This post is made in partnership with Network Niche Influencer Agency and The ControlTM Prepaid Mastercard®. All opinions are my own
Money has always been a taboo subject in my life. Many of us were raised not to talk about finances, and in the workplace, it is even discouraged. It has also crept into our marriage at times causing issues when it comes to finances.
Shortly before moving to Atlanta, we had a conversation about really getting things on track the way they need to be. We had each been doing our thing as far as our individual finances were concerned, but we never sat down with one another to tackle it together. Once we made that commitment we never looked back. We still have a journey ahead of us and not nearly where our ultimate goal is, but we have made a lot of progress.
There is no one-size fits all formula for families and especially your children.
To help get a handle on finances and to control the flow of money better (as far as automatic payments), Chris and I have started using the Control Prepaid Mastercard.1 This allows us to cease carrying cash while creating good financial habits.
Set financial goals
Setting goals and writing them down is a way to visually psych yourself up to change. Goals such as paying off your credit cards or other debt, and purchasing a home are examples of various goals that you can work towards. Setting financial goals will help start you on the path to being financially secure.
This is a habit that we ALL need to get into doing. Sitting down and understanding what we want to achieve and the timeframe that we may need to do it is important. People who are frugal like my husband, tend to value their money; so they know what they want to spend it on and where they want to spend it. And if they don’t want to spend it, they hold on to it.
What I love the most about Control Card are the Cash Back Rewards2. We can earn cashback offers when we use Control Card to pay for select purchases at participating retailers. Also, on the off chance that something happens and we need it, there is a Purchase Cushion3 up to $10 that is available.
Creating a budget (and sticking to it) can help drastically improve your financial situation. When you budget, it allows you to track the amount of money you have coming in, and the amount of money you have going out. By writing out a budget you will be able to understand more of where your money is going and begin to work on distributing it wisely.
Cut discretionary spending
Let’s be real, if you can’t afford it, you don’t need it. Multiple streaming services or cable that you do not use, gym membership hitting your account and you haven’t stepped inside the building since the day after New Year’s. if they are causing you more grief or sending your bank account negative every month, then it is time to drop them until you can afford it.
I know that it really sucks having to cut out the things you like. But you have to remember, they aren’t things that you NEED.
Build an Emergency Fund
It is recommended that you build up an emergency fund equivalent to at least three months to six months of discretionary expenses. An emergency fund can be a lifesaver, especially when unexpected expenses come up.
How are you taking control of your financial future?
1 IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR OPENING A CARD ACCOUNT: To help the federal government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, the USA PATRIOT Act requires us to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens a Card Account. WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU: When you open a Card Account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and your government ID number. We may also ask to see your driver’s license or other identifying information. Card activation and identity verification required before you can use the Card Account. If your identity is partially verified, full use of the Card Account will be restricted, but you may be able to use the Card for in-store purchase transactions. Restrictions include: no ATM withdrawals, international transactions, account-to-account transfers and additional loads. Use of Card Account also subject to fraud prevention restrictions at any time, with or without notice. Residents of Vermont are ineligible to open a Card Account.
2 Cash Back Rewards is an optional program. You may opt-out at any time by visiting the Cash Back Rewards page in your Online Account Center. Reward offers are based on individual shopping habits. Cash back rewards are credited to your Card Account and are not available in the form of a check or other direct payment method. See the program FAQs and Terms and Conditions in your Online Account Center for additional details about how and when you get rewarded. Program sponsor: Netspend Corporation. MetaBank®, National Association, and Mastercard® are not affiliated in any way with this program and do not endorse or sponsor this program.
3 The $10 Purchase Cushion is not an extension of credit; it is a courtesy exercised at our discretion. Approved purchase transactions may create up to a $10.00 negative balance on your Card Account. Cardholder is responsible for repayment of any negative balance. See the Cardholder Agreement for details.
4 No charge for this service, but your wireless carrier may charge for messages or data.
The ControlTM Prepaid Mastercard® is issued by MetaBank®, National Association, Member FDIC, pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated. Netspend is a registered agent of MetaBank, N.A. Certain products and services may be licensed under U.S. Patent Nos. 6,000,608 and 6,189,787. Use of the Card Account is subject to activation, ID verification, and funds availability. Transaction fees, terms, and conditions apply to the use and reloading of the Card Account. See the Cardholder Agreement for details.
Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.
Card may be used everywhere Debit Mastercard is accepted.
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Love of impromptu dance parties, 80’s cartoons, and horizontal life pauses (aka naps); Natasha Brown is a stay at home mom of 4 kids, and wife to one lucky guy! In her spare time, she is co-editor of Grits & Grace, as well as editor for The Mother Hustler Blog and Creative Director for the Mother Hustler podcast.