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7 Best Prepaid Debit Cards You Should Know

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7 Best Prepaid Debit Cards You Should Know

Prepaid debit cards are a great way for individuals to learn how to be financially responsible. In our world today, cash is starting to become obsolete in comparison to the use of plastic to make purchases. When you go online to purchase items, a place that can offer amazing deals, cash isn’t accepted but credit or debit cards are. This means that missing out on a debit card results in possibly missing out on some amazing cyber deals. But not all prepaid debit cards are made equal. Some come with outrageous fees, difficulties with ATM access, and multiple regulations. Today, we will give a nice overview of six of the best prepaid debit cards on the market today.

1. American Express Serve

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    American Express used to be considered a company for those with higher incomes. With the release of credit cards along with charge cards, this reputation changed and the company became open to more individuals. Now, with American Express Serve, as well as Bluebird, American Express is open to just about anyone. For only $1 a month if you don’t use Direct Deposit or load less than $500 a statement, you can enjoy a prepaid debit card with some of the same benefits I enjoy as an American Express credit card holder. ATM is free at a variety of select locations. Serve is loadable at thousands of locations across the US.

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    2. GreenDot Card

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      Greendot is considered by many to be a top prepaid debit card to choose. The card is free to purchase online. You do have a higher monthly fee of $4.95 compared to American Express. However, if you load more than $1000 a statement, it is a waived fee. In addition, unlike having to either load $500 or use Direct Deposit with American Express to be eligible for a fee waiver, you can have fees waived with Greendot by making 30 or more purchases of any value in a statement. ATM access is free at select locations.

      3. Simple

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        Simple has a unique concept compared to the other cards listed in this article. This Visa card is focused more on saving rather than spending for the individual. You are able to make goals, partitioning money to a specific part of your card reminiscent of a savings account but without being able to make interest. This is all on a contemporary, mobile phone-focused experience. Simple is very simple to sign up for and the savings benefits is a big draw for individuals. It is free to get and there are no fees as long as you keep the card active at least once within a six month period. There are other fees, including when you perform ATM withdrawals internationally, however they are small. You can access your money for free at over 55,000 ATMs across the country.

        4. H&R Emerald Prepaid MasterCard

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          The H&R Emerald Card with MasterCard is a great option from the company that we all know of with filing taxes. The Emerald Card doesn’t come with any monthly fees. There is a one-time loading fee of $4.95 to get started. ATM fees are $2.50, regardless of where you go. That’s a big reason why it isn’t in the top half of our list. However, the quality of the card and company behind it, along with the lack of monthly fees makes it a very competitive card. Just like all of the cards mentioned on the list, the FDIC insurance protects you as a user, ensuring that your money is safe and secure.

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          5. BB&T Money Account

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            The BB&T Money Account card makes the lower half of our list due to the fees associated with the card. While there are a fewer number of fees compared to the other cards on the list, one thing that is certain with this card is that you will pay something every month. As long as you use a BB&T ATM domestically, you are safe from those fees. However, you can’t escape the $6 a month fees that come with holding the card. Even if you load $1000 or more a month, this fee only reduces to $3 a month. If you are a student, look into their special card for the younger crowd, you’ll always pay $3 a month, no matter what. Despite this, it is a card we can recommend because the BB&T name behind this card is very strong. You’ll have almost no trouble finding a BB&T ATM to use, and the features with this card are numerous.

            6. Chase Liquid

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              Chase is a well known credit card company, but little did you know, their prepaid debit cards are just as good. If you are in the market for a debit card, you may find them even better. Their monthly fee of $4.95 makes it the most expensive on the list. Yes, while the Greendot card allows you to get out of the monthly fee if you deposit $1000, there’s no such grace period with the Chase Liquid card.

              Despite this, chances are you won’t be paying anything else. You can use the Chase app to keep track of your transactions, and this card comes with most of the same features mentioned about the other cards in this article. With the name Chase having your back, this is a great card and one of the best to finish off this list.

              Now that you know which of the best prepaid debit cards are out there, why not go out and get one for yourself today.

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              Featured photo credit: Financial Queries via financialqueries.com

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              Last Updated on July 20, 2021

              Financial Freedom is Not a Fantasy: 9 Secrets to Get You There

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              Financial Freedom is Not a Fantasy: 9 Secrets to Get You There

              Have you ever considered your life now, and how it would be if you had more time to spend with your family and less worries about money?

              Nowadays, financial stress is one of the most troublesome weights in life. If you’ve ever encountered financial stress, you know the difficulty of not having enough income to pay your obligations or bills.

              Many people say that money is not the ultimate goal of life. While that’s true, money certainly plays a very significant role. The meaning of financial freedom changes with the different phases of our life, but ultimately, it is something that many people strive for.

              In this article, we’ll explain how to capture that financial freedom you’ve been looking for. Read on to learn the secrets to financial freedom.

              Break Free of Your Finances

              Financial freedom is about having a constant flow of cash from your assets to cover all your regular needs.

              When you are not worried about your income, or living paycheck to paycheck, you gain a great sense of freedom. It’s the freedom to be obtain and do what you truly need to make your way through everyday life.

              Gaining financial freedom, though, is a process of growth, making small improvements and gaining emotional strength.

              Though it seems hard to believe, it is really very simple to get financial freedom.

              To do so, you simply need to make sure that your assets exceed your liabilities. In other words, you’ll need to find the sweet-spot where your residuals meet or surpass your expenses. This is something that you can achieve with the proper plan.

              While not every person will accomplish financial freedom, the potential for anyone to do so is certainly there. Anyone can achieve this success, regardless of their income level.

