How to Save Money Using Gift Cards

Since the recession and bad economy won’t let up, almost everyone has been looking for ways to cut their personal spending. Did you know that you could save some serious cash, just by using gift cards? Loading a gift card with money helps you control how much you spend. Likewise, buying a gift card that is not reloadable limits your spending automatically. Whether reloadable or not, gift cards can save your budget. Here’s how:

Step 1

Buy a gift card from a merchant where you purchase items regularly (let’s say Starbucks); note the date and the amount of the card on your calendar. By doing this, you’ll be able to see exactly how much money you’re spending on your frappucino habit — and how fast you spend it.

Step 2

Try to give gift cards as presents when possible. With this method of giving, you’re keeping yourself from overspending. $25 can quickly become $40 or $50 when buying merchandise — but it stays $25 when you buy a $25 gift card. You’ll also be spared the added cost of gift wrapping supplies and postage.

Step 3

Show your thoughtfulness with a gift card. If you think gift cards are impersonal or unimpressive, they don’t have to be! Grab a gift card to your loved one’s favorite store and your recipient will be delighted.

Step 4

Purchase a VISA gift card for yourself to use for online transactions. This will help you to avoid using your credit or debit card, reducing your vulnerability to identity theft. You can still take advantage of online-only sales using gift cards. Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target and other retailers offer special discounts online that are not available in stores.

Step 5

Keep a popular restaurant gift card in your wallet for emergencies. If you’re stranded in an airport or train station and short on cash, it could come in handy.

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