Has everyone noticed that your grace period before a credit card payment is due is getting shorter and shorter. I try to pay my bills the day I get them to avoid problems. I have heard all sorts of stories to the effect that, if your payment is due on the 15th, it must be checked in by 9 a.m. If the payment arrives later in the day, too bad. These companies are not your friends.
For some reason, my vacations always begin about a day before my bills show up. Therefore, I am always nervous about getting that payment in. Many companies charge for phone payments, so I continue to write checks from my money market account, where my emergency fund resides. A few years ago, I had the idea of paying what I estimated my bill would be (plus more) before I left: prepaying.
This caused a bit of distress because money market accounts were paying some interest then--like 5%. Now that they are paying almost nothing, even that bit of distress is gone. More important, the stress is gone!
And, how pleasant to get a bill that says your amount due is 0 or that you have a credit. Rather than paying for your vacation afterwards, you can pay for it a bit in advance.
This is another area where I am thankful for my emergency fund, one of the best stress relievers entirely within your control.
Any other nifty uses for the emergency fund, folks?