Friday, October 28, 2011

A Tip for the Sandwich Generation

I have heard the term “the sandwich generation” for years. Now, I find myself smack dab in the middle of it. That’s right, I am the peanut butter and jelly, the ham and swiss, and the meatballs and mozzarella sandwiched between my young adult child who is still living at home and my elderly mother-in-law who needs our help on a regular basis. The youngest generation of my family who call me grandma are my ten little bags of flavor packed chips that make any sandwich so much more enjoyable.
My husband and I very often find ourselves in the position of helping out the generations that sandwich us between their needs. One area that can be especially challenging is the area of finances. It is important for us to keep all of our finances separate and accounted for. We have found ourselves having to intertwine our finances by making last minute online payments because we are the ones with the credit card.
I recently learned of something called a MoneyPak that could be a very useful tool for our “sandwich generation” online financial needs. It would be great to have this product on hand when “someone’s cell phone has to be paid online to avoid late fees or when “someone” on the flip side of the sandwich forgets to pay their cable bill. 
It is such a simple solution for anyone who does not have a credit card or debit card in todays online world of payments. You purchase the MoneyPak from the Prepaid product section or from a Green Dot Credit Card display in stores like Walmart, CVS, Kmart, and Walgreens for $4.95 or less.  You take the MoneyPak to the register, you give the cashier the amount of cash you want on the card ($20 to $500 at most retailers and up to a whopping $1,100 at Walmart), and the cashier loads the money onto the card, and you are set.
The card can be used to add funds to other pre-paid cards. It also makes it possible to take advantage of the benefits of PayPal without having a credit card or a bank account. Best yet, it is a safe and secure way to send money to where you need it. No strings attached! I like that.
You better believe that I will be sharing the availability of this product to those just beyond the lettuce and mayo of my generation. My elderly mother-in-law could easily pick one up for us to have on hand for her online bill paying needs while doing her shopping. Same with our young adult living at home. It would be their cash, their card, and nothing would be intertwined with the peanut butter and jelly’s credit! That would mean less to worry about and more time to enjoy those ten sacks of flavor packed chips that I love so, so much!

1 comment:

  1. This is a great suggestion. During the three years that I was a caregiver for my dad, I usually paid for his purchases and had him reimburse me, but that's not a good system. Later he requested that I be added to his credit card account and be sent a card with my own name on it. That worked much better, but the MoneyPak sounds like a good solution, too, and one that would be helpful for college students as well.