Monday, January 19, 2015

My annual gift card lament

I am not a fan of gift cards.  I was also the kid who wasn't a fan of cash gifts.  For me...and this isn't a bash on people who don't think this is a cop out.  I think if you want to get someone a gift, then get them a GIFT.  By giving cash (or the equivalent), it just seems like the giver doesn't want to take the time to figure out a gift that the receiver would like, or is taking the easy way out.

This is just me.  I know that lots of you LOVE gift cards.

My only exception to the rule is when the giver knows that you are saving up for a major expense, and wants to contribute to the cause (but I don't support when brides and grooms specifically ask for a contribution to their for it yourself!)

I could go on and on about this...

However, the biggest problem with gift cards, for me, is spending them on ME.  I know that is what the giver intended...go by MYSELF something.  I usually don't.  I usually save them until the kids need something, the house needs something.  This usually results in feeling like *I* didn't get a gift (even though I know this is totally in my control).  It is a difficult cycle.

My BFF doesn't understand this at all.  She has NO problem buying stuff for herself!  LOL  She is also very don't get me wrong that I am implying that she is selfish.  But if she gets a GC...she runs right out and buys herself whatever it is she wants.

I am currently in possession of the following: 
  • $50 VISA 
  • $50 Amazon
  • $40 Target
  • $25 Kohls
And I don't know what to do with them.  The VISA might get saved for some new spring clothes.  The Amazon might go to a Fitbit Zip.  Or I might buy stuff for the new house....

I could get super creative and use all but the Kohls card for groceries or bills.

First world problems...

What do YOU do with gift cards???  Spend them on yourself...someone else?  Sell them on line? 


  1. I find it convenient to keep a list of stuff that I need and want. A lot of the stuff on my list is house-related, or at least kitchen-related but I like to spend time in the kitchen and like it even more the better the equipment I have (not the more equipment, mind you, just better, like really good knives for example) so it definitely counts as "for me". I find this list really handy for those times when people want to know what I'd like as a present or for when I get a gift voucher or, rarely, unexpected cash from somewhere. No worrying about whether I'm wasting money because I can go back to my list and see if I still want xyz and know that I'm getting something I really want.
    Having just had a big birthday a couple of months ago, I was getting sick of people asking what I wanted so I put a few of the things on my list into an amazon wishlist and sent that to everyone. I got, drum roll please, NONE of the things on my list. Actually, one person who came to the second party I had last weekend for those who couldn't travel to the first one did get me a book that I'd put on that list. And my sister bought me the rubber thimbles I had on it for xmas. And although I got lots of lovely presents there were a few that I just wouldn't have bothered with - and honestly, even some of the very nice ones I could live without. Makes me feel very ungrateful but I am trying so hard to not bring new clutter into the house that really, yeah, at this stage I have no problem with getting gift cards instead of presents. I do also find gift cards sometimes convenient for buying presents for other people - that can really help my budget, too.

    1. No one asked what I wanted...and that has been my typical experience. I just get a GC because the person felt that giving a gift was socially responsible and it was easy.

      I know it sounds ungrateful. But I really don't like them...

  2. I like you usually spend then on someone else. But I don't mind gift cards.

    1. Using them on someone else defeats the whole purpose. I really don't like them. ...I feel like it is more work than it is worth.

  3. I dislike gift cards too, and for the same reasons. I only got one for Christmas, a $25 Amazon. I spent it on a new set of glasses for the kitchen. Sigh.

  4. Love gift cards! lol! If you don't like them, gift them onwards. Then you'll save yourself some money when you need to buy gifts in the future.
    As for do I spend them on myself, all depends on what's needed at the time. Sometimes on myself, other times on the kids. :)

  5. I can always find something I like.I love receiving gift cards. If they were gifts for you, get yourself something nice.

  6. I try and make it a point to use gift cards for myself. I used to be awful about it but I'm much better now. It's not always easy but I try to frame it as an adventure. I got a $50 Macy's card and was only able to spend $30 on myself. I was tempted to go spend the extra $20 on anyone else in my family but I've been good and held on to it for a future trip.
    Amazon gift cards are easier for me to spend on myself because of my Wishlist there.