(US-based question)

I currently give cash to several people on a regular basis: small cash gifts to help out unemployed relatives, tutors for my child, neighbors' children doing some yard work, and so on. The amounts range from $20 to $100/week. Is there a way to fully automate this?


  1. Recipient can easily access funds (withdraw cash at an ATM or pay for purchases anywhere a regular debit or credit card is accepted)
  2. Recipient cannot overspend (if I give them $50/week, they cannot spend more than that)
  3. Funds are automatically loaded from my bank account
  4. Low upfront or monthly fees and no hidden fees (inactivity fees, low balance fees, etc)

To remain practical, the solution must not add the burden of income/payroll taxes and/or reporting to tax/labor authorities (as compared to cash - I am well aware that tax and labor laws apply to cash so let's not belabor that).

Thanks in advance for your help!

  • 1
    Why not use PayPal or Venmo or cash app or something like that? – quid May 4 at 3:55
  • 1
    What @quid said, and Zelle. – TTT May 4 at 8:15
  • @quid do those let you make automatically reoccurring payments to individuals? I thought that only worked for established organisations. – Vality May 4 at 18:36
  • There are several debit card products that are marketed as for use by minor children in this way. – spuck May 4 at 23:08
  • 1
    @spuck - Those cards are atrocious. I did try the one that comes up first if you search for "debit card for kids". First, they advertise automated weekly allowance but you have to manually transfer the money from your actual bank account, which negates the whole point. Then, my kid was never able to spend the money, not even once - there was always some security issue that required an hour on hold with customer service to authorize the payment. This is true for all these cards if you read the fine print and the reviews. – RADA 2 days ago

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