This time of year, you might hear buzz about “financial literacy” and the importance of it in today’s society. But have you ever stopped to consider what that really means? Financial Literacy. It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue or connote the most exciting of topics. But it is absolutely important as you define your financially independent lifestyle. Financial literacy refers to the “savviness” with which you manage your money. It means understanding how to schedule and pay your bills on time, how to budget for necessities and splurges and how to keep yourself out of unnecessary debt.
Providing guidance to this end is what DebitSavvy is all about. This month, we begin a three-part series to acknowledge the value of financial literacy in your life today. We begin with a post about the benefits of debit you might have not yet considered.
Have you ever considered the possibility that debit has the ability to surprise you?
Sure, maybe you’re familiar with the basics. You understand that managing your money through debit allows you to spend only the funds that are already in your checking account. It requires you to be accountable for your spending and prevents you from acquiring unnecessary debt. You might also remember that debit cards offer a high level of security because they require the use of a secret PIN to access your funds. And, in the event that your card is lost or stolen, you can make a quick call to your financial institution and they can deactivate your card instantly.
But what if we told you there are even more benefits to debit – perhaps benefits you’ve never even considered?
We’re talking about the numerous debit card rewards programs offered by several financial institutions. With debit card rewards, you not only achieve the basic benefits of debit but also you can acquire quite a few perks along the way. Below are some of our favorites. Talk to your financial institution. You just might find the perfect debit reward program for your lifestyle.
Save when you spend
Some debit card programs allow you to contribute to your savings account every time you use your debit card. The best part? It’s usually in such subtle amounts that you hardly notice it. For example, some financial institutions offer a “round up” program with their debit cards. This allows your payment to be rounded up to the nearest dollar amount, with the difference being contributed to your savings. For example, if you purchase an item for $17.25, the remaining $.75 would be put in your savings. Other programs simply contribute $1.00 every time you swipe your debit card. These savings might sound minimal at first, but rest assured, the savings add up fast!
Points when you pay
Many financial institutions will allow you to accumulate points as you use your debit card. With every purchase using debit, your points will grow. You can then cash in those points for rewards (gift cards, household staples, travel discounts) granted through your financial institution.
Perks of convenience
With as much plastic that is used for payments these days, carrying cash on a daily basis is becoming more of an irregularity than a necessity. But with debit, you can have the best of both worlds. Many merchants offer a “cash back” option when you pay through debit. That means no more inconvenient trips to your financial institution the next time you need a bit of green. Instead, you can reap the benefits of your cash back option from your most frequent weekly stops, such as the grocery store or pharmacy.