Post # 1
DH and I agreed that I will manage our joint accounts/budget since he (a) doesn’t care as much and (b) isn’t as used to doing it as I am. For example, he checks his online balance now and then to make sure he has money, while I keep my checkbook updated & balanced.
So two items I’m looking for advice on:
1) Any recommendations for a good credit card for a youngish couple (late 20s)? We have our own, but we’d like a joint one with good rewards.
2) Is Mint.com or something similar safe? I want to use it, but I don’t know how it works – is the information secure?
Post # 3
Ah, I love budgeting 🙂 I’m a weirdo, I know!
I used Mint for a while a couple years ago, but I check my accounts and stuff at least once a day, and I noticed that Mint didn’t quiiiiite keep up with things, as in it would take a day or so to update, when I like my info NOW. It ended up just being easier for me to make spreadsheets and check my accounts frequently.
As for credit cards, my DH and I just got the Capital One cash back, because it came with 0% interest for a year, and has 1% cash back, no annual fee, and I think no foreign transaction fees. It’s served us well so far, and we got 100$ for spending 500$ on it in the first 3 months; it was a nice bonus!
There are MANY cards out there, and it helps if you narrow them down by priorities. Do you want miles? Cash back? Do you care about annual fees or foreign transaction fees?
🙂 Good luck!! PM me if you have any budget questions, I’ve gotten pretty good at doing mine!
Post # 4
- Wedding: June 2012 - Franklin Plaza
I personally LOVE using Mint because it keeps all of my accounts in one location. I don’t have to log in to each individual account to see what’s going on and I can create a monthly budget with it, as well as savings goals. It’s a pretty nifty program… Even if you don’t end up using I deff recommend just checking it out.
As far as a CC, we JUST opened a Capital One cash back card, but haven’t really used it yet so I can’t comment on it. But after a lot of research it just seemed like the best card for us.
Post # 5
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
I would not recommend getting a credit card personally. No matter how careful you are, it doesn’t take much to run it up. You can increase your credit score by financing cars if you haven’t already. If you simply must get a credit card I recommend putting it away and not carrying it on you so you’re not tempted to use it except in the case of an emergency (and then it’s not worth having because you’re not revolving your credit.) If you think you need a credit card to build up your credit, make sure you use it to pay your utilities or gas for the month (something you know is budgeted for) and then pay it off every month. I would recommend a platinum rewards card, preferably a Visa or Mastercard but there is something to be said for an AMEX due to their customer service policies.
As for mint.com? I have no experience with it but I personally would feel uncomfortable putting my personal financial data out on the Internet even if it seems protected. I would recommend Quicken software for the home for budgeting. Also, autodraft savings is a good idea. This is when your bank account is set up to draft X amount of dollars from your checking and put it in your savings on a certain day of the month. I call it forced savings and I have my account set up to do this on the Monday after every payday. I never even see the money go out of my checking and it’s always nice to know that I am saving without really trying. (I also manually move an extra $100-200 a month into my savings account on top of the payday transfers.)
Post # 6
@beachbride1216: I’m not worried about a credit card because DH and I have both proved ourselves really responsible with our own cards – neither of us carry a balance or go over our limit. I want one that we can use for household expenses like groceries, gas, etc. We both have really high credit scores as it is, so that’s not our reasoning.
Post # 7
If you don’t carry a balance on your card that is a good thing. I only put on what I can pay at the end of the month.
I bank through PNC (Pittsburgh bank they have here in Ohio) and I get 4% at the pump, 3% on groceries, 2% at restaurants and 1% on everything. You can’t beat it!
Post # 8
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
I’m confused. Why have a credit card if you have the cash every month to pay it off and you already have good credit? If you need one for emergencies and you have good credit you can get approved that same day for one.
If it’s for the rewards then there are plenty of side by side comparison tools where you can compare credit card rewards offers and pick one based on your interests or needs. http://www.nerdwallet.com/rewards-credit-cards
Post # 9
If you are married and you both manage your money well, there is no reason you shouldn’t be using a rewards credit card for every expense you can possibly use it for. We have a joint bank account and two joint credit cards with good rewards:
1. Southwest Visa card–you earn points that you can use towards miles on Southwest or AirTran flights. If you make a lot of online purchases, make sure to go through the Southwest rewards portal and you can earn even more points, like 6 or more per dollar spent. Flights these days are expensive so it’ll help you make your vacations cheaper!
