Credit cards get a bad rap because they're too often used to delay payment on something. However, there's one way to use them responsibly that can be immeasurably helpful: consolidating monthly bill payments into one date.
EFTPOS picture from Shutterstock
This practice can take a little bit of self-discipline (as does any responsible credit card use), but the principle is simple: pay your bills with your credit card. Many places will allow you to set up automatic payments with a card. Then, allocate the money you owe on them from your budget. You can now pay all your bills at once. As personal finance blog Money After Graduation explains:
All my regular bills are charged to my credit card, reducing the number of due dates I have to remember from a half-dozen to just one. I don't know or care when my credit card, Netflix, or mobile phone bills come in — they are all automatically charged to my credit card and I know when my credit card bill comes due!
Most people probably do not get paid 15 times a month. But your cash outflow can become more difficult than it needs to be if your bills are staggered oddly. Another upside, as the author points out, is that this helps you rack up your rewards points on the regular.
There's one more key thing that most people might not consider too: if you use your credit card balance for bills, there's less available to spend on impulse buys. This might not help if you get approved for a huge credit card balance, but by keeping your credit limit low and allocating it specifically for bills, you'll be less tempted to buy something big on credit — simply because you can't.
My Credit Card Is My Single Most Powerful Budgeting Tool [Money After Graduation via Rockstar Finance]