Among the financial tasks I never seem to get to dealing with is a fun one: spending gift cards that I’ve thoughtfully been given.
I heard on the news the other day that half of Americans have unspent gift cards at home – averaging $116. I’m part of that group, although I would guess I have more $$$ tied up than the average.
Many of them I spend right away, but some of them sit for a while. I know I have at least one gift card for the Barnes & Noble book store (which I am usually pretty good about using when I get them). I have a couple from Home Depot I keep forgetting about (although I could use some new open-ended wrenches). And, I probably have 3-4 other gift cards stored away that I can’t even remember what they are.
Most of the issue is ‘out of sight, out of mind’ for me. I have one basket that I keep them all in, but I don’t look in it often enough to recall what I have. As a result, I often will go to a store I have a gift card for, but don’t have the gift card with me.
I like to keep a ‘thin’ wallet without a lot of cards in it, but maybe I should carry at least 1-2 gift cards with me until they are all cashed out. At the rate big retailers have gone bankrupt lately, I’m probably risking a few becoming worthless.
How do you manage gift cards?
Do you save them or spend them?
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