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gift card

Have you thought of asking for or giving a gift card recently?

“What would you like for your birthday?” Or how about, “Is there anything you would like for Christmas?” As I have gotten older, I have found these questions to be harder to answer over time. As a working adult, a lot of the time, I either budget when I know I want or need something, or I purchase it for myself because I have the funds and can do so. Gone are the days of the “Wish Book” where you spent hours and maybe even some days flipping through the pages starring, circling, or initialing the various items so your parents, I mean Santa, could bring you these valued treasures.

So as an adult, what are some beneficial items to ask for when you are posed with these questions?

My answer has quickly become “GIFT CARDS!”

Benefits of Gift Cards

I have found gift cards to become the guilt-free way to splurge and treat yourself. Especially as a mama, spending money on yourself for a coffee, a new shirt – just because, or even going and getting your hair cut or colored can throw “mom guilt” on you faster than a comment someone made on Facebook. I remember growing up asking my mom what she wanted for her birthday and she always came back with a nail gift card, to get her hair done, etc. And I remember thinking, “Really?”, but as a mom now, I 100% get it.

And even not being a mom, if you are trying to stay budget conscious, someone giving you “money” to spend on yourself, when you want to treat yourself, is a great way to stay within budget.

They are fast for someone to pick up, and they don’t have to spend hours trying to think of something to get you, or roaming stores looking for something that “looked like you”.

Gift cards are also easy to mail! Slip them into a card, add a stamp, and you are good to go!

Stigmas that can be associated with gift cards

Of course, with every good, there is a bad side to things depending on how you look at it.

Some people feel it is the “lazy way” to gift. Or that you did not put much thought or effort into that gift. And I can understand where this thought can come from, however, if it is what the person is asking for, you are actually giving them what they want.

And in my opinion, anytime you give someone a gift, there was thought behind it. The fact that you thought enough of that person to go out and get them something, meaning that you spent your own money on them, means you do care about them.

As my grandmother used to always say, a gift card spends the same way as if I were to spend it for you. This way I know you are getting something you truly want without putting pressure on you at the moment to think of things.

Restaurants, Fast Food, and Shopping cards all help you save on your budget!

Again, if you are trying to be budget conscious, and can’t think of anything that you want or need for your birthday/Christmas gift, think of places you like to eat at, grab food for lunch during the work week, roam the store smelling candles, or your favorite coffee place.

Those gift cards can let you “treat” yourself to things in your everyday budget without dipping into your budget!

I don’t have a coffee line in my budget. And a lot of the time, the only way I get it out and about is when I have a gift card for this exact purpose. Mainly because I don’t want to spend my budgeted money on coffee here and there, I’d rather save that $25 (or whatever you budget for it) for something else and apply that to my budget elsewhere.

I have learned to appreciate having a Subway or Jimmy Johns card in my wallet in case I forget to pack a lunch, don’t like the lunch I packed in the morning when I went to go eat it later in the day, or when I am out running errands, I can run into one of those places and not feel guilty for grabbing a quick lunch.

I know for some of our coaching clients we have suggested taking cash out to use for things like this so you have a “when I am out of cash for this specific line item, I am out” mentality, and this could be very similar to that philosophy.

Think outside of the box for your gift cards

Don’t limit yourself to just fast food, restaurants, or shopping places to ask for, or buy gift cards for someone.

Personally, I have asked for gift cards to “pamper” myself with for my birthday. So, if I want to go get my nails or a pedicure one day, I don’t feel bad making an appointment. Or I have asked for gift cards to the place I get my hair done. And for the ultimate pampering experience, ask for that massage! I just cashed in on one of my birthday massages I got last year for a prenatal massage about a month before my due date, and I could not have been more excited about that appointment!

For my husband, I have gifted him a glass-blowing experience and a session where you make your own pottery mug. Super fun experiences we get to have together, and a memento he/we get to keep after our outing.

And in turn, he has gifted me a card to a canvas site where I can download family photos to have printed off to hang in our house.

So next time you are asked, “What would you like for….”

Answer with a gift card!

And if you want to be intentional with what gift card someone gets you, put some thought into it and see what you would truly appreciate. This way you get what you are wanting in the end, and they feel they are getting you something you truly want too.

Or if you are getting one for someone else, again, think of how they spend their cash, or how they like to “treat” themselves, and treat them to their next experience!


November 17, 2022

Lindsey Curry

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