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The Magic of Gift Cards

The holidays are quickly approaching and as you scramble to get your shopping done, you see that huge rack of assorted gift cards. You can practically buy a gift card for anything you could think of these days. They are great for that person you have no idea what to get for or that person who has everything. Have a picky teenager on your list? Get them a gift card! How about that best friend who changes her mind often? Gift card! These cards are a lifesaver and the perfect gift when you get stumped.

Now gifts cards are great as gifts for others, but why can't they also be used in other situations? Today I am going to give you other ideas for using gift cards outside of the holiday season.

#1 Saving Money:
  •  Eating out: Do you go out to lunch EVERYDAY at work? If you are trying to save some money, cutting back on eating out will save a lot. Buy yourself a gift card to the place you frequent the most in the amount of 1 meal and use it as a treat. You still get to pick the day you go out, but you will cut out 4 days saving you up to an average of $40 that week. 
  •  Coffee Fanatics: Do you frequent Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts to much? Buy yourself a gift card in the amount of 2 drinks that you love. This will allow you to still enjoy your favorite treat, but it becomes just that: A treat. It will save you cash in the pocketbook and cut down on the "crack" that coffee tends to become.
#2 Fitness:
  • Rewards: We all reward ourselves when we are on a fitness journey. When we hit those milestones its nice to buy ourselves something nice. Come up with an amount that works for you and when you meet that milestone use your gift card. It is a motivator without breaking the bank. 
  •  Treats: You are allowed to treat yourself to a not so healthy snack once in awhile. This is where the gift card comes in. Use it similar to the saving money category. Load enough on the card to buy 1 treat. You can do this weekly or monthly. Your choice. Either way it saves you money and calories!
#3 Kids:
  • Allowances: Money is fine, but kids sometimes are impulsive and buy things they don't need. Set them up with a gift card for something you know they want. This will help from frivolous spending and allow them to buy that item they really want.
#4 Online Shopping:
  • A reloadable visa/mastercard is great for online purchases. You can shop online and ease your mind knowing you aren't handing out your credit card information.
  • If you like to sign up for free offers or trials, it's a good idea to use a prepaid card so you don't get charged if you forget to cancel. I often use this option for my freebie addiction and I ALWAYS forget to cancel if I don't want to continue with the service. 
So there you have it. So many options to use a gift card outside of gift giving for others. What would you use them for? Leave me your ideas below!