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              Outlined below are 9 secrets that will help you in your goals of achieving financial freedom.

              1. Stop Unnecessary Spending

              We often spend money inwardly, instead of objectively.

              For example, you may spend when you’re anxious, depressed, restless, exhausted, from fear of missing out, or to please others. This is a very unhealthy way to handle your finances.

              To stop this habitual spending, log down all your spending over the course of a month.

              Just as some people keep a food diary, keep an expense diary. Remember not to just write down how much and what you spent the money on, also include the circumstances of why you spent the money. Was it an impulse buy at the checkout line or was it something you planned to purchase?

              This increased self-awareness could enable you to avoid triggering situations in the future when you are considering an impulse buy.

              2. Plan a Monthly Budget

              This is a great opportunity to get serious.

              Take a seat with your spouse or partner and make a monthly budget based on your income, not your expenses. You are never again going to spend more cash then you have on hand.

              Overspending is the thing that led you to more financial obligations. Make sure you decide every month what is coming in and what will be going out and stick to that budget… no matter what.

              3. Cut-up Credit Cards

              Perhaps you are the type of person who always pays your credit card balance in full before the end of your billing cycle, and enjoys the reward points you gain. If this is the case, then you’re already way ahead of the game.

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              If not, you may want to consider ridding your life of the burden that credit cards bring.

              Many cards have strategies set up so that if you make a certain number of late payments, they will raise your interest rate much higher. This can really add up in the long run and you won’t be doing your financial situation any favors. If you’re prone to late payments or have a large balance due on your cards, cut them up!

              Without proper self control on credit card spending and payments, you are basically throwing your money away. To ensure that you have better control over your spending, use only cash or debit for all future purchases (and don’t forget to pay at least your minimum payment on your cut-up cards each month!).

              4. Increase Savings

              There is no doubt that for a comfortable retirement you must accumulate satisfactory savings throughout your working life.

              It’s good practice to save up to 15% of your income.

              Start with your workplace 401(k), if you have one. If not, a Roth IRA (if you are eligible) or a traditional IRA (if you are not eligible for the Roth) are the next logical steps.

              Increase in longevity means you might be able to look forward to 25 to 30 years in retirement, or possibly even significantly more. Investing now in good retirement plans will ensure that you have a guaranteed a stable monthly income when the time comes to stop working. [1]

              5. Invest Wisely

              Consider investing in funds.

              Specifically, you will gain higher returns if you invest in different types of mutual funds such as Debt funds, Equity funds and Hybrid funds with a proper balance, although it absolutely relies on your personal preferences and sense of risk taking.

              To get the most of these benefits, make sure you are investing in a variety of assets. Another resource of investing in mutual funds is SIP (Systematic Investment Plan) where you invest some money every month in funds. SIP works by averaging the per unit price of the stock.

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              Mutual fund investors are aware of the benefits of an SIP (Systematic Investment Plan). For one, it is the most secure way to invest in equity mutual plans so that wealth is created over a long period of time. This plan also helps you to gain a better sense of financial discipline, which will come in handy in all your financial endeavors.

              6. Invest in Gold

              There isn’t really a better way to invest in gold than to have the physical gold itself in your possession.

              You can purchase gold coins and bars from mints as well as from coin dealers and other private sellers.

              Another way to invest in gold is through ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds).

              These are is similar to mutual funds but they are exclusively investments of gold. ETFs are great because they offer more liquidity; the ETF owns the actual physical gold, stores it, and retains the value of the shares. These shares can then be bought and sold in the stock market, and one big benefit is that the transaction costs of gold ETFs are much lower than the that of physical gold.

              With its consistently-increasing demand, investment in gold can be very wise long-term investment to make.

              7. Stash Emergency Funds

              Whether it’s a cash gift or a work bonus, always try to save any extra money that comes your way rather than making unneeded purchases.

              If you get paid every other week, you’ll get an “extra” paycheck (three rather than the usual two) twice a year. Either save those paychecks towards your emergency funds or utilize the money to pay down other obligations, such as loans, credit cards or other debts.

              Make it hard to get your cash.

              Put your savings in an alternate bank, maybe an online bank that forces you to delay for several business days before transferred money hits your regular bank account.

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              8. Find Fabulous Mentors

              Find a mentor, such as a friend or family member, who has exceptional control over their finances and pay attention to everything they do.

              If you do not have any friends or family that are enjoying financial freedom, then find a mentor online! There are numerous blogs and guru websites featuring the advice of many people who have reached financial freedom, and they exist primarily to let you in on how to achieve it for yourself.

              There are also plentiful forums available that share tips and tricks on how to best achieve financial freedom. Read as much as you can and start changing your habits for the better.

              9. Be Extra Patient

              Patience is the key of financial success.

              Being patient can be quite tough, especially when you’re struggling with your finances, but having faith is worth it. You’ll continuously be on the right track if you are taking the proper steps above.

              So don’t be discouraged, even if you are only saving a few dollars a month; it all adds up. Within just a few years you’ll look back proudly at your accomplishments and be glad that you had the patience to get there.

              Financial Freedom for All

              Anyone can achieve financial freedom, regardless of their financial circumstance.

              Use the tips provided above to get yourself on the track to financial freedom and toss your monetary concerns out the window. If you wish to achieve a life with financial freedom for yourself and your family then you must adopt a disciplined approach towards your finances.

              Following the simple secrets above is a great start to making your money work for you, so you can work less and live more!

              Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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              Reference

              [1] Hartford Gold Group: IRA Retirement Accounts

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