The Modern Way to Creating and Sticking to a Budget

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I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for American Express Serve. I applied for the Serve Cash Back card to facilitate my review and received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

sku3-lockupI’ve tried my share of budgeting and money saving options. After my friend told me about her success with The Total Money Makeover, I thought I would give it a try also. But there was one major problem that hindered my success for this program, I never carry cash. Breaking this habit was even harder than I thought because we bank with a credit union that it nearly 20 minutes away. So unless I want to spend a lot in ATM fees, it is just easier to use my debit card. Then I discovered a new way to successfully implement this budgeting and money saving program without the need for using cash. I got the American Express Serve® Cash Back card

In order to make this work, you need to do some tracking and budgeting on your current spending. Once you have an idea of how much you generally spend on things like gas, groceries, and miscellaneous purchases, you’ll know how much money to place into your American Express Serve® Cash Back account. You can have it direct deposited from your paycheck or set up a draft to add the funds to you account. Enroll in Direct Deposit and you could get your paycheck or government benefits check up to 2 days before payday (as long as you are eligible and your employer submits your paycheck information early).

Here is what I do to make this work for us; I pay my bills digitally each month through our online bill payment system (which you can also do in the American Express Serve® Cash Back dashboard). Then I make a budget of how much I will need for groceries and gas for the month. I transfer that amount onto my American Express Serve® Cash Back card and I take my debit and credit cards out of my wallet. Doing this prevents me from unnecessary spending because I have a set amount on the card that I can use. I do my best to save on our grocery bill each month by clipping coupons and searching for sales.  

 Here is the best part about using the American Express Serve®  Cash Back card though, it’s the only prepaid debit card that gives you 1% Cash Back on purchases. So now you are saving even more than you were before. You’ll get 1% Cash Back for every dollar you spend when you shop in store or online. The Cash Back is added to your Account right after your purchase and is ready to spend when you choose. There are also AMEX Offers that you can load onto your card. So say you shop at GNC for your vitamins and supplements. You can load their “Spend $75, Earn $15 cash back” offer onto your account! If you were already planning on shopping there anyways, you just got a sweet deal.

So now I use my American Express Serve® Cash Back card in place of my debit cards. It helps to make sure I’m not overspending and I’m saving money in the process with the cash back I’m earning. That cash back it used on my next grocery trip. I can also get out cash at an ATM, use it shopping online and the online bill pay system. It really is a great modern way to stay on track with your budget. 

You can get your own American Express Serve® Cash Back Card by registering on-line to get a prepaid card in the mail for free.  Or purchase the card at a retailer for up to $3.95 depending on the retailer.  There are three cards to choose from but I highly suggest the cash back card to help you save money each month. Plus, you’ll get fraud protection if your card is lost or stolen and no hidden fees. 

 

 

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Meghan Cooper is a writer, content creator, movie critic, and geek living in Atlanta, Ga. She loves movies, traveling, and lots of coffee. Member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association, Georgia Film Critics Association, and Atlanta Film Critics Circle.

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