Bear! Pease? – Miss J, 1
Over the bank holiday weekend, we went on a break to a UK seaside resort. It was a holiday I booked at the beginning of July, sat on Tired Mummy of Two‘s sofa, drinking wine and getting overexcited about the bargain I’d just secured: 4 nights self-catering in a 2 bedroom apartment for £250 – bargain!
Anyway, off we went and I was determined that, having secured such a bargain on the holiday itself, that we didn’t then break the bank with overenthusiastic spending while we were there. We wanted to have fun, eat well, but not go utterly crazy!
Now, as luck would have it, Kalixa had been in touch before we left and asked me to try out their Kalixa Pay prepaid card. It’s a MasterCard, so you can use it pretty much everywhere you’d use a normal debit or credit card, but the beauty is you can’t overspend, because it only lets you pay out what you’ve already paid on to the card. What’s more you get a free email or SMS alert every time you use your card (for purchases over £5) detailing what you have spent and your account balance, so it’s really easy to keep track of what you’re spending, especially when you’re on holiday and away from the usual online banking.
We signed up online on the Kalixa Pay website (there’s a one-off set-up fee of £6.95, but no subscription charges after that) and topped it up with £150. It’s much like online banking and if you transfer with a debit card, it’s free shows in your account instantly. Tops ups by bank transfer are also free, but credit card tops ups incur at 1.75% fee.
Knowing that the pool, most shows and the soft play area were all included in the holiday price, but there would be lots of coin operated rides at the resort, I also popped £50 in cash in my purse.
We arrived at lunchtime on Friday and treated ourselves to a pub lunch (*cha-ching* £30, £120 left) while we waited for our 3pm check in time.
Once we were checked in and settled, we headed up to the funfair, where the kids went near crazy with excitement for a few hours, before walking to the local Spar for supplies such as pasta, bread, ham and salad intended to last us for the rest of the stay (*cha-ching* £25, £95 left), although we ended up going back again for more basics (*cha-ching* £17, £85 left) as well as a few ice cream and drinks stops (*cha-ching* £10, £68 left).
In the time we were there, we swam, we did lots of soft play (my back still aches!), we walked, we played on the beach, and the kids went on coin operated ride after ride after ride. We also stopped for drinks a few times as we walked around and I think that’s where the £50 in my purse went – I lost track!
On the last night, we splurged on dinner in the on-resort Italian – three yummy courses and Ice Age 3 playing to keep the kids amused. Brilliant. (*cha-ching* £50, £18 left)
In the morning, with the kids bemoaning our imminent departure, we hit the gift shop. Predictably, Miss J chose a soft toy and JD chose a gadget – a bubble maker to be precise, which they carried home proudly. (*cha-ching* £15, £3 left)
Phew, not a bad effort. We definitely kept a better track of what we spent on the card versus my wallet and it was much less stressful knowing we didn’t have a big credit card bill to come home to.
I reckon I can keep this up. Now that we’re set up, using the Kalixa Pay card costs nothing more than a standard debit card to use, so it seems like a simple and straight forward way to help us budget more effectively day to day. That is, until Miss J is old enough for her own plastic…
Find out more on the Kalixa website.
Disclosure: this is a sponsored post.