About Us

Hello, and thank you for visiting our website!

My name is Elliott Dixon, founder and CEO of Money Card Extras. I want to personally assure you that you can count on us to bring you the kind of EXTRAS that will help you manage your credit cards and debit cards, and especially help you keep track of your transactions on those money cards.

To tell you a little about myself, for over thirty years I have been happily and gainfully employed as an accountant, serving almost all of those years as Accounting Manager for a real estate management and investment company. During those years I also provided accounting services to other businesses as well through an independent sideline business, and I also prepared tax returns for several individuals and businesses. So performing and managing day-to-day bookkeeping and accounting operations, crunching numbers, preparing financial statements, grappling with tax issues, and coming up with innovative ways to accomplish all these have been my professional focus for many years now. (For clarification, I am not a Certified Public Accountant, and throughout this article the terms "accountant" and "accounting" as they refer to my professional bio refer to services not requiring a state license.)

I began setting up Money Card Extras in mid-2011 and we launched the online store on January 1, 2012. My inspiration for this business came largely from my desire to share a simple solution to a couple of problems related to the accounting of credit card, debit card and cash purchases in my personal life that had frustrated me far too long, problems I assumed many others were dealing with as well. For my job, I had already developed sound methods for accounting for the credit/debit card and cash transactions of our staff, but in my personal life I was not nearly as proficient and organized. Although I use personal finance software, I would often postpone updating it on a regular basis and would hence end up accumulating a backlog of disorganized credit card, debit card and cash receipts, paid invoices, etc. before I got around to entering them into my computer, sometimes months down the line. My debit card/checking account itself was okay, because I necessarily had to keep my manual transaction register for that account up to date. Otherwise, I'd have bounced many a check! But my accounting for it was in arrears like the credit and cash accounts. It was especially the backlogged credit card accounting that caused me the most frustration. The monthly credit card statements did help sort things out a bit, but I often could not easily recall the purpose of a transaction from the statement alone nor could I at times decipher a vendor's name as reported on the statement, so I'd have to go rumbling through a heap of disorganized receipts, invoices and order forms to find the original transaction for clarification. But even then, sometimes the document itself (typically a small receipt) would have become barely readable, having become faded over the months, or even received that way from the start. Sometimes I could not even find the receipt or invoice, left wondering if I ever got one in the first place (of course I must've received one, I'd say, I'm an accountant, it's in my DNA to always obtain some document supporting my payment!) Just glancing at my heap of unattended paperwork and anticipating the frustration in store for me encouraged even more postponement of my personal accounting tasks, during which time even more receipts and statements piled up. I knew I had to find a better way of handling my own personal record keeping.

On another front in my personal financial life, over the course of the last twenty or so years, I had accumulated many credit cards as part of my strategy for juggling some rather burdensome financial responsibilities. I'd eagerly respond to credit card promotions that offered me the ability to consolidate the balances of high-interest credit cards to their lower interest rate accounts, often with zero-interest periods of up to eighteen months to sweeten the deal. Sound familiar? Ultimately I was able to pay off and close some of those accounts, but I still have more than ten active credit cards even today. And due to my ongoing tight finances, the balances of these accounts have always been uncomfortably close to my credit limits. Also, because I was utilizing most of my credit (an unfavorable debt to credit ratio), the credit card companies would from time to time chop down my credit limit close to the current debt balance, leaving me again confined to only a low amount of available credit. So the challenge for me was how to eek out the remaining available credit as needed, while still staying just within the credit limits. But, although my wallet was stuffed with more than ten credit cards, it was impossible to determine how much credit was available on any one of them at any given time without interrupting the flow of my day to go to my computer and log-in to each account online, jot down the credit available on some scratch paper, and so forth, most of which would have changed again after making a few purchases. (I know, joining Mint.com or some similar online service, would have reduced this inquiry to one site rather than ten, but more on that a bit later).

And since many purchases were required "on the fly" anyway, I'd often find myself wholly in the dark and end up simply opening my wallet and staring down at my ten-plus credit cards saying "eeny meeny miny moe", selecting whichever card turned out to be "moe" then holding my breath as I presented "moe" for payment in fear of hearing, yet again, those embarrassing words from the cashier: "I'm sorry Mr. Dixon your card was declined".

Being in the accounting profession all these years, earning a decent living, you'd think I'd have managed my own finances much better so as not to frequently find myself in this predicament. But like many consumers, I have found myself faced at times with financial responsibilities beyond my means and felt fortunate that I was able to resort to credit card and other types of debt to pay for certain costly obligations over the years.

As an accountant proficient in several accounting software applications, I'd become rather computer savvy over the years, so I was already using, or knew about, computer software programs that could help me, both desktop programs like Quicken and online services like Mint.com. And I also knew there were applications for smartphones like the iPhone that could put much of my financial information at my fingertips. At the time, I was not comfortable with revealing to such online services like Mint.com my log-in credentials to all my bank and credit card accounts, which is what they require in order to daily access your banking and credit card account information and pull it all into their web servers. So I did not join up. Also, at the time, I did not own a smartphone anyway that would enable easy access to these and other services.

