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Bluebird from American Express, A Great Budgeting Tool

Bluebird from American Express, Great for Budgeting Groceries

In December I introduced you to Bluebird from American Express and I’ve been using it and learning about different ways it can be a valuable tool.  I will continue to use my Bluebird account over the next couple of weeks and documenting my experience here on the blog. I know not everyone uses credit cards but remember this is NOT a credit card and Bluebird could be a great tool in budgeting by controlling your spending.

You can sign up online, which is FREE and super quick and easy, or purchase a ‘kit’ from Walmart for a $5 fee.   There is no approval process because it’s not a credit card so you don’t need to worry about your credit.  It’s basically a pre-paid card and you can only spend what you put on there.

If you are on a strict grocery budget then Bluebird could be a great tool in helping you stay on budget!  How?  If you only transfer your monthly or weekly grocery budget onto your Bluebird card, you can’t use anymore than what is there!  Of course this takes lots of discipline to do and you must have the right mindset each time you shop, to only use what is in your Bluebird account.  It can be hard but here are a few ideas to help:

  • Use coupons when you shop – Of course using coupons will help stretch your budget much further!
  • Shop sales each week – Just plan your menu around what is on sale and what you have in the pantry to make your grocery budget last longer!
  • Use leftovers wisely –!  If you have at least one serving left over, freeze it for a meal later in the week.  Once you have enough meals in the freezer to feed everyone, have a leftover night and it’s like a free dinner!
  • Use Bluebird Sensibly – If you are new to having a grocery budget, start out as generous as you can and see how much you really need.  Then if it’s too much over a week or two because your shopping skills are so great, lower your budget and put that money somewhere else.
  • Leave the Extras for special occasions – If you get really good with budgeting your money, and you have extra money each month on your Bluebird account, leave the extra there and continue to transfer your budget as usual.  Then when you want to purchase something extra or you have a special occasion coming up, you can use the extra in your Bluebird account to pay for it.  That will be your reward for such good budgeting!

If you use these tips above, sticking to the amount you have on your Bluebird card might not be as hard as you think.   Remember Bluebird is not a credit card, you can only spend what you put on the card so that means no interest, no late fees and no overdraft fees.  It works like you would use your debit card only you don’t have access to all your funds.

I am working with American Express on a sponsored Bluebird campaign.  My opinions are my own.