Sunday, June 10, 2012

Looking for extra $$ this summer? Check your gift cards

I have a stash of gift cards in the side pocket of my purse. I don't track how much is left on each card very well.  The other day, I was too tired to do much of anything, but still wanting to be productive. So, I got out my stack of cards (including all the ones that belong to my kids) and went online to find all their balances.  I put a little sticky note on each card, indicating the remaining balance and the family member's name.

Glad I did this -- we have a few hundred spread out over various gift cards. This summer, when we're looking for a way to pay for some summer fun, we can use some of these gift cards.

Granted, some of the gift cards are for stores/places that don't exactly spell summer fun. I have an accounting method for extracting the value out of each gift card to use somewhere else. (You probably do this, too.) I simply use one of those gift cards for a needed purchase, like a gift, or some other items that I likely could not buy at a discount elsewhere. Then I transfer the money that I would've spent in cash for that item, out of its designated budget, and into the budget category of my choosing (for us, being for our summer fun).

Although those cards belonged to us all this time, it feels like found money. And the bonus -- my purse is a lot cleaner!

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