Good luck and see you in the next article!

Mark So is a fervent businessman, Investor and educator.  He is the Chairman and CEO of Businessmaker Academy—a business, finance and corporate training center.  He is the founder and Chief Forex Trainer of Forex Club Asia, A Trading club of Forex Traders across Asia. He is also the Founder and Chief Trainer of the Philippine Franchise Institute which specializes in training and growing existing Franchise businesses.  A sought after speaker for business, investing, You may email your comments and questions to: markso@wealthflowproject.com or call the office at 6874445 / 6873416 / 6874645 for a schedule of his seminars

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29 Comments

Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Jackie

    I am actually starting to do this. The first time I had my credit card I was very scared to use it. What if I could not pay? So I used it on emergency situations only then pay it right away. I first noticed that what I charged to my card was not included in my bill. It was there that I learned about how the billing system works. Now, I time the use of my credit card and I am strting to enjoy it’s use since I get more time to pool my money to pay for the item I want.

  2. Gil

    Hi,
    You are quit right, Credit Cards are dangerous and people does not know how to use.The interest are very high and sometimes it hurts the consumer. It is an easy method for spending. The reality as you mention is to pay immediately all due in order not to pay huge interst.
    Very good article..Thanks

    • markso

      Thanks Gil, don’t forget, it is also about giving you more time and if used properly (paid in full and on time) will eventually lighten your payment burdens.

  3. marites di

    truly, credit cards are my financial allies. the statement of acct helps me analyize my spending habits and prioritize my expenses
    ..knowing my cut off date really helps me “buy time”

  4. Rico

    My credit cards’ balances ballooned when I used them to pay for my mom’s pacemaker battery replacement last October. One card company sent their statement on time while the other somehow got to my billing address so late that I had to pay thousands in finance charges. After filing several complaints, nothing happened. Now, I keep close track of my statement and due dates and make calls as they draw near.

    • markso

      Being aware and constantly paying on time will help you. Finance charges should be avoided at all costs. Change will not be overnight, but keep at it and you will master yoir credit cards sooner rather than later.

  5. richard c viador

    hi,
    thanks for the article, it gives me a new insight about credit cards.this is is a big help to us.God bless!!!

    richard

  6. lolly leong

    i read this article before and since then i got interested . i use credit cards for emergency purchases only. i know sad stories involving credit cards and begun convincing them not to use it when you have cash to spend or never have card at all.

  7. Many Marnett

    I regard something truly interesting about your web site so I saved to bookmarks .

  8. malourdes

    started using this already.helps me a lot in budgeting my expenses.thanks.

  9. Jen

    mark,

    i will look into my credit cards and study the cut-off dates and apply what you wrote.
    thanks for the insights…

  10. RHEA

    Hi Sir! I’m actually applying it in using my credit card for my personal transactions. It has helped me a lot in managing my personal finances and also for office expenses to be reimbursed later by our boss. Thanks!

  11. James

    I had to learn this the same way too. As I’ve mentioned from a comment before, I too had trouble with credit cards and had to make lifestyle changes. But once I got out of that rut I took a step back and learn my way around the CC. But the light bulb moment came by accident when I was expecting a big bill but ended up with a much lesser statement. I took out my CC bills and studied the patterns, billing periods etc. and that’s when I realized that you can buy more time if you charge after your cut off date as mentioned on the article. However, since I already cut up my second card I limited myself to just one and convinced myself that I only needed one for emergencies and the like. I also had to remind myself, after learning about the importance of the cut off date, that 1. yes, I do get enough time to gather funds until the next billing cycle BUT THAT MEANS there’s ALSO more time to POSSIBLY abuse the card if I am not careful/mindful. 2. I HAVE to always take into consideration the amount of money coming in and how much I can ACTUALLY afford to lose as payment for the CC so I don’t get back into the rut I just escaped from. So far, this has worked for me. It was hard changing my mindset as I was a frivolous spender because just like many I USED to think that CCs are my extension(extra) of cash. Once you’re hooked on buying you forget that the power of the plastic is just that credit/LOAN and if one is not careful one can really drown in debt.

    Now, I need to get to the next article to learn about the Load Balancing thing. Sounds interesting. By the way Mark, I didn’t get the link to How To Make Money Run After You Part 7. Would love to read that one. Keep up the good work. :)

  12. bheng

    very useful and practical advice its just that luckily we are not using credit cards so maybe its not applicable unto us. and its good for us i think to avoid accumulating additional debts to what we already have. thanks

  13. Ruel A.

    Hi S’Mark,

    Once again, thank you for this wonderful idea. I only have one credit card and I haven’t tried to get another one. I think I already tried it using my CC after the cut off date and as far as I know, I always meet or even exceeded my credit limit. Hehe!

  14. thel

    Thanks Mark. I’ll take note of my cut-off date.

  15. Malcolm

    Thanks nark,
    This is an eye opener to me, honestly speaking I’m very afraid to have an credit card because of there very huge interest once you didn’t pay your debt before due date.

  16. Bhoy

    Very interesting, I’ve got new great idea, for so long years – I’ve been using only one credit card. Now, I will try what I’ve learned from you. Thanks!!

  17. Grace

    Ako ngayon, maraming utang na due na.. I don’t use credit cards Mark pero marami na akong dapat bayaran this month. May tuition fee pa..
    Anong dapat ko gawin?

  18. Rommel

    thank you sir Mark sa article mo sure gagawin ko advise mo regarding credit card use,puno lahat credit card ko,slowly binabayaran ko sya after nito gawin ko tips mo,thank you more power!

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