I originally wrote this post back in 2013, but given the current cash-flow challenges brought on by the pandemic, it seems worth repeating.
This month, I forgot to pay my credit card on the 17th. I don’t know what happened. I never forget. But on Saturday, I realized that the bill was due two days before and I’d forgotten.
Luckily, I had a back-up plan. About 18 months ago, at the advice of my friend, Shannon Wilkinson, I had arranged an automatic payment of the minimum amount due on the 17th, for instances just like this. I like to pay my credit card in full every month and up until now had done that before the automatic payment would kick in. But, since I forgot this month, at least the minimum payment was made and I avoided a late-payment fee.
I doubt I avoided an interest charge, to my dismay. I haven’t paid an interest charge in a couple of years, since I paid off my cards back in 2011. But a couple of days’ interest on a not-huge balance isn’t a big deal.
I could change my automatic payment so that the whole balance is paid, but I worry that that could spark a cash-flow problem. So, for me, this backup measure is a good one.
Late payment fees can add up and are definitely worth avoiding. If they’re problem for you, perhaps you could arrange for the minimum to be paid like I do. This month, I was sure glad I did!
(I do get an email reminder about the payment, but I think I’ll adjust it so that it comes closer to the due date and I don’t blow it off.)
Do you have any other tips for automating payments, not forgetting due dates, or otherwise avoiding late-payment penalties?