Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission at no expense to you. Affiliate links are marked with the asterisks (*)
You got some gift cards as gifts over Christmas or for a birthday. Make sure you use your gift cards immediately to get the most out of them.
January is a hard time of the year. We’ve used up a lot of extra money on Christmas gifts and dinner parties. This is a time of year when we want to cut back on our spending, making it a great time to use your gift cards.
If you want to add humor to your gift-giving without spending too much, find Funny Gift Ideas that bring laughter without straining your budget.
Your gift cards are going to get you the items that you want without spending extra money. Why not use them? For some people, it’s going to be money for a meal out with a spouse. For others, it will be money toward the furniture that you want to add to your home. Either way, it’s free money to you and it’s a great time to use it when you’re already strapped for cash in your budget*.
But this isn’t the only reason to use your gift cards right away. It’s all about inflation.
Inflation means you need to use your gift cards now
Inflation is leading to a rise in cost of everything. Your gift cards are like cash. They don’t earn any extra money in interest, so the value of the card will end up going down. This may only be by a few dollars, but that soon adds up.
The sooner you use the gift cards the better. You’ll get the most value for the money that the person giving you the card put on. If you get a $100 gift card, you can get that $100. If you leave it to the end of the year, inflation could lead to the card only getting you $95 depending on how things go. The cost of items go up, so your cash doesn’t go as far.
You don’t know how long a store will be open
There have been a lot of stores closing in recent years. And these are big names. Bed Bath & Beyond closed down all physical stores in Canada, and the local Mastermind Toys shut down and no gift cards are accepted now. This makes the gift cards useless. That money on them is lost.
So, you’ll want to use the cards as soon as possible. Make the most of the money while you have it.
There is the risk that you end up using the money on something that you don’t really want or need. It is still important to spend the cards wisely. However, the benefit with the gift cards is that you can get the items that you want without worrying about having the budget in your account*.
If the store shuts down unexpectedly—and it can happen—you end up losing out on the money completely.
Personally, I don’t buy gift cards for anyone. That money tends to just sit in a wallet or in a drawer and people forget about them. I’d rather give people the item that they want instead. However, I’ve had plenty of gift cards over the years, and I always make sure I use them immediately.
Did you get gift cards for Christmas? What are you spending your gift cards on? Share your thoughts in the comments below.