Christmas budgeting and your cash card

There’s always a temptation to let your hair down a bit at Christmas even though this may mean that there’s a chance you end up spending more than you intended to. If you use your cash card to manage your Christmas spending though, you could find that you stay in control and in budget.

How prepay cards work

You may sometimes hear cash cards being referred to as prepaid credit cards though they are not actually credit cards. There is, in fact, no credit involved at all in a prepaid card transaction.

They could probably best be described as a plastic form of cash with a few added advantages. Prepaid cards bear a logo, for example Visa, and can typically be used at ATMs, shops and other outlets wherever that logo is displayed. You can only spend what you have previously decided to load onto the card. You can make internet and telephone purchases. Your money may be a whole lot safer as cash cards are typically PIN protected and can be easily blocked if they are lost or stolen. You could load money onto your cash card little by little in the weeks leading up to your Christmas shopping trip and while you typically won’t get any interest on your funds, it could help ease the strain a little.

Available online

You can typically apply for a prepaid card online. Because there’s no credit involved – you can only spend your own money – you may find that no credit check will be carried out.

This could be a very useful facility if you have had credit problems in the past and are finding it difficult to track down a traditional financial institution prepared to offer you a credit or a debit card.

You’ll typically find full details of fees and charges on the card provider’s internet site.

Season of good sense

If you want to enjoy Christmas but feel that you could get carried away a bit and spend more than you can afford, then don’t give yourself opportunities for overspending or running up credit.

With a cash card you can leave all your other sources of spending power (credit card, debit card cheque book) at home. Then go shopping, knowing that you are in real control of your spending.

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