If your credit card doesn't automatically pay itself off, it's time for a new credit card.

I enjoy credit card rewards, but I don’t ever want to carry a credit card balance again. YNAB and my two credit card providers have safely automated my credit card usage.

YNAB’s role is to help me give every dollar a job, ensuring I don’t spend more than I bring in. Because I use my budget to make spending decisions, I don’t have to keep track of my credit card balance (just like I can ignore my checking balance).

I put every possible purchase on the credit card, earning points that pay for the occasional weekend getaway with my wife. All is well – as long as I don’t forget to make the payment on time.

Luckily, both my credit card providers (Capital One for personal stuff and Chase for my side business) allow the card automatically pay itself off each month. I logged into my online account, set the card to draw the full balance from my checking account on the date due, and that’s it – all the convenience and rewards of the credit card with no risk of fees or interest charges.

YNAB is the key to my safe, automated use of credit cards. Without my budget to guide my spending, I’d have to play the normal game of comparing my credit card and checking balances to avoid heavy interest. I’m afraid too many people lose that game simply by forgetting to check in.

If you don’t have YNAB, download it now and use it to guide and simplify your finances.

If you have YNAB and use credit cards – see if you can set the cards to pay themselves off monthly. It’s a tidy little system.