Budgeting isn't easy.
If you're like most people, you've tried many different ways to avoid overspending and stick to a budget. You may have tried couponing or only carrying a certain amount of cash when you go out. Or perhaps you've bought in bulk at stores like Costco and Sam's Club. Maybe you've even hid cash in an envelope from yourself under your mattress or in your freezer.
But have you ever considered thawing out your cash and adding it to a reloadable prepaid card?
According to new research from TD Bank, nearly half of Americans who use or have recently used reloadable prepaid cards think that one of the many main benefits they get is the ability to budget better and keep track of spending. It is the perfect digital envelope!
So just how could a prepaid card possibly help someone curb overspending? Here are some helpful tips and tricks.
Replace cash with a reloadable prepaid card for day-to-day purchases
Spending cash is easy, and if you lose it, it's nearly impossible to get back. If you typically rely on cash, try switching to a reloadable prepaid card and setting up daily balance alert emails or texts.
Doing so will enable you to monitor your balance while preventing you from overspending; as an added bonus, it will keep your money safe and secure if you lose the card.
Identify your spending weakness and tackle it
We can all think of an area or two where we tend to overspend each month. For most people, according to TD's recent study into saving and spending habits, eating out is the main culprit; 40 percent of the folks we surveyed said they overspend at restaurants, followed by coffee/lunches (23 percent) and clothing/shoes (15 percent). But whether it's food, transportation, fashion or something else, there is a way to use a prepaid card to control your spending.
If you spend too much on an expensive coffee habit or frequently eat out, load a set amount of money on a reloadable prepaid card each month and don't allow yourself to use other forms of payment for eating out. It won't be easy, but it will help you to stick to a budget.
Budget your holiday shopping
Do you know how much you spent on presents, decorations and parties over the holidays last year? If you want to keep a tighter rein on your holiday expenses, again, a reloadable prepaid card can help.
With holiday spending, day-to-day purchases, bills and more drawing from the same place, it's difficult to keep track of how much is going toward each. But if you use a reloadable prepaid card for short-term spending, you can set a budget and force yourself to stick to it by only using the card for that time period.
Holiday shopping toward the end of the year is a great example, but this technique can be used to manage a budget around your daughter's big first birthday party, back-to-school supply and clothing shopping for your teenage son, or vacation spending, for example.
For better or worse, budgeting is an important part of being financially responsible. So if you're looking for ways to better manage money, a reloadable prepaid card might be an option to consider. If nothing else, it will beat having to thaw out your savings from the freezer!