basically, I don't want to carry credit card balances. ever. but it hits me occasionally, and I finally figured out it was a timing thing, because bills are due at the same times every month, but I get paid every other week. my bill paying strategy was simple: is a bill due? drain the account to pay it.
but then sometimes I just wouldn't have the money. so I'd carry a balance, go into "don't buy shit mode" for a while, and deal. I think my crunch times were usually when I had no paycheck between the 1st and 10th of the month, because I pay the mortgage on the 1st of the month then have a card due on the 10th and if there's no paycheck in between there it screws things up.
so for whatever reason, I just changed all the bills I have power over to be due on the 17th. I WILL get a paycheck sometime between the 1-15th, so on the 15th of every month I will pay bills. I added up the things I've budgeted for credit card billing, and they should add up to slightly less than one paycheck, so I'll know right away if I spent too much one month. Paychecks after the 15th go to the mortgage.
I'll report back on whether this helps, I always wondered why credit card companies offered "change your due date" as a perk, and what could the strategy be there? I've never heard of anyone changing due dates around. We'll see how this goes.