2. American Express/Costco card–we got this card when we joined Costco, so I don’t know what the rewards are if you just open a regular AmEx card. The rewards are cash money, no points/miles. I believe we get 3% back on gas, restaurants, groceries, and travel, so we use this card for those expenses.
I am not sure about Mint.com or other websites. My DH is a finance guy and just keeps track of everything through an Excel spreadsheet, seems to work fine.
Post # 10
I have no advice on credit cards, but yes, Mint is safe. It does require a little maintenance to keep your budgets straight, i.e. it will try to guess how you want to categorize a transaction, but it has no idea if you went to Target for clothes or a prescription, you know? But it’s a good tool.
Post # 11
@beachbride1216: I have a credit card to build credit and because I get cash back. I have already paid off my loans, don’t have a mortgage, don’t have cars, etc., so this is the only thing I have right now that’s building credit. And I would never NOT pay off the balance at the end of the month! I use it for pretty much everything I buy. Just some insight on why I choose to have a credit card for non-emergencies.
Post # 12
We have a Discover card and it offers great rewards. For instance, this month is 5% cash back on online shopping…I just take everything that I earn and put it straight on my balance. I’m probably not the kind of customer that they want- I pay my balance off in full every month, so they don’t earn any money off of me. You can go on Creditcards.com and do a card match and it will tell you some of the best cards for you based on what you want it for.
Post # 13
@Mrs. Coyote: I stand corrected on Mint; I tried it out again today and wow, they’ve improved it a lot! It’s pretty nifty having everything in one place!! Thanks for the push I needed to try it again lol!
Post # 14
@redheadem: That about sums up my reasoning. The cash back/rewards are attractive to me too – if I’m going to spend the money anyway, I might as well do it in a way that gets me something in return, as small as it is. (I do have a small, almost paid off car loan, but it’s not significant enough to really effect my credit.)
Plus, eventually DH and I might need something that we can’t pay for in cash at the moment (I’m thinking large appliances, a medical bill, or something along those lines), and putting it on a card allows us to pay for it without waiting until the next pay period or whatever – we haven’t had to do that yet, but it’s a good safety net if an expensive necessity would arise. We would, of course, still pay it off asap.
Question – for those with Discover/Amex cards… do you find they are accepted most places? I was leaning towards Visa/MC, but some of the others have great rewards.
Post # 15
I’m another credit card user with similar rationale to posters above: as a city girl, I don’t have a car or mortgage to build credit with, nor other loans/debts to pay off. We pay the balance off each month–even though I could use cash or a debit card, I prefer to get rewards back! I use my credit card for almost everything. And I really don’t want to be carrying cash with me anyway–if I got mugged, it’d be a lot easier to cancel my cards asap than to get that cash back. I rarely carry cash. Also, I find it easier to track our spending if it’s all online on our statement, I sometimes forget how much cash I spent and where.
We have a joint visa card–a Chase Freedom card. I love it–you get 1% back on everything, and 3% back on specific categories that change each quarter. I don’t track the rewards that carefully, but they seem to add up very quickly. You can also use the rewards for gift cards, flights, and a bunch of other things–I usually just use the credit toward our balance, but once when we were on vacation in London we used the reward for a tour of Stonehenge, Bath, and Windsor Castle, which was pretty cool! And, they have good customer service: someone once somehow stole our cc number and went on a $1500 shopping spree, and after we called to report it, they took of the fraudulent charges, cancelled our cards, and sent us new ones immediately.
DH also has an Amexthat he had before we added him to my Chase account; the rewards are for flights, so it’s more limited, and it’s not as widely accepted.
I’ve never used Mint, but after all these rave reviews I might have to check it out 🙂
Post # 16
@finnaroo: My personal credit card is Chase Freedom – I love it!