An Update on Our Experience With the BlueBird Card from Walmart5:20 PM
It's been exactly a month since we first told you about the new Bluebird account that we opened. If you can remember, Bluebird is a pre-paid card service powered by American Express and is available only at Walmart. I really wasn't sure that this card could be used within our current financial processes; I love using credit cards - especially for their bonus reward points - and was unsure that this sort of card would fit in.
Fortunately, (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) we have the opportunity to utilize the card after discovering that our gas and grocery budgets were getting a bit out of hand. It wasn't that we were spending money on items that we didn't need; it was more that we were spending money on items that we didn't need right now. I came up with the idea of funding the Bluebird card with just the amount of money we wanted to spend for gas and groceries during the month, and then using the card for just those transactions.
Did it work? For the most part, yes. There is no temptation to stock up on items that we didn't necessarily need (chips, etc.), and I enjoyed that I could see just how much money we were spending with no risk of accumulating interest owed. From the perspective of the everyday shopper, there really is no difference in how the Bluebird part is used. If the retailer accepts American Express, you're good to go!
I have to admit that I did miss racking up rewards points, just a little bit. Until I can guarantee, however, that I will never go over budget with my spending, and that I will never pay interest from using my credit cards, I think that this will be a great tool to help develop better spending habits.
If you don't think that you can completely transition over to one of these cards, you may want to consider just using it for one budget category to begin with. What area of spending could you be more disciplined about? A card like the Bluebird card can help you fund, track, and rein in spending before it gets out of hand.
One other important thing to note, is that I'm not likely to use Walmart customer service in-store loading options to fund my card, as long as I can do it online. The first thing I did when I open my account was to link my card to another checking account so that I can instantly transfer funds from my checking to the Bluebird card. While I realize not everybody has this option, those that do have active checking accounts can still enjoy the benefits of a tool like this card.
Visit the official Bluebird site to learn more about this option for budgeting and personal finance planning.
*I am a participant in the Walmart Moms program. Walmart has provided me with compensation for my time on this post. Participation in this program is voluntary. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.