Don’t Waste Those Gift Cards

Don’t Waste Those Gift Cards December 30, 2011

Since their invention, gift cards have been insanely popular Christmas gifts. Now that the holiday has ended, you’ve probably found yourself with a pile of gift cards waiting to be spent! There are movies to be seen, books to buy, meals to eat and so much more.

They make gift cards for everything!

Businesses love gift cards for two reasons:

  1. You may not use them. Millions of people never use gifts cards. They drop them in shoe boxes, leave them in the couch cushions, or just plan forget to use them when they’re at the store. Whatever the reason, these gift cards are never used so the business gets free money! They love when you give them free money.
  2. You’ll probably overspend. Have you ever had a purchase end up equaling exactly $25 dollars? Probably not. Taxes and ninety-nine cent pricing assures that. To use the entire gift card, you have to spend more than $25 dollars. Not only does the business get the gift card money, but they also get any extra money you spend. They love that!

There’s not much you can do about spending above the gift card money; try to limit it as much as possible. But we can do something about all the wasted gift cards.

Remembering Your Gift Cards

People don’t use gift cards because they forget about them. A good gift card is for something you don’t normally get to buy. For me, that’s movies theater gift cards. I love going to the movies; there’s an experience to the theater I can’t get anywhere else. But the prices keep me away most of the year. With a gift card, I get the experience of a movie theater without the bill.

But since I don’t go to the movies often, it’s sometimes months before I use a gift card. Sometimes I’m cleaning out a drawer when I find a gift card and realize it’s unused and over a year old!

To get over that, I’ve devised a few tricks to remind me I have money lying around waiting to be used:

  • Set them out. I put my gift cards on the table next to my bed. Having them somewhere you see regularly will keep them at the top of your mind. When you think of something you want to do, you’re more likely to remember you have a gift card for it. I also leave my wallet on this table and I’ll check the gift cards before I go shopping to make sure I don’t have one for where I’m going.
  • Plan an event. Since I rarely see movies, I plan a “movie day” to use my gift cards. I like to see a movie, grab some popcorn and sometimes eat out afterwards. I plan these nights around my gift cards.  Having gift cards eliminates spending stress and makes the day more fun. Since I’m married, this also makes for a great date night!
  • Leave them in your wallet. I take my wallet everywhere (doesn’t everyone?). For gift cards that I’ll use regularly (fast food, groceries, etc) I put them in my wallet. When I go to pay, I see the card and will use it instead of the cash. Don’t do this with special event gift cards. If you don’t use them of often enough, you’ll eventually overlook the cards in your wallet.

 Use Your Gift Cards

Like most gifts, gift cards are bought to be used. Wasting a gift card is the same as wasting a present. It’s even worse because an unused gift card is wasted money!

Instead of that mess, take these simple steps to remind yourself of all the opportunities waiting for you inside your gift cards.

What gift cards did you get this Christmas?

"Missoma Discount Codes Shop online for more luxury jewelry for less when you use Missoma ..."

What You Need to Know About ..."
"I love the fact that gift giving is really something you should think through. Giving ..."

Creative Giving Ideas: 10 Better Ways ..."
"The amount of people deducting tithes from their taxes has gone way down, due to ..."

Is it OK to Tithe With ..."
"church leaders want us to be rich it looks good for the sake of ..."

5 Wrong Reasons To Build Wealth ..."

Browse Our Archives

Close Ad