Why Using a Credit Card Can Help You Mange Your Budget

Credit cards have the stigma of representing debt or irresponsibility when it comes to spending, but that shouldn’t be the case. Credit cards are a tool, and like all tools, they can be used and misused. I exclusively use a credit card for my purchases because I get 2% cash back on every purchase that I make, so I have a real incentive to use it rather than cash.

The real benefit of using a credit card, or debit card for that matter, is being able to track your expenses easily. If you were to withdraw $100 from an ATM by the end of the week you would probably have a tough time recalling what you spent that money on unless it was for one or two big purchases. With a debit or credit card you essentially have a log and a record of all your purchases and are able to track every penny that you spent.

Most financial institutions (if not all) also allow you to easily download your transactions into a csv or other exportable format. Doing this allows you to easily dump your transactions into a spreadsheet and analyze your expenses quickly and easily.

There are even apps like Mint that you can download on your mobile phone and link to your banking information which can give you real-time information on your spending. It may sound dangerous to give an app that kind of access but with a strong track record and comparable security to what the banks use, it’s not putting you at any added risk while giving you valuable up-to-date information that could actually alert you of any misuse.