You will not have to calculate every penny you pay if you control your expenses using prepaid debit cards, cash or gift cards.
The method of the envelope.
In the past, the person responsible for the budget could use the “envelope method”. This required that she obtain a certain number of envelopes and that she enter categories on each of them. They included such things as “food,” “transportation,” “entertainment,” “public services,” and so on. When the pay day arrived, the person took a predetermined amount of his salary and deposited it in each envelope. Then she used it to pay each category for the whole month. This method works well because you physically see the amount of money left over during the month. You can plan your expenses accordingly.
Of course, “relying only on cash” is becoming increasingly difficult with the Internet and online payments. You can certainly use cash for some categories, but you will need to have a debit card or a credit card for others.
You want to use the budget envelope without relying solely on cash, so two options exist. The first is to use store gift cards and the other is based on prepaid debit cards.
Use gift cards
In-store gift cards work well if you make all your purchases in one category at the same place. You buy a store card that covers the amount you need for the month. With each purchase, you check the balance of the card. Once the balance emptied, you must wait until the next month to start shopping again.
Gift cards do not charge, that’s a big advantage. You can carry the money to your account at no extra charge. However, you can only use them in one trade, in a single chain of stores or for one brand, this is the main disadvantage.
Prepaid debit cards
Although they often charge a fee, prepaid debit cards remain a much more flexible option. The best will allow you to check your balance online. You will not have to put each purchase in a big book.
Try to find prepaid debit cards that will save you money. To make this possible, you will set up a direct deposit, an automatic transfer or you will use your card a few times a month.
Prepare for the unexpected
Prepaid cards, cash and gift cards will not help you with unexpected expenses. If you need to make a large purchase outside your budget, consider getting a personal loan online. These loans will exempt you from having to make an additional deposit in one of your prepaid accounts. This will also prevent you from using the credit card.