Disclosure- This is a sponsored post on behalf of PayPower. I am part of a PayPower campaign and received compensation to share this information but all opinions are 100% my own.
Support the Safeway Foundation and Stand Up To Cancer
As you may already know October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Wouldn’t you like to manage your money AND help others at the same time? Well now you can. PayPower is donating half of the purchase fee on a PayPower card purchased in your local Safeway store between 10/01/13 and 11/03/13 to the Safeway Foundation and Stand Up To Cancer. When breast cancer is detected early the 5 year survival rate is 98% (National Cancer Institute) and the Breast Cancer Foundation helps women create a plan for early detection and breast health education programs at community outreach programs across the country.
What better way to manage your money, keep it safe and help others? Get your PayPower™ Visa® Prepaid Card now and help us spread the word.
Some people think gift cards only serve the purpose of replacing actually buying a gift for someone that they might not want or simply because the giver doesn’t have the desire to put a lot of time/energy/thought into purchasing a gift. But there’s another way to look at gift cards. There’s an age old concept for budgeting called “Envelope budgeting”. The idea is simple. divide up the cash you have on hand into envelopes with the expense category on it and you only get to spend what is in the envelope. When the envelope is empty you can’t spend any more in that category, and if there is some left over at the end of the month you either add it to a savings account or roll it over for use the following month.
Kids today have a hard time understanding where money comes from. Many think “Don’t worry if you don’t have enough money Mom, we can go to the grocery store and get more from the checkout.” This is a common theme and why many kids don’t understand budgets even exist. When teaching kids the value of money, a Prepaid Visa like a PayPower card can be hugely helpful. Jimmy needs a new pair of sneakers for basketball? Give him a card for an agreed upon amount and let him make his own shopping decision.
Give the kids their allowance monthly in a form of a gift card. They only spend what they have and they learn how to weigh the value of what they buy. With PayPower you only spend what you have, so there are no overdraft fees or interest charges. Your card can be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted, including online or over the phone. Plus it is easy to reload!
Adults can use these tricks too
At the beginning of each month buy gift cards for the stores and restaurants you have budgeted for. Know you will not spend more than what is on the card for the rest of the month. You will be better able to forecast whether you’ll have enough cash for the rest of the month and money won’t slip through your fingers un-accounted for.
Safer than cash
The funds on your card account are protected from unauthorized use by the Visa Zero Liability policy if your card is lost or stolen. The funds in your card account will be FDIC insured through the card Issuer, provided your card is registered.
Control your impulse spending
You know, those items you didn’t really need but they looked sooo good in the store? Buy a gift card for $50 at that store you impulse buy at and allow yourself to spend only that $50, not a penny more. Studies have shown that people blow their budget when they can’t spend a little money for fun!
Many Americans choose to eat out at lunch instead of eating at the office. Buy gift cards for your favorite restaurants within your budgeted allowance for dining out. Eat out as much as you want on your gift cards, but when the gift cards run out you bring your lunch for the rest of the month. You’ll find it makes those dining out experiences more special and you won’t eat into your budget.
The average amount families spent on prom in 2012 was $1,139. Help her earn money in advance and save it on gift cards to the store of her dreams. Many parents choose to split the bill. The teen earns half and the parents chip in.
New baby on the way?
The cost of raising your first child can be staggering to a young family, racking up as miuch as $12,000 in the first year alone. Grandparents can help by sending gift cards for necessary purchases and letting mom and dad prioritize what they are spent on.
Get them on the cheap
Many gift card vendors offer sales on gift cards at greatly reduced prices. Watch sites like Kroger and Safeway which offers fuel points as well when you buy gift cards in store.
Bottom line? Gift cards help us stay focused on what we need to buy. If we only have a gift card handy–and not cash or credit cards–it’s harder to go astray and spend for things off-budget. It helps us to say “no” to ourselves when we can see the balance you have to work with and then there is NO MORE. Using gift cards to teach kids how to manage their money gets them off to a great start!
Oh, and while you’re at it consolidate those gift cards in one easy to manage location with GoWallet. GoWallet allows you to organize your gift cards online or on your mobile device and you don’t have to carry all those cards around with you. At one quick glance you can see how much the balance is on your cards, even buy more cards right through the app. Registration is free, why not give it a try and give gift card budgeting a spin?
I’ll leave you with some eye opening statistics:
Average worker spends $1,092 annually on coffee
The average worker spends $1924/yr buying lunch
The average price of a pair of basketball shoes? $88 in 2012
Moderate budget for food at home for a family of 4 $860
Average cost of ballet pointe shoes $60-100
Annual spend at the gas pump? $2,912/ year (2012)
Cost of baby’s first year? $12,000
Average cost of prom $1,139
Dining out- People nationwide ate out an average of 3.2 meals a week. (source- 2013 Zagat Survey)
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