Using Bluebird to Teach Financial Responsibility

In attempt to pull the reins on our budget spending, we’ve decided to give the American Express Bluebird debit card a try.   Bluebird is a checking/debit alternative loaded with features, not fees. 

Normally, Toby uses a paypal debit card which is linked to our accounts.  The big problems we have with this are; 1) He can’t log in to see what he’s spending because I’m not giving him my login info and 2) He has no spending boundary. He just uses as needed.  and 3) It’s harder for me to track his purchases.  In an attempt to teach him financial responsibility and set limits, we’ve decided to give this card a try.

Bluebird features I like:

  • You can create subaccounts for your child, your husband, whatever–up to 3.  ALL accounts are visible under the main account holder but each person has their own login info for their Bluebird account.
  • It’s a debit card, not a credit card.  He can see the money he has in there, see where he’s spent it, and know how much he has to make it til next ‘payday’.  He can even setup alerts to let him know when the balance is getting low or when a deposit is made.
  • I can load his card at pretty much any Walmart register.

Signing up was easy and the dashboard is simply to navigate and read.  We received our card quick but it can take up to 6 weeks. Alternatively, you can pay $5 and buy it at your local Walmart.

We figured in fuel, eating, and school events when determining Toby’s allowance.  I’m looking forward to seeing his spending habits and how long he can make it last.  I’ll update everyone end of November as to how he’s done.

There really are a lot of features to check out.  With our recent unauthorized charges incident, I think this will be a great way to spend without jeopardizing our checking account.  While our checkcard had fraud protection like the Bluebird, we also have to dispute charges and are out that money until settled.  That means bills may go unpaid or will be late.

Is this something you could see your family using?  Maybe in place of your checking account or like I did with the allowance? 

 

Disclosure: I am an official Walmart Mom. Walmart has provided me with compensation and gift card in return for my time & efforts to create this post. My participation in this program is voluntary and my opinions are my own, always have been, always will be.

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