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Why You Should Use a PrePaid Card For Gremlins

Before I get into the meat of this post, I should probably explain what gremlins are first. They’re basically all of those little things you didn’t plan for in your budget, like speeding tickets, ER stays, or pet emergencies.


Raise your hand if you’ve been there. Oh yeah, we all have.

I’ve been there so often in fact that I put around $70 a month in my budget for gremlins because they always just seem to pop up even when I least expect it. Sometimes, no gremlins happen at all during the month and other times there are tons of them, like having to go to an emergency dentist visit in the same month your car breaks down.

Ugh, been there, done that.

One way I make sure I’m able to pay for gremlins without going into debt is by being aware that they will likely happen. I also have an emergency fund that I keep at around $5,000. Another great way to stay prepared for them though, is using a pre-paid card.

Using a Pre-Paid Card

A company called Kaiku sent me a pre-paid card to try, and I have to say, I’ve loved using it so far. It’s a great way to have the ease of a credit card without having to worry about bank overdrafts or reaching a credit limit. It’s also perfect for dealing with gremlins.

You simply load a dollar amount onto the card and keep it in your wallet. Then, if something unexpected pops up, you can use it for that without affecting the rest of your budget and your spending.

Of course, the trick is that you have to keep it loaded and only use it for true gremlins, like a totally unexpected late fee, getting a flat tire, or having your dog ingest three bars of pure dark chocolate (not like that’s ever happened to me of course ;))

You’ll feel totally confident knowing that if something happens to you or if your other cards get declined, you have your Kaiku card sitting there prettily in your wallet just for those types of emergencies.

Regular Spending

Don’t make me feel like you can only use a pre-paid card for gremlins, though. They’re great for everyday spending too, and they’re actually the reason I learned how to budget at all starting from when I was a teenager.

It’s all on the up and up too. Kaiku Finance LLC owns the Kaiku Visa® Prepaid Card and it’s one of the first prepaid cards to be selected for the new Visa Clear Prepaid Designation certification. This means that you can be confident that they’ll keep your money safe.

Debt Relief

Pre-paid cards are also especially good for those who have recently gotten out of debt and are too timid to go back to using credit cards. It can get annoying to have cash envelopes for everything, so having a set amount of cash on a pre-paid card can give you the convenience of a credit card all while keeping you in check.

They are pretty inexpensive to use too. If you use direct deposit to put $750 a month on the Kaiku card, there is no fee. If not, there is a minimal $3/month maintenance fee. I’d take that any day over a 15% interest rate on a credit card.

So, there you go – multiple ways to use a pre-paid card. I use mine for gremlins. How would you use yours?

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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The content on is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not financial advice and we are not certified financial advisors. strives to keep its information accurate and up to date, but it may differ from actual numbers. We may have financial relationships with companies listed on our site. We may receive compensation for the placement of sponsored products or services. We work hard to write authentic and accurate articles.