Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
COMPANY CULTURE / FEB. 03, 2015
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How Indebted Consumers Can Use Gift Cards Creatively

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Gift cards are popular gift-giving ideas, whether it’s for coffee, clothing, electronics or food. Financial experts and retail professionals often espouse the benefits of gift cards versus buying presents because it allows the individual to choose what they want themselves. It also allows the shopper to stay within their budget.

So as for those gift cards from Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Amazon and Lands End pile up, perhaps you can begin using them for a wide variety of different things, including buying stuff, regifting them or trading them with friends and family members. You would be surprised to know that gift cards can be used for more than just shopping.

If you’re unsure what to do with those gift cards you received in December then here are six things you can do with those cards today: 

1. Sell 

Did you just realize that you have a massive credit card bill, and you need some cash to help pay off a significant chunk of it? Well, perhaps you can go on Craig’s List or other websites to sell those gift cards. If you have a dozen or so gift cards sitting in your drawer that are worth $50 a piece then this could be the lifeline to help cover your exponential Christmas shopping.

2. Pay Bills (if applicable) 

Rent, utilities, credit cards and car payments are due, and you may be short of money this time around. If you received a pre-paid debit or credit card then you can use this available money to help pay those bills. Sure, you’ve earned a day of splurging on yourself with those gift cards, but you can be in financial straits if you start falling behind.

3. Donate 

The holidays are over, but you’re still grateful for everything you received for Christmas and everything you currently have (a good job, a loving family and a great residence). Why not donate these gift cards to the struggling individuals in your life or to a random stranger on the street? It may be a lot more fun to buy stuff for yourself, but donating these cards could be just as exhilarating.

4. Re-gift 

Is a birthday coming up? What about an anniversary? A good solution to gift-giving at these events is to re-gift those gift cards, but be sure that the stores for the gift cards are places the recipient likes. A child wouldn’t want a gift card to Home Depot, nor would a senior want a gift card for Forever 21. 

5. Treat Others 

You have a $50 gift card to Tim Horton’s or Starbucks. This would allow you the opportunity to take some of your friends or family members out for coffee and catch up. Or, if you have a $100 gift card to Old Navy, you could have a day out for just shopping for you and your friends. Who wouldn’t want this? 

6. Self-indulge 

At the end of it all, you can just simply splurge on yourself and buy things you normally wouldn’t. Sure, donating or treating others can be rather virtuous, but purchasing clothes, food or electronics for yourself can be quite the delight and an experience you rarely have throughout the year. 

Gift cards are a very good choice for so many people. It buys goods and services, it fits in a wallet and it is versatile. There are various uses for gift cards, particularly for when the holiday season is finished. Whether you’re deeply in debt, or you want to thank someone for their kindness, a gift card is beneficial.

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