In this article, we will help you answer one of the most frequently asked questions: “Which payment type can help you stick to a budget?”
To tell you the truth, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach- But our top favorite is to use a debit card as it is convenient and can help you track down your expenses.
Would you like to know more? We’ll discuss the pros and cons of each payment type and give you useful tips so you can save more of your benjamins! Stick with us until the end.
Types of Payment
Most people will not be aware of it but there are actually different types of payment that you can use in order to help you manage your finances. Each of these types of payment has its respective features, advantages, and disadvantages.
At the end of the day, it depends on which mode of payment is more effective for your budgeting needs.
1. ACH Payment
For some people, ACH debit is one of the best types of payment period also known as Automated Clearing House, they are electronic payments that can directly get the funds from your checking account.
With an ACH debit, you don’t need to issue a cheque or to have any card transaction because the money is automatically moved once you use the ACH debit for payment.
How does this work? Firstly, you need to authorise your billing company to pull the funds from your checking account and provide the routing number and the bank account for your account. You should also give authorization by signing an agreement with the billing company.
● Easy to remember and make payments because you can automate them
● Convenient to track payments as it is connected to your bank account
● Environment-friendly since you do not need to issue cheques
● In a way, you give up control as the biller can easily get the payment straight from your account.
● You provide information that includes your banking details.
● Payment error might occur with your biller charging you more than what you should pay for
2. Debit or Credit
Paying either by debit or credit card is a convenient way to carry cashless transactions. With a card, you avoid the hassle of having to go to an atm machine to withdraw cash. However, debit and credit card work in different ways, with each one having its pros and cons. Which payment type can help you stick to a budget?
Pros of Debit Card
● You can use it like a credit card which is very convenient without being on a credit.
● Less cash to carry
● It prevents you from overspending as you can only consume what is in your debit card balance.
● Easy to track down expenses
Cons of Debit Card
● You may still end up losing track of your transactions.
● Funds may run out.
● If the card is stolen or lost, others can have access to it.
Pros of Credit Card
● Using a credit card is very easy and convenient.
● It helps you build up your credit history.
● Safer to use compared to a debit card
● Widely accepted in almost all stores worldwide
Cons of Credit Card
● Can be very tempting to use for spending which can go out of control
● You will have to pay for extra fees.
● There is a credit card limit.
● Credit card fraud
Click here on how to build your credit score in 30 days.
For some people, going the conventional way of carrying cash is still the best way to help you stick to your budget. One of the advantages of using cash is you can control your spending. You are aware of what goes out on spending. That is why people with credit cards tend to spend more compared to people using cash.
On the other hand, it can be bulky to carry. Imagine when you have to pay for an expensive item. Another downside to it is you cannot use it to build your credit history.
4. Paypal, Zelle, Venmo
Paypal, Zelle, and Venmo are P2P payment apps that enable you to send quick payments online. Paypal is considered to be one of the most trusted online payment gateways all over the world. Zelle and Venmo are the same as Paypal although Venmo appeals to younger people since you can use emojis and it comes with a playful and creative design.
Which payment type can help you stick to a budget?
Considering that the functions are similar, any of these payment methods will work out just fine. One of the main advantages is that you can do online transactions with ease. A lot of merchants accept any of these payments. On the other hand, the drawback is that if you are not buying online like let’s say you want to buy in a physical store, you still have to use other forms of payment.
● Very convenient to use
● Easy to register and withdraw funds
● Has a secured payment gateway
● Your financial details are encrypted.
● Immediate transfer as it takes seconds to complete the transaction
● Not all merchants accept this type of payment
● If there is a technical issue, let’s say there is no Internet, it is impossible to make a transaction.
● There is a transfer limit.
Do you want to learn more about Venmo? Click here for VENMO: a Beginner’s guide to money transfer
5. Mobile Wallet / Apple Pay
Thanks to technology, you no longer have to carry a bulky wallet just to make transactions. Most people use their smartphones for various online transactions like payment. If you are an Apple user, you can use Apple Pay. Android users also have their respective mobile wallet depending on the phone that you are using. Unlike using other payment methods, you just use your phone to scan the code and the payment is completed.
