Getting Comfy with Your Money

Chapter 4:
How Income Companion Works
Credit Cards and Charging Pages

All of the credit cards to which you make payments are maintained on the Credit Cards page. You use the Charges page to record credit card activity and schedule payments.

There is no limit to the number of credit cards that you can maintain on the Credit Cards page.

The Credit Cards page is where you manage the credit cards that are paid from the cash reservoir that is associated with the open budget space. This is different from managing credit card activity, which is done on the Charges page.

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On the Credit Cards page, you describe how a credit card works, as well as how statements will be paid. After a credit card is added, it is unusual to edit the card. The main reason for changing how a credit card is described is that the payment due day has been changed.

You can download transaction files from credit card company websites or any other source to be used for automatically reconciling your monthly statements as well as an aid for adding credit card transactions. You create a transaction file map for each credit card on the Credit Cards page. The map describes how information is to be extracted from the transaction files for use in Income Companion.

All credit cards have an info window that you can optionally use to save reference information such as:

  • Account number, name and security code (handy when buying online)
  • Contact information
  • Website URL with your logon ID and password (handy when paying bills)

The payments that have been scheduled for a credit card are listed on the Credit Cards and Charges pages, and in your Incredibly Cool Budget on the Look Ahead page.

The Charges page is where you manage your credit card activity.

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Each credit card has its own ledger. You can allocate money to be used for making upcoming payments by moving money to a credit card’s ledger. You can also link a credit card to either a sinking fund or savings. When a credit card payment is made, money for the payment is taken from these ledgers in the order listed until the amount needed to make the payment is found.

  1. Credit card’s ledger
  2. Sinking fund or savings to which the credit card is linked
  3. Cushion ledger

A customized payoff plan for a credit card with a large balance can be created with the Income Companion amortization feature. The payoff plan can be based on your choice of:

  • a monthly payment amount, or
  • how many payments you want to make.

The payments for a credit card amortization plan are automatically added to your Incredibly Cool Budget.

There are two restrictions on the amortization feature. A credit card cannot be:

  • used while being amortized;
  • amortized if the card is being used to make at least one bill payment.

Scheduled credit card payments are listed on the Credit Cards and Charges pages, and in your Incredibly Cool Budget on the Look Ahead page.

You reconcile credit card statements against your collection of credit card receipts in the Reconcile Credit Card Statement dialog box.

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You can also optionally download a comma delimited (.CSV) file of transactions from the credit card company’s website to automate the reconciliation.

When a file of transactions, for the statement being reconciled, has been downloaded from the credit card company’s website or any other source, that transaction file can be opened in the reconciliation dialog box to perform an automatic reconciliation. To use a downloaded transaction file a map of the file must first be created on the Credit Cards page.

While the Reconcile Credit Card Statement dialog box is displayed, you have full access to the program’s main window. Any needed corrections discovered during reconciliation can be fixed without having to close the dialog box.

When you find a fraudulent charge during reconciliation, follow the procedure printed on the back of the credit card statement to dispute the charge. You have 60 days from the date of the statement on which a fraudulent charge first appears to dispute the charge. If you do not dispute fraudulent charges in time, you are responsible for paying those charges in full.

Do not enter fraudulent charges in Income Companion unless the dispute is denied, and you have to pay the charges.

2 Good Software

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