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Prepaid debit cards are a great tool to use for financial empowerment and effective money management. Prepaid cards are a good way to save money to make purchases (small and large), a principle that your grandparents or great-grandparents used when credit cards were not available or not as readily available. Many Americans are using reverse budgeting as a way to save for purchases without getting into debt.

To use reverse budgeting, you must determine what you want to purchase, the total amount you will need to save, and how much money you need to put away each month towards your goal. After you have reached your savings goal, you can use the prepaid debit card to pay for the item you desire. A great prepaid debit card to use is The ONE VIP™ Card from American Express Serve.

Prepaid debit cards are a convenient way to make purchases, they prevent consumers from spending more money than they have and it’s easy to add funds. Prepaid debit cards are like an auto brake pedal: they stop you from crashing and going overboard with your spending.

Prepaid debit cards can be used in multiple ways:

  • As a sole money source
  • As a complement to an existing bank account
  • As a tool to help adults and students learn how to manage their money and track spending
  • As a quick way to transfer money to friends, relatives, or others

Prepaid debit cards help you stick to a budget or spending plan. This makes you more conscious about your spending.

They’re also helpful if you do not want to carry large amounts of cash. Comparison shop and read all the fine print before choosing a card, which can be used in multiple ways when spending money.

Great for everyday spending

If you previously overspent, paid bank fees for overdrafts, bounced checks, or have difficulty with budgeting your money, a prepaid debit card is a great option for spending money and paying bills. It can also be used as a backup payment method or money source.

Controls spending

Prepaid debit cards help control spending and are an alternative to a cash-based lifestyle. Your spending is limited to the amount of money available on your card. Prepaid debit cards help manage cash flow and show your spending habits at any given time or over a period of time (daily, weekly, monthly).

Helps to Create a Budget

Using a prepaid debit card helps you to create a budget by tracking every expense. You can see right away what you are spending your money on by viewing your account online or viewing your monthly statement. A budget will help you categorize your spending and identifies what you earn and what you spend, as well as helps you to reduce spending, which is beneficial when trying to save money to make future purchases. A budget helps you to become conscious of your spending by paying attention to the cost of an item, quality, and materials used. Subtract your total monthly income (net) minus your total monthly expenses. Any money left over can be used to save up for a purchase in the future, such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas, buying a new pair of shoes, a vacation, or the money saved can be transferred to a savings account. If you do not have any money left over, look for ways to reduce spending by about 20 – 30 percent.

Online and In-Store purchases

You can shop online anonymously. This helps reduce identity theft, since the card is not directly linked to your bank account. When making purchases, do research online to compare prices with at least three companies to find the best deal. Compare prices in-store versus purchasing online. Look online for coupons or discount codes.

Rewards and Perks

The ONE VIP™ Card from American Express Serve provides lots of perks for cardholders, such as: meet and greets with celebrities, club experiences at VIP area clubs, VIP seating, tickets to concerts, and more. Additional perks include: fraud protection, pay bills online, no hidden fees, no credit check and no minimum balance.

Helps Determine What Type of Spender You Are

  1. Strugglers – Little or no savings, in debt, live paycheck to paycheck, don’t have a budget
  2. Deniers – Refuse to admit they are in debt, don’t save and don’t have a budget
  3. Impulsives – Shopping addicts, overconfident spenders who seek instant gratification, don’t worry about the consequences, don’t save and don’t have a budget, in debt, live day-to-day, spend more than they earn
  4. Planners – Control their finances, have a savings account, stick to a budget, manageable debt, comparison shop, plan for the future
  5. Status Seekers – YOLO, FOMO, purchase the latest trends or fads to achieve a desired standard of living, little to no savings, live paycheck to paycheck, don’t save and don’t have a budget, in debt, spend more than they earn

Example of using the ONE VIP™ Card from American Express Serve:

Here is an example: A family of three spends $200 a month on groceries. It can be hard to stick to a budget when grocery shopping due to all the advertising gimmicks. Sign up to receive email alerts about coupons and sales. With the ONE VIP™ Card from American Express Serve, you can load $200 to your prepaid debit card and that helps you stick to a grocery budget. You can use the card to purchase groceries in-store or online by using grocery delivery services. This makes it easier and safer than carrying cash. If you need to add money to the card, you can quickly reload funds to buy additional groceries.

If you are interested in using a prepaid debit card, sign up today for The ONE VIP™ Card from American Express Serve to purchase the items you want and need and to help you save money at

How To Shop Smart With Prepaid Debit Cards  was originally published on