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27 FEBRUARY, 2020

When used wisely, a credit card is the best resource to manage expenses as well as build your credit score. However, many a time people forget their real purpose and indulge themselves in unwanted shopping, which eventually increases their financial liabilities. Indeed, it is very difficult to restrict using a credit card in today’s world, especially when you can shop from your phone or laptop. Using credit cards smartly has become the need of the hour. So, here are the ways to keep track of your money through a credit card.

Building a monthly budget
For this, you need to list out all your small and big monthly expenses, from groceries and fuel to utility bills and EMIs. The monthly budget will give a clear idea and help you to categorise expenses. You can use the following two techniques to make your budget.

  • The Spreadsheet Budget:
  • This type consists of a spreadsheet having two columns, one is for your fixed expenses and the other is expected expenses. By making two separate columns, you will be able to figure out where your money is actually going and work out to reduce those expenses if you can.

  • The Zero-Sum Budgeting:
  • This budget includes using your last month’s income to fund the current month’s expenses. Here, you will allocate your income for various purposes, such as groceries, savings, investments, etc. The Zero-Sum Budget will help you optimize your expenses.

Categorizing the expenses
Here, you have to classify all expenses on the basis of debit and credit card. For this, you need to compare them first with your income. Remember, if your monthly expenses are more than your income, then you may need to manage them in order to avoid future financial burdens. Categorizing expenses will help to manage all expenses effectively.

Check if there is room for saving
If you are a credit card user, you should know that you are entitled to several rewards and perks that you can use to save money. Using your credit card to pay for fuel, airline tickets, etc. will enable you to earn loyalty points as well as cash backs. Furthermore, these rewards can be in the form of perks like a discount on shopping at some specific places. In a way, using a credit card will enable you to spend and earn while doing that.

Including credit card in next month’s budget
Once you see that your budget is functioning smoothly and you are able to manage your income effectively, you can include your credit card in the coming month’s budget. After this, you can start using your credit card instead of cash or debit card to make purchases.

Checking Credit Card Statements
This is one of the most underestimated activities. Regularly checking the statements of your credit card can be really helpful because by doing this you would be able to track all expenses. A credit card statement is a brief description of the expenses you have made in the last month. By reading this, you can remove the expenses, which you feel were unwanted.

Credit cards are meant to make your life easier by providing financial assistance. Therefore, if you use them with a great plan, you will be able to build your credit score.

Read more to know about what to look for in your credit card statements here. 

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Disclaimer: This Article is for information purposes only. The views expressed in this Article do not necessarily constitute the views of Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. (“Bank”) or its employees. The Bank makes no warranty of any kind with respect to the completeness or accuracy of the material and articles contained in this Article. The information contained in this Article is sourced from empaneled external experts for the benefit of the customers and it does not constitute legal advice from the Bank. The Bank, its directors, employees and the contributors shall not be responsible or liable for any damage or loss resulting from or arising due to reliance on or use of any information contained herein. Tax laws are subject to amendment from time to time. The above information is for general understanding and reference. This is not legal advice or tax advice, and users are advised to consult their tax advisors before making any decision or taking any action.