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Learning How To Budget Like A Big Girl written by Rebecca Eckler

Posted By Rebecca Eckler on September 5, 2011

Tagged: Rave, Rebecca Eckler

Kids are expensive. I love my daughter to death, but she does cost a small fortune. I’m certainly not one for math or numbers, let alone have any idea where to begin in terms of budgeting. So when it comes to my finances, I need things to be as efficient and simple as possible. I like to go about my business and spend as I need to, and of course like to take a vacation every now and then and enjoy nice dinners out with my boyfriend. (Who doesn’t?)

I recently learned that I can actually make money and earn rewards by doing all the things I love to do. (Who is the mastermind behind this idea? I need to give them a hug). It’s the people over at American Express and Costco, that’s who. (I suppose I can’t hug them all but I certainly want to). As a parent and Costco shopper, AMEX challenged me to test drive the TrueEarnings Card from American Express and Costco. Over the next few months, I’ll be sharing my experience with this Card with you, and invite your feedback.

With no annual fees, I can drive my car, eat out and shop without feeling guilty because I can earn 2% cash back for gasoline, 3% for restaurants and up to 1% for virtually anywhere else, including Costco. And with a seven-year-old daughter and two step children on the way, Costco is a regular outing for us – between buying snacks for when her friends come over and building her book collection, we love it there. And with every purchase I make, I can keep on earning cash back. It’s win-win!

In all seriousness, managing money really isn’t my strong suit and I know that isn’t the best quality. (I hired an assistant to handle all my invoices because I had no clue where to begin!) But the TrueEarnings Card really does make even someone like me more budget-savvy. So how does it work?

Earning rewards is easy. (If I can figure it out, then anyone can.) The Card issues a reward coupon annually, which can be redeemed at any Costco warehouse for merchandise or cash – the best part is that I can use it however I want. And lucky for me, I don’t have to wrack my brain trying to figure out my earnings. Tracking how much rebate you are earning is simple as it appears on your monthly statement – it couldn’t be any easier! This certainly makes any spending a lot less stressful and a lot more fun.

I work from home and am constantly on my computer so I’ve signed up for payment reminders and account alerts (trust me, I need this feature). And for the days I’m running around the city taking my daughter here and there or attending events, I can even manage my account from my phone. I love the fact that something as important as my money can be made so simple.

With all these benefits I’m feeling a lot less stressed about my finances, and am loving the fact that I can make money as I spend it. The bad news for my assistant is, I might not need her anymore!

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