As a chronic recovering shopaholic, learning how to budget and avoid major shopping sprees was an incredibly difficult transition for me. When we first started learning how to budget, we didn’t allow ourselves any fun spending at all. Let me tell you, this is no way to live. If you are going to commit to major financial goals like paying off debt, it is crucial that you still allow fun and joy into your life despite what some experts might tell you. I’m so thankful that after some trial and error we were able to find that using Cash App was the absolute best way to leave some cushion in our budgets and allow us fun money spending!
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What is Cash App?
Cash App is a mobile payment service that works similar to PayPal or Venmo. You can easily transfer money to other people’s Cash App accounts just like you would with these similar apps.
You can also use Cash App for:
- Direct deposit and get paid up to 2 days faster
- Bank transfers that allow you to transfer money between bank accounts
- Making bank deposits at affiliated banks
- Recurring deposits from your bank to the Cash App (like we use for staying on budget)
In recent years Cash App decided to upgrade their user experience by including the option of using the Cash App debit card!
Doing this allowed users to have more options when it comes to spending from their Cash App accounts and is what we use to help our family stay on budget when it comes to our fun money spending.
Plus, when you use Cash App to send money to friends, you are rewarded with $5 totally FREE — kind of a fun little perk!
How does the Cash App debit card work?
After downloading and setting up Cash App, by simply tapping the “Cash Card” tab on the home screen and then selecting “Get Cash Card” you can sign up to get your Cash App debit card sent directly to you! Get further instructions here.
The coolest part is that you can create your own customized debit card! You get to pick the color, style and you even get to decorate the front of it with your signature or whatever fun flair you can come up with. (You get your first debit card for free – because I needed to replace mine it shows the $5 tag next to the options.)
Because I recently lost my purse, I am in need of a new Cash App card! Check out my new design! I went with the white card (even though glow in the dark was tempting), and instead of customizing my card with my signature like I did last time, I thought my signature heart would be better. What do you think?
How does Cash App keep you on budget?
If you budget like we do, by designating spending for the month into different sections like:
- Food: $800
- Gas: $400
- Bills: $600
- House: $1,500
- Fun spending: $100
Additional posts you might like:
- Grocery Budget with a Family of 5 for Only $100 Per Week
- Shopping Your Pantry to Save Money and Make Meal Prep Easy
- Why Do I Always Run Out of Money? How to Break the Paycheck to Paycheck Cycle
If your budget operates a little bit like ours, you might know how tricky it can be to stick to certain areas. For example, we tend to tip our food budget quite often and when we didn’t designate fun spending, we would just spend like crazy people.
Separate funds. Same budget.
Cash App allows us to transfer a designated amount of fun spending each month ($50 for Tom, $50 for me), so that we each have our own funds to spend how we please.
All you have to do is click the “Add Cash” button and select how much you want to transfer — or, you could do the more hands-off method and set up automatic transfers!
This is great for Tom because he can let his money add up over time (he’s working to save for a mountain bike) and I can use mine aside for night’s out with my girlfriends! Because we each have different priorities and ways we want to spend our fun money, having it separated into 2 accounts with our own cards makes it really easy for us to do spend as we please.
Cash App does the math for you
Another feature that I love about Cash App is because you have a designated amount to spend, you can’t even spend more than you’ve budgeted for and because whenever you log into your account, you instantly see how much money you have left (rather than how much you spent).
Cash App keeps you in-tune
Even though it might be obvious, Cash App will send you a text message immediately after you make a purchase. You might be thinking, “Uhm, I know I just spent something, I’m the one who did it.”
However, this feature can be nice because as a former shopaholic I know that sometimes my spending can go into autopilot mode and I stop really paying attention when I’m swiping. The nice little “ding” on your phone forces you to take 2 seconds to review your purchase and how much you spent.
Plus, you now have a record of your spending in case you need to go back, review or revamp things! Get started now.
Can Cash App really prevent overspending?
Like I mentioned above, Cash App is really good at preventing overspending because when you designate a certain amount of money each month, you quite literally cannot go over budget!
When I go out and know I might be tempted to spend more than I have (by simply whipping out another card), I leave all my other cards at home and take only my Cash App card with me! Try a Spending Diet to Prevent Overspending.
Why not just use cash?
We tried the cash method for staying on budget like other budgeters recommend, but the truth is, being a mom with 2 kids at home didn’t make for easy trips to the bank.
On top of that, there were often times we wanted to pop into the grocery store after bringing the kids to sports and wouldn’t have our cash on hand. When this happened, we would use our regular debit card and then have to find a way to get our cash back into the bank in order to keep our budget balanced.
Having something that is digital and automatic is so much easier and has allowed for much more flexibility than paying in cash ever did. Similar to when we tried gift cards for budgeting.
How to determine your fun money amount
If you’re not sure just how much money you should be designating each month for fun money, it’s really simple:
- Decide what “fun spending” means to you
- Review your spending for the last 3 months
- Determine how much you currently spend on “fun” stuff
- Adjust this number if you need to make a smarter budget
- Transfer that amount to your Cash App card every month
It really doesn’t matter how much money you start with, and you can use it for anything that fits your family’s needs.
- Out to eat budget
- Kids spending
The options are endless, but at the end of the day, using the Cash App debit card can save so much stress and help you separate certain spending from the rest of your budget. Click here to sign up and get $5 free.