My Secret to Managing the Family Budget 

family budget

This post is sponsored and written by Commerce Bank.

When you are a new mom, there are few things more satisfying than reaching the end of the month and discovering leftover funds in your checking account.

Yes, babies don’t come free, and it can be a juggling act to pay for the diapers, the daycare and all of the other new expenses. At least it was for me.

That is, until I stumbled across an easier way to budget.  It’s a way to help make sure we cover essential expenses every month — without fearing we might run short.

My secret is a mySpending Card® from Commerce Bank.

A mySpending Card® is a prepaid debit card which you can easily designate for a specific purpose, like paying for diapers or day care. The funds on the card are “walled off” from your other money so you don’t inadvertently spend them on something else.  You can reload it as little or as often as you need.

As your family’s needs change, the card’s purpose can evolve, too. When I was expecting, for example, I would transfer funds each month from my checking account to the mySpending card in order to save up for medical and other expenses associated with having a baby. (Keep in mind that load and spending limits apply.)

Once the baby arrived, I dedicated card funds to diapers and formula, and later, daycare and preschool expenses. Babies, of course, are hard work. You just might want a card for nothing but morning coffee or date nights – no judgement here!

Come to think of it, it would also be a great way to save for a vacation and keep track of your funds once you arrive. Decisions about where to eat out and what souvenirs to buy are a lot easier when you can see your available balance!

As my children get older, I plan to give them a mySpending Card® instead of a cash allowance. That way, I can load their allowance on it each week so they can learn how to budget expenses and save up for big purchases. They may think twice about buying the latest video game or phone accessory when they see how it puts a spring break trip out of reach.

And between you and me, it’s a whole lot easier to transfer funds to a card than to run up to school when my kid “suddenly remembers” a field trip or forgets her lunch money. I’m just sayin’, that may have happened more than once!  If it gets stolen or lost, I can suspend/turn off the card until it is found or replaced.

Plus, there’s no risk of an overdraft. If the card is short of funds, my daughter’s desire for a non-fat frappuccino with extra whipped cream will simply be denied.

The point is, I never dreamed a card could make my life easier. But it has. And there’s no monthly fee.

Now that’s something worth thinking about.

Learn more about the mySpending Card® or watch a video here.