The Hello Bar is a simple notification bar that engages users and communicates a call to action.

The Splurging of Gift Cards :)

by J. Money on Monday, August 23, 2010

We finally did it! We used a good chunk of all those gift cards that were piling up over the years :)  I don’t know what got into us, but all of a sudden we REALLY got in the mood to shop.  And it felt GOOD!  (I seriously hadn’t been to a Target or TJ Maxx in months…some places since last xmas!!!)

Here is a nice collage of some of the things we bought, and some of the things we didn’t (can you guess which were the lucky winners?)

life list

I might have pronounced Spend Your Gift Cards Weekend 3 months ago, but when you’re not in the mood you’re not in the mood.  And you really don’t wanna be picking things up just for the sake of it (which is why we only bought 2 of those 7 items up there). In fact, one of these gift cards we used I had gotten 2 Summers ago! And even crazier, Mrs. Budgetsaresexy found one dating back to 2000 – a full TEN YEARS AGO!  Haha… Apparently some cards can’t expire in the great state of Maryland ;)

But not all states allow them to live, so if you’ve got a bunch of gift cards laying around, USE THEM before they go bad. Millions and millions of them go to waste each year (to the tune of 6.5 billion)  and it sucks for both you and the loved ones who offered these nice dollars to you.  Wouldn’t you be mad if your $20 went to waste cuz your friend was lazy/forgetful?  I would … so if I’ve given you any be sure to spend it! :)

You still might get Buyer’s Remorse (which sucks because it really is “free money”) but better to take advantage when you find something good. Just don’t forget to STOP once you’re on a roll! After 4 hours of shopping I started remembering how FUN it was…

PS: A tip for those who easily get addicted: Leave all credit cards and cash @ home and just go out with the gift cards. This will force you to come back even if you don’t want to!


{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Philip August 23, 2010 at 7:52 am

I bet you got the Bulova Watch and the awesome pig!

This is exactly why I refuse to give gift cards, I would give cash first.

Reply

2 Uncle El August 23, 2010 at 8:10 am

I will have to guess that you choose the addidas kicks and the misses got the bulova watch.

Reply

3 sarah August 23, 2010 at 8:44 am

I’m guessing the bedspread, because you mentioned that you used multiple coupons at Bed, Bath & Beyond… and then I am gonna guess the adidas. I am fairly certain, you restrained yourself from buying the Bulova watch (good job)!

Reply

4 Techbud August 23, 2010 at 9:44 am

I’m going with Skull shirt? and Pig. This way you can feel like a pirate when you save money matie!

Reply

5 momcents August 23, 2010 at 11:29 am

The problem that I run into is winding up with mostly used gift cards that have something like $4 left on them. I can’t bring myself to throw them out & they’re too small to head to the store with the specific purpose of using them. I’m left trying to remember them when I actually NEED something at the store. I think I need to take them out and tape them to my mirror or fridge or something.

Reply

6 Jenna August 23, 2010 at 1:36 pm

This is how I always feel during my birthday month, when you get all those gift cards from various companies that know when your birthday is. Awesome little gifts galore!

Reply

7 Kelsey August 23, 2010 at 1:42 pm

I had a giftcard weekend too! I got a groupon to Gap (which was really free, because I’m a groupon scout so I get credits), which allowed me to ‘spend’ $55, all for the cost of $5 (the groupon didn’t pay for tax). I also used a restaurant gift card, it was great!

Reply

8 Hank August 23, 2010 at 4:36 pm

The pig is awesome!

Reply

9 Jenna August 23, 2010 at 6:49 pm

@Kelsey – How do you become a Groupon scout?

Reply

10 Suba @ Wealth Informatics August 23, 2010 at 8:32 pm

I have the same problem as momcents. I have quite a few of these <$5 gift cards to expensive places. I still keep them around because… well.. it is $5 but I end up just storing them. Once in a while I go for a "cheap" shopping, to see if I can find something to buy with that gift card. Last year I just ended up giving a gift card with ~$2 to someone in the line behind me, atleast they could use it.

And I am going to go with the comforter set and the adidas.

Reply

11 J. Money August 23, 2010 at 11:02 pm

As much as I wanted ALL of those things (Esp that watch – it was on sale from $450 to $199!!!), I ended up with just the bedspread and the addidas. The two things we actually needed. Or at least kinda needed ;) That bag was pretty hot too – I’m 99.9% it was a chick’s bag, but man was that thing smooth to roll around. Looked like it could fit a lot in there too.

Some replies:

@Philip – I was tempted! Already have a similar watch though (blinged out, of course), and i don’t know where I’d put that pig… which is unfortunate because it only cost $10 bucks!
@Uncle El – Haha… that is a MAN’s watch! :) But you got half of it right.
@sarah – You know me well my friend ;)
@Techbud – Hahhaha… aye! nope. those skulls were actually really shiny pillows – pretty cool though. but the wife was NOT impressed by them.
@momcents – Ummmm… don’t you girls have purses? if I can keep them in a Money Clip you have no excuse! :) or you can put them in your glove compartment too.
@Jenna – Awesome little gifts, indeed!
@Kelsey – Ooooh very nice! I heard that Gap promo shut down Groupon for a bit too… was so popular it crashed the servers, right?
@Hank – If you lived closer i’d buy it for your birthday :) don’t think it would make it via the mail too well.
@Suba @ Wealth Informatics – You won!!!! Well done my friend.

Reply

12 Deanna August 24, 2010 at 5:47 pm

J. Money — What a fun idea? I have a ton of cards and am thinking of shoppig this weekend. Although many cards are for restaurants so free lunch and dinner may be added to the agenda. One idea to throw your way is to use gift cards for programs like layaway. If a Sears or Kmart gift card cross your desk, consider using it towards a bigger ticket item. Layaway allows you to pay over time without incurring finance charges. Easy to use and perfect for budgeting.

~ Deanna (on behalf of Sears/Kmart)

Reply

13 Kerry August 24, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Thanks again for posting that a while ago about checking our gift cards – I decided to ‘just do it’ and I found over $40 (which I thought were all $0 balance, of course!)

Reply

14 J. Money August 25, 2010 at 2:13 am

@Deanna – Layaway? Wow, haven’t heard that term in a while.. just for that I’ll leave your comment up even though you’re posting for a company ;) (and yes, you should try it!! it’s fun I promise – but only if you get things you actually need and not just to get rid of them.)
@Kerry – HAH! That is awesome. You should treat yourself to something nice that you’d normally not spend on yourself :)

Reply

15 Miss Jane August 27, 2010 at 12:36 pm

I want those skull pillows! :)

Reply

16 J. Money August 28, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Better hurry up and go to TJ Maxx then. Only $9.99 each ;)

Reply

17 Miss Jane August 30, 2010 at 10:40 am

Ha, I’ll just make my own! Saves me a couple bucks :)

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: