How to Budget your Life using a Prepaid Debit Card

Published on September 30, 2019 by Lauren

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  • In my online course The Financial Renovation I teach my students to use cash when learning how to budget. In the past year I’ve been trying out different prepaid debit cards as an alternative to using cash envelopes, and I am considering switching to using a Prepaid Debit card instead of cash. You may be wondering How to Budget your Life using a prepaid card, and in this blog post I am going to break down how you to budget your life using a prepaid debit card.

    How to Budget your Life

    I’ve tried out a lot of Prepaid cards and so far the EchoPay Prepaid card is my favorite. They have a low monthly fee of $4.95, but if you sign up for a free card using the coupon code LAUREN, they will waive that fee for the first 3 months. Let’s get into the benefits of budgeting your life using prepaid cards.

    How to Budget your Life using a prepaid debit card:

    1.) Transfer money as needed so you don’t go over budget.

    One area where I can struggle going over budget is my grocery bill. If you are similar, you can transfer just your grocery budget onto your prepaid card before you go to the store, that way you can’t go over budget even if you wanted too.

    This can work in any area of your budget. For example: maybe you want to make sure your mortgage is paid every month and you keep on dipping into that money by accident. You can transfer that amount onto the prepaid card and pay your mortgage with it (if your bank accepts credit cards for payment)

    If you don’t like using cash envelopes, you can transfer all of your budgeted spending money on the card and use that instead of cash. The EchoPay Prepaid card is coming out with a cool budgeting tool soon that will link your prepaid card with a budgeting app, making it super easy to keep track of your budget without having to use cash envelopes. Using a Prepaid card is also safer than using cash and the EchoPay card is backed by Visas Zero Liability. That means that if your card is stolen, you are not responsible for unauthorized charges.

    2.) Budget for Vacations

    I love to budget for vacations with cash, but hate having a lot of cash laying around. In the past I’ve used traditional savings accounts, but I thought transferring my vacation money onto my EchoPay prepaid card. That way when it’s time for vacation, the money is already set aside and ready to use.

    How to Budget your Life

    3.) Use to teach my kids how to budget

    Teaching my kids how to budget is super important to me. One idea for teaching them how to budget is teaching them using prepaid visa cards. You can use prepaid debit cards to budget things like back to school shopping, christmas shopping, birthdays etc.

    EchoPay has a secondary card for your children 18+ which allows you to transfer money directly onto their card. This is perfect for your college aged children! They are coming out with a companion card soon, which will allow you to apply for cards for your children under 18 and transfer money into their accounts.

    I am very excited about this companion card. I plan to use it for back to school shopping, transferring my kids budgeted amount onto their card and teaching them how to stay on budget.

    4.) Transfer money for bills

    If you tend to tap into your bill money because of random spending, you can transfer your bill money onto a prepaid card and use that to pay your bills. That way you always know your bill money is safe. If you transfer $1,000 or more per month onto your EchoPay card, they waive the monthly $4.95 fee.

    If you do not combine finances with your significant other, you can have them deposit the money they contribute to the bills onto your EchoPay prepaid debit card. Or better yet, you have your paychecks directly deposited onto your card to use two days before your funds are typically available.

    5.) Split your spending cash with your significant other 

    My new husband Tommy and I just combined finances after we got married in August. We decided to have a joint checking account, and each get an EchoPay card to put our own spending money on. That way we can each spend our spending money in the way we want.

    Here are just a few of the ways that I’ve tried using a Prepaid card to budget my life, and many of them have been truly helpful!

    What are some ways that you’ve used a prepaid debit card in the past? I would love to see some of your creative ideas.

    If you are interested in getting your own EchoPay card, you can get one through this link and use the coupon code ‘Lauren’  to get your first 3 months fees waived.


  • this is new to me and i love it!! having alot of cash envelopes around is not a good option for me.. thank you!! this i am going to try!!

  • I considered doing something similar. Putting part of my paycheck in one bank to cover my bills and the rest in another checking for groceries, spending because that checking account puts $1 in a savings account with every debit purchase. That way I am not spending my bill money and saving a little to build up my emergency fund or put towards debts.

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