So for me to have my available credit balance readily available without having to access a computer, I realized that a simple solution would be to have a manual transaction register for each of my credit cards, just like the check/debit card transaction register I already carried around with my checkbook in my sleek little leather checkbook cover. For convenience and manageability I'd keep them all in the same checkbook cover as my check/debit card register. Such a register I could update regularly with the charges and payments I'd make, and it would have columns where I could compute both the available credit balance and the debt balance after entering each transaction.

A simple manual credit card register would also resolve the first problem, because now that my transactions would be entered on a regular basis into such a manual register, mainly so that I'd be up to date on my available credit and debt balances, I'd also now be able to input these transactions into my computer by reading directly from the register itself, having already clarified, perhaps weeks earlier, the purpose and vendor of each transaction, and already filed away the receipts, invoices, and so on.

Surely, I hoped, just such a register would be sold online somewhere, but my internet searches turned up empty except for some cumbersome business oriented ledgers and some suggestions from a blogger or two on how they tracked their credit card transactions using hand-crafted ledgers or spreadsheet software. What I was looking for was a more portable, compact register that would enable me keep track of my available credit and related information readily at hand.

So, having, to my surprise, found no such credit card register on the market, I was inspired to design myself several varieties of a credit card register, and have them printed in volume by a professional printing company in order to make them available to both myself and you through MoneyCardExtras.com.

One of the design goals was to make the size of the registers the same as a classic check register so that an ordinary checkbook cover could contain both one or more regular check/debit card registers AND one or more credit card registers. Hence the user need only carry around just their normal checkbook cover as usual, containing both types of transaction registers.

Working with some of my earlier prototypes, I quickly realized that the only way to fit more than a few credit card registers in a single checkbook cover would be to provide register booklets that were slimmer than the standard size originally designed. Moreover, I realized that if someone (like me!) needed to keep track of upwards of ten and more credit card accounts within a single checkbook cover, even the slimmer booklets would be too thick, so I would need to offer the registers as loose-leaf sheets, because with loose-leaf sheets one can use as little as one sheet or two for each account and thus be able to fit and track even more credit card accounts within a single checkbook cover. I would also need to design loose-leaf registers for debit card/checking account transactions as well so that our customers could track multiple debit card/checking accounts as well in this manner, mixed in with the credit card registers. I myself am now tracking sixteen accounts in my checkbook cover -- eleven credit cards, two credit lines, two debit card/checking accounts, and even a register for cash transactions!

As you have seen on our home page, we have placed an emphasis on offering variations of the manual credit card register because this fills a need that has been long under-served. But as our name suggests, we of course do offer, in addition to the loose-leaf registers just mentioned, other register varieties for debit card users as well, as they face the same challenges as credit card users of properly and effectively tracking their debit card usage. And since many card holders use both credit and debit cards, it is certainly our mission to serve the needs of both.

In fact, we also include manual check registers and savings account registers in our product line, because most debit cards are linked to a checking or savings account, requiring that you keep track of all transactions in these accounts, not just the debit card transactions.

I want to point out that since starting Money Card Extras, in order to test the viability of marketing manual registers during a period when Digital Age alternatives abound, I have stepped beyond my comfort zone and joined several online services, including Mint, Pageonce, Adaptu, Yodlee, Hello Wallet and others. I also started using the iPhone in order to test out the apps these services provide for smartphones, as well as explore features of other financial apps aimed at the smartphone user. The question for me was, To what extent might these technologies render our humble manual registers obsolete? I was surprised to discover that each technology and app had shortcomings of its own, significant enough for me to never want to discontinue using manual registers. There are of course very powerful and desirable features in these applications, and I enjoy incorporating them into my arsenal of personal accounting tools.

My research is detailed in the article on this site entitled "Why Use Manual Registers?". It reveals significant reasons why many would find using a manual register useful in today's high-tech world, most of which I discovered while doing the research. For I was originally motivated to design the manual credit card registers as a solution to just the two problems I was experiencing, but I have since realized that there are other significant benefits for using both credit card and debit card/check manual registers. The article itself is rather long, so we have summarized a few of these benefits on our home page.

With most of our current focus on manual registers, I do want to emphasize, as the article emphasizes, that manual registers in and of themselves are no substitute for good personal finance software. Manual registers simply, but significantly, enhance the accounting experience of using such software, for putting to use a good personal finance application is the best way to gain insight into and maintain control of your finances.

I hope that you try out a few of our products and concur with my conclusion that, while our manual registers may require using such "old school" technologies as placing pen to paper and computing balances with elementary school arithmetic, manual registers still serve a viable role in our more high tech environment. For me, understanding the broad role manual registers can play even in this Digital Age arouses in me even more enthusiasm than my original inspiration for making these simple registers available to you through our online store. I personally commit to you great customer service and I welcome your comments, questions, and suggestions (which you can submit HERE).


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