● Convenient and hassle-free transaction since you do not have to carry bulky cash
● No need to remember pin numbers as all of the transactions are through your smartphone
● It is easier for you to track your expenses as these mobile wallets are digitally recorded.
● Not all merchants support mobile wallet or Apple Pay so at one point you may still have to use other payment methods
● If your phone does not have a battery, you can never make any transaction.
● A technical issue might arise
● You cannot build a credit history with mobile wallets.
Best Budgeting Apps
Any of these apps mentioned above have their share of pros and cons. You may either opt to have a single payment type or a combination of a few depending on which you find suitable. Alongside these types of payment is the use of budgeting app that can help you monitor where you spend your money and how much you spend.
Mint is a budgeting app that allows you to save more and spend less. It is a tool that you can sync with your account to make expense tracking much easier. The nice thing about this budgeting app is it is free.
This app is a top favorite for various reasons. First, it is very convenient. It gives the user automatic updates and transactions are categorized. With this feature, you can easily see where you spend the most. Users can also create their own transactions which allow you to set budgets. When you go over the budget, an alert pops out
Another amazing feature of Mint is that it gives you free credit scores. Now, you can easily assess your own credit standing.
A simplified budgeting tool, the PocketGuard is also a great tool. This app basically tells you how much you can spend given a certain period of time. It is a free tool that makes it easy for you to see how much money you can still use to spend. Same with Mint, you can also see the breakdown of your expenses based on categories.
YNAB is a budgeting tool that follows the zero-based budgeting system. This is not only a great app for budgeting but also for those who want to jumpstart their investment. You can sync it with your accounts. Set budget limits and goals. The only downside of this app is you only get to use it for free for 34 days. After which, you will be required to make an investment of $84 per year. Students can use the app for free provided that they provide a proof.
5 Simple Ways to Stick to Your Budget
So, after knowing the different payment types available, its advantages and disadvantages, as well as the budgeting apps available, what is next? Which payment type can help you stick to a budget?
There are different tips and tricks that you can use in order to stick to your budget.
1. Set your objectives.
The very first thing that you have to bear in mind is you need to set down the goal. How much do you need to spend like let’s say for this week or month? Which expenses do you have to pay? You need to set the objectives as this will help you assess later whether you are on the right track.
2. Be realistic.
When setting your goals or budget limits, it is very important that you are realistic. Everyone wants to save money. Some people say you can follow the 80%-20% rule which is doable. Some can do a bit more. Then again, it depends on so many factors. If you have limited sources of income, you need to be realistic.
By realistic, it means do not cut down on the budget that is necessities. For example, if you already have a fixed budget for your grocery shopping, it is less likely that you will cut down your budget for it.
3. Plan your meals.
Food and rent are the two main expenses that people spend on. Imagine if you plan and cook your meals, you can save a lot. Instead of eating outside which can be really expensive, you can just eat at home.
How does this relate to sticking to your budget? By cutting on your major expenses, you get to have more money to spend for other things.
4. Avoid big purchases.
It can be very tempting to make a big purchase especially when the item is on a huge sale. If the item is not something that you need, avoid the big purchase. Spending on big purchases especially if it is something that you do not really need can ruin your budget.
5. Live within your means.
No matter how you budget your money, if you spend more than what you can actually afford, it always causes problems. When you live within your means, you discipline yourself not to spend too much.
Which payment type can help you stick to a budget? Every person has different budgetary requirements and needs. For some, using cash is more preferable because they can only spend what they have on hand.
Personally, we like to use a debit card because it helps you track down your expenses. In addition, your debit card transactions will give you an overview of which category do you usually spend more. You can also pair it with a budgeting app to help you make a savings plan effectively
Whichever payment method you choose, it still boils down on your discipline and how you wisely spend your money. Enjoying your money and buying things that you need and can make you happy is never a bad thing. However, if you are always spending more than your means, it can create potential problems down the road.
Start taking control of your finances. Make a strict budget, download these apps to track your spending and choose a payment method you know can help you achieve your financial goal.
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