They say that the early bird gets the worm. So here I am, in the middle of August with my fresh-out-of-the-mailbox Bluebird American Express card, ready to be responsible with my finances. I have spent the morning exploring my Bluebird account online and setting up in preparation for the upcoming semester. I will walk you through what I’ve done so far, as well as my thoughts on the whole process.
Activate your card.
If you bought it at a Walmart, then you do not need to do this, but if, like I did, you order online, this should be your first step upon receiving the card, as you will get locked out if you do not do this.
Next, It’s time to add funds.
I’ve chosen to deposit cash at Walmart as a way to add the $500 I mentioned in the previous post, as I have one right around the corner from my apartment. There are several other deposit options that are available as well.
Moving on, the first stop on my explorations was the ‘pay bills‘ section. Arguably the most annoying part of being alive, no one likes paying bills. Furthermore, none of us want to be deal with the consequences of paying late or missing a bill, so I’m looking at Bluebird hoping they can make it as painless as possible. In the ‘pay bills’ section, there is a search bar in which you can type company names in order to add them to your list of payees. First attempt was adding my cell phone bill. So I typed ‘Verizon’. Boom. VERIZON WIRELESS found. So I simply added my zip code, my Verizon account number, and it was saved in my payees list. For the rest of the semester, any time I need to pay my phone bill, I can do it online. (I can also do it on my phone, but I haven’t explored that far yet. stay tuned for a post on the mobile app).
Since I chose to rent off campus, I also have a landlord to pay, as well as utilities and internet. So I added them to the list as well. Now obviously my landlord (a 60 year old guy who lives two floors below me) did not show up in a search. Nice guy, but definitely not searchable. So instead, a button popped up saying ‘Not on this List? ‘Add a Payee and we’ll send them a check’. So I clicked the button, put in my landlords basic information (name and address) and saved him as a payee. From now on, whenever I need to pay rent I can just put in the amount, press OK and the check will be delivered right to his door. Now I’m impressed.
Once I had set up every single one of my monthly bills, I was excited. Quite frankly, I felt like the most responsible guy in university. The thought of being able to pay bills that easily all semester? Now I really have no excuse not to focus on my coursework. One less thing to worry about.
Although I havens used the card to purchase anything (or pay a bill) yet, I am feeling like a more sensible student, and so far my trial with Bluebird is going well. Let’s see how this continues as we tackle the next couple of weeks.
Disclosure: This series of posts is sponsored by Bluebird American Express.