Gift Card Procrastination

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?

Image Credit: Pixabay

11 thoughts on “Gift Card Procrastination

  1. I put them in my car console! That way I always have them with me when i’m out, and since I put other things in there too (coffee stamp cards, spare mask, $20 emergency bill, favorite CDs), I’m always reminded of them when I peer in 🙂

    I also put any items I need to return or donate in my trunk as well, that way whenever my pea brain remembers when I’m out I already have everything with me!

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    1. That’s very organized! I’m always switching cars, especially in the summer … SUV, Jeep, and sports car. I guess if I pick one, at least I’ll be right 1/3rd of the time!

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  2. I keep an extra wallet in my car that has all my gift cards. That way i don’t have to carry them around in my wallet, but they’re easily accessible.

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    1. Are used to keep them in the consul of my SUV, but never thought about them when they were in there either! I didn’t want to leave them out where someone might see them. Now I’ve been switching cars a lot, I think I would always be in the wrong car!

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  3. One idea to use up the gift cards is to re-gift them. They are a great way to of giving to people in need, bonus points for prefect strangers. The random acts of kindness is good for the soul.

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    1. Great idea! Looking at mine today, I realize part of the problem with mine is they are partially used and I don’t always know what is left on them!

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  4. I usually have 1-2 in my homeoffice desk drawer. I manage to always forget about them. Eventually my wife comes across them and reminds me that I need to spend them before they expire. I should go look now and see what I have! Lol!

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    1. I have a Home Depot card that has “December 2010” written in Sharpie on the front. Eleven years!

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  5. We used to hole punch them and put them on a key ring. You can leave that by the door as a reminder when you are leaving or you can loop it onto something in your car where it is visible each time you drive.

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    1. That’s a good way to do it! I could put my CostCo card on there too. That’s another card I’m always forgetting!

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  6. I’ve got the same problem. I buy various giftcards on sale but am slow to spend them. Many are for restaurants that just havent been able to get to yet. Im not buying anymore until I get through what I have, which is quite a bit. Its good to save 10-20% but it does you no good if you forget about them, lose them, or they go out of business.

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