1. John says:

    I would say the best way to control your finances is by using a program like Quicken to track your expenses, make budgets and have an idea of your balance sheet at any given time. Much easier to control your finances when you know where everything stands in my opinion.

    • Charlie says:

      John – thanks for the comment! Agreed. Using Microsoft Money, Mint, or Quicken are a nice supplement to using the two checking account system! They definitely help you track your spending and see where there are leaks in your finances.

  2. JQ says:

    interesting. But who uses their debit card that often (15 times per month )when you can earn 2-6% cash back on just about everything by using credit cards? Plus then you can normalize your variable expenses somewhat by at least having set dates when you pay off your credit card balance each month. I assume automatic payments debited from your account do not count toward this 15/mo.

    • Aaron says:

      You make an interesting Point JQ. However, (to speak for Charlie) he doesn’t believe in credit cards. Even though you are getting 2-6% cash back (maybe), you are still dancing with the devil. Dave Ramsey always says you need to avoid creditors like they have a disease! You never hear people talk about their success stories in how they got rich through cash back on credit cards! :)

      Also, about the transactions at Northpointe counting towards the 15 transactions, our reps says:

      Correct – automatic bank account withdrawals do not count toward the 15 debit card transactions required to earn the 5% interest. However, most merchants can set-up reoccurring automatic payments using your debit card number – these would count towards that total.

      • JQ says:

        I understand that many people do not have the will power to use credit cards responsibly. But for those of us who do, they provide fantastic opportunities. I have had many credit cards for over 15 years and never paid a penny of interest. I have used cards for 15 month interest free loans, I maximize my cash back, it simplifies transactions, I got one specifically for a trip over seas that had no foreign transaction fees (that was a huge time saver), and I have even opened a credit card to transfer debt from my wife’s old credit cards that she racked up in college. All without paying a penny in interest or fees. And my credit score has soared since.

        • Dorothy says:

          I’m with JQ. Credit for s a tool. I’m 60. I got my first credit card when I was in college at age 18. In those 42 years I’ve never paid a late fee or a penny of interest to a credit card company.

          A statement like the Dave Ramsey quotation or the “dancing with the devil” thing is great click bait but silly in the end. The first principle those giving financial advice should learn is that everyone’s situation is different. To make such black and white pronouncements reduces your credibility. As a widowed early retiree living debt free on her investments, my financial situation is vastly different from that of a twenty-five year old married with a new Master’s degree swimming in college loan debt.

          I’ve read several predictions that in 2016 the credit card companies are going to reduce their rewards programs.min the meantime I’m racking up this point as I can.

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