What up, what up money lovers!
If you have a credit card you’ll want to read through this post today. If you don’t, you’ll have to go back to 1997 and whip out your check book! Haha… I keed, I keed… 1987! :)
Seriously though, this is one of the best things I’ve done with my card lately and wanted to remind y’all of it too as it’s saved me GOBS of time over the past two years since implementing it. Particularly last week when we had our main credit card re-issued again during USAA’s “upgrading” from Mastercard to Visa…. time will tell whether it really is an upgrade or not (?), but regardless it forces you into the annoying task of having to update your information ALL OVER THE INTERNETS.
And this is why, after receiving new card #87 of my lifetime, I finally wised up and put a system in place to make this as simple and painless as possible. Here it is:
- Make a list of all the places your credit card info is attached to online
- Pat yourself on the back for being a genius!
I cannot stress enough how helpful this is. Here’s what this does:
- It makes updating your new card everywhere MUCH faster
- It prevents any late fees from happening, or worse – shutting off of services since you don’t forget where it’s all listed anymore!
- It keeps stress levels as low as possible
- And it forces you to re-evaluate all the services/apps/products/bills you have to see if it’s still worth including in your life.
That last one is probably the most important. How many items on your credit card were set up like 5 or 10 years ago that’s simply been on automation ever since? How many services do you think you’re even subscribed to, do you know?
Re-entering your info everywhere forces you to reconsider these things which is a nice blessing despite the hassle of needing to do it in the first place. Parts of me often considers not even continuing with services just so I don’t have to worry about updating it anymore down the line! Haha…
Here’s what this looks like using my own current list
Below is everything I just updated, along with thoughts/reasoning behind it…
- Netflix — Still love it! The only way I was able to give up cable – WOOP!
- HULU — Same :)
- Republic Wireless — Keeping! No way I’m giving up $100+/mo savings anytime soon….
- Verizon – Ugh, hate. But they have me handcuffed since I need my internet… (womp womp)
- Anthem Insurance – Too high! But also very much need to keep my family nice and healthy…
- Dental Insurance – Very affordable and smart to have – keep
- AAA – Not sure why we still have, actually? *Need to check with USAA and see what overlaps/if worth keeping around anymore* (Good catch, Jay! (Thanks, Jay!))
- Amazon – Come on, not going away anytime soon ;)
- Paypal – Need for business
- Google Storage – This is a recent one that my wife just signed up for… I’m sure there’s a better way to solve her problem here, but according to her “I need this to store all my phone pictures… I ran out of room!”. *Marks to review later.
- GoDaddy – No comment…
So, 11 total places where I needed to update my new info, with two requiring action… Took me approximately 30 boring minutes to update from start to finish, which is a far cry from the hour+ it used to when I had to mentally go through this exercise every few months/years – Ugh.
Again, you can’t get rid of it if you rock credit cards, but you can certainly make it easier on yourself. And to save you from forgetting *where* you put the darn list too, I literally include it in the same spreadsheet where I track all my money and net worth and early retirement progress, etc.
Everything’s in one tidy place for easy access!
So that’s your goal for today: take 7 minutes and jot down all the places you know off your head where your credit card info is listed – either online or other places in the world.
Then, later, when you get home from work, add this into whatever system you have to track all your money/important things and ALSO scan your recent two or three credit card statements to see what you missed. Look for both monthly and yearly payments if you happen to have any. If you spent the full 7 minutes earlier in the day, this should only take you a handful of seconds.
Once the list is complete, take two more last minutes and just look them over and see if they’re still worth keeping around! If they are, great – you’re all done! If not, put a star next to them or highlight them and then call it a night… Tomorrow, when you’re in the mood again, call them up/log in and kick them to the curb once and for all. Then give yourself some love and treat yourself to an e-beer courtesy of J. Money (you’re welcome!).
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to do a little reconnaissance and see if it’s still worth keeping some AAA action in our lives… Always something with this stuff!
Good thing we enjoy it to some degree :)
PS: Kinda related, but totally not – my boy Brad from RichmondSavers.com is helping 500 families score (almost) free trips to Disney World using only reward points (worth about $4,000). You might remember him from a post he did on this site a year ago on card hacking, but he’s crazy good with this stuff… If interested in learning more, you can sign up for free here: Keys to The Magic Kingdom Challenge. Obviously don’t even consider if you suck with cards or don’t trust yourself!
[Photo cred up top: StockMonkeys.com / Tweaked by J$]