Post # 1
So my monthly credit card bill averages between $1200-1500 a month and includes all expenses after bills ( gas, some food since Fiance buys the bulk of groceries, things for my kids, eating out, nails, make up, clothes etc). I find that the “fun” spend is the bulk of it but since I get cash back with the cards and 5% with target red card, I use them instead of cash and it’s so easy to buy little things here and there that add to hundreds per month.
how much do you spend a month on cc and how much would you say it’s on “fun/ non necessities”?
I wonder if it’s worth giving up on cash back and savings if at the end I’ll save more using cash
Post # 2
4-5 hundred. I pay for household things, then my cars gas and random things I need. I use a cash back card. Since as long as it is paid off, why should I not get some cash back?
Do you have a line item budget? That would help you more with savings then anything.
Post # 3
I suggest using Mint.com or some other similar app. You input your accounts and can see what you’re spending every month on different categories like groceries, restaurants, shopping, etc. I NEVER use cash and just pay my credit cards in full but this helps me realize where my money is going. For example, I didn’t realize that my daily Dunkin donuts trips were costing me over 100 a month and was able to rein in that habit. Good luck!
Post # 4
I would say that we put almost everything we can on my credit card and do our best to pay it off (happens 9 times out of 10). My card does a breakdown each month of where you are sending your money so its easy to see. I second Mint.com (they also have an app). Cash back cards and cards that give you points can be usefully as long as you pay them off before you accrue any interest. At that point you are going to spend more on the interest then you would get for cash back.
Post # 5
We put all possible expenses on a credit card in order to get the cash back (and we pay it off every month). But if you find that using a credit card is making you spend much more than you would otherwise, then it’s definitely worth switching to cash instead, at least for optional purchases.
I’ve personally found that the key to controlling expenses is just to track everything, so I can look at the month’s spending and see whether the categories are reasonable or not. For example, this month:
$500 on work travel – this will be reimbursed, so it doesn’t matter
$800 on personal travel – mostly because we just booked flights to visit the inlaws at Thanksgiving, which can’t really be avoided
$500 on eating out – definitely room to cut back here, so we decided that next month we’ll separate out weekday lunches to help clarify where the real excess is
Post # 6
Lara_11 : Usually nothing. I think it’s best for me to use cash (debit card). Then I don’t over spend. As much…
ribee123 : $100 a month in donuts? Sign.me.up! YUM!
Post # 7
Lara_11 : we put EVERYTHING on credit for the rewards and then pay the cards in full each month so it can really vary. For example there is a $2,000 car repair on our card right now in addition to our phone bill, cable bill, all groceries, gas, fun money, etc. Ours are usually a couple thousand dollars a month but everything is within budget. We have automatic savings and are naturally careful spenders. If spending cash will make you spend less than definitely make the switch!
Post # 8
I spend about $2,500 a month on bills, gas, food, eating out, random things I need (household items, skincare products, medicine, etc.) and a small amount on things I don’t need (new shoes, throw pillows, etc.)
I use my credit card rewards to help pay off my credit card balance each month. I don’t view my credit card rewards as true “rewards” – meaning that I wouldn’t buy something with the rewards if I wouldn’t buy it already with my regular paycheck. If I looked at my credit card rewards, which average out to about $50 a month, and think “oh I can buy new make-up with that money!” then I don’t personally think I’m being financially wise. I simply put that money directly into my checking account and use it to pay off my credit card balance. I might try to start only putting half of the rewards into my checking account and putting half into my savings account, which I use for investments.
Post # 9
I put everything on it- groceries, gas, bills, fun. Anything I can. So I would say most of mine are necessities, since I’m not an exorbitant “fun” spender anyway. But the way I do things is I just like to give myself a weekly “budget” of what I want to spend that week (my “budget” is for everything that isn’t set- groceries, fun, going out to eat, household expenses, etc). My bills, daycare, gym, student loans, etc are all set so not included in that.
But yes, I think if you can’t follow a strict budget and tend to just throw things on your cc without a care in the world you might be better off using cash. You might be better off budgeting a line item for “fun” and then making sure you stick to it, then you can use your cc.
Post # 10
We put *everything* on the card to pay off each money. It’s jsut easier to track and easier than carrying cash.. plus rewards of course. So it can be anywhere from $1k (minimal spending on gas, groceries and whatever bills allow CC bill pay) to on average of $1500-$2 with random purchases (clothing, shoes, dining out, etc) and as high as 5-7k with bigger expenses that come up (vacation, IVF meds, new household applicance). I view my card as cash. I don’t spend anything I wouldn’t otherwise spend “real” money on cause it is real money to me. We don’t have a budget and spend fairy freely within reason. Like Darling Husband wanted a new computer, so that’s 1k on the bill this month. I wanted a new handbag, so that’s another 1k. But we don’t do that very often at all. Our tendencies are generally to save so even though we spend freely, it’s still easily below our means cause we just aren’t natrually big spenders.
Post # 11
I use my debit card and some cash for everything. I don’t even have rewards on my CC. My only thought would be to start living off of the amount you know you have in your checking account. Or make damn sure you have plenty of savings to pay off your card if you lose your job.
Post # 12
We put everything we can on it, to get the rewards. We pay it off each month.
I would suggest using a tool such as You Need a Budget to keep track of your spending and figure out how else you can use your money. We have a specific “fun” category to make sure we know exactly where our dollars are going.
Post # 13
Oh I forgot to mention I pay me cc in full each month. So what I spend is what I have left over to spend after bills and savings but I feel like $1500 when the majority isn’t something needed may be a little much and I could be saving more especially with the wedding in less than two months
Post # 14
About $500 a month. It’s mostly stuff like gas, food, internet bill, but also includes fun things like eating out, books, craft stuff.
I keep an Excel budget sheet. It helps me track what income I have and what I’m spending. When I first started, I noticed I was spending a lot on eating out, and realized I could easily cut down on that.
Post # 15
happyhappywife : thanks for the suggestion! I do need to see how much I’m spending on fun. I may be shocked