Binks Is Here

Commentary on the World

Credit Card Statement

You know what I just realized? My credit card statement is a pain in the ass to read.

I just don’t get it.

At the top of the statement, it lists:

Previous Balances + Purchases + Cash Advances + Other Charges + Total Interest - Total Payments/Credits = Statement Balance

I guess it’s just that the statement is designed for people who carry a balance - but I hate seeing my previous balance on THIS statement, right along with what I paid on my last statement. I’d really rather just see what I owe as of THIS DATE and be done with it.

Not to mention, it lists the monthly transactions, their value, and the date that they occurred. I’m OK with all that - but along with THIS months purchases, it includes a negative value for when I paid LAST month’s statement.

It’s confusing - I’d expect to just be able to “run and sum” - run down the columns, add the +es, minus the -tives and, at the end of all that, have how much I owe - but because it shows LAST month’s payment, I can’t do that; I have to specifically exclude that.

I suppose it is indeed a transaction that occurred within this month, but it seems to just add unnecessary confusion…

Now that I’ve sat here staring at it for 20 minutes, I think I’m starting to get it - but it should either be much more obvious, or someone in a math class should’ve handed out some credit card statements and let us take a crack at interpreting ‘em.

I think I know why so many people are in credit card debt… if I didn’t just pay whatever was shown in the “Statement balance” box every time I receive a bill, I think I might get lost…