Tuesday, January 10, 2012

To Splurge or Save.

Gift cards are such a great thing to receive. The possibilities of what to do with them are endless and shopping with "free money" is one of the most fun things in the world! Some think that they are an impersonal gift, but I sure don't. I love them. What better thing to give someone when you just don't know WHAT to get them, you know?

But y'all. Oh, friends. Husby and I have completely different opinions when it comes to gift cards.

Especially Target gift cards.

In my mind, it's to buy fun stuff. Things that we wouldn't usually buy with our regular budget. It's extra! It's for funzies! Splurges! Shopping sprees! I buy things with gift cards that I would surpass if shopping with regular money.

Husby likes to use it for necessities. For toothpaste and groceries and Tide and paper towels. Ya know, things that we actually NEED. Boooooring! He views it as us being able to save the money that we would typically spend on those things and having a free grocery bill for that week.

I would rather pretend we didn't have a gift card, spend regular money on groceries and have lots of fun extra stuff that we bought with the gift card. Makes perfect sense in my mind! Hey, we may be without deodorant, but by golly we have that heart shaped pink cake pan! ;-)

With me being more of the saver of the family (I still have money I was gifted with LAST Christmas), this is quite a funny little conversation that we go 'round and 'round with when we do in fact, have a gift card. It's a total role reversal, and it makes me laugh!

What do you do with your gift cards? How do you view the "free money"?


(* There is still time to enter yesterday's giveaway! Winner announced tomorrow.)

42 comments:

  1. I am with you. A gift card is a bonus! Also, I would be offended if I got someone a gift card and it went into general revenue and was used for groceries or boring things. Who wants to gift someone groceries?

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  2. Gift cards aren't my fav because of this very reason. I like the idea of using them to save money, but that IS boring. But then I I feel wasteful using it on frivolous things because hey, I coulda saved money on toothpaste. Last year for my birthday my BF got me a gift card with specific requirements that I only spend it on fun things. So I guess overall, my BF and I have the opposite roles of you and your husby.

    Btw, are you going to post a picture of your 'surprise slippers' from Levi? I bet they are adorable!

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  3. LOL I am the same as your hubby, and my husband is the same as you! LOL We usually use it for boring things though, since our budget is so tight right now. But he would love to buy fun stuff with it! :)

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  5. I am with your husband on this one. If we get gift cards to practical places we use it on things we need so we can save our real money. I love gift cards. I got one to Costco this year and used it on groceries. I am a saver though so if I can save money I usually will.

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  6. One of my camp buddies said it best: "Gift Cards are a License To Shop!!! From the second I realized where this post was going I knew you and I would be on the same page. I went to Target yesterday saw all the Valentine's stuff. It just made me so happy. :)

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  7. Gift cards are definitely to be used for splurges I think. I always try to think of what the giver of the gift card intended. If they wanted me to have $50 cash, they would've just given it to me. But they didn't-- they gave me a gift card to a specific store so I could buy something fun!

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  8. I am with you, but I've done it husby's way too. I always want to splurge on those "I'd never buy that for myself" sort of things.

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  9. We are more like you and use gift cards and Christmas money to buy things we typically wouldn't buy with our money. It's like getting bonus money and being able to buy something you want, but isn't in the budget. Have fun with the gift cards no matter how you decide to use them.

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  10. You said it best! I am with you! Spend it on extra fun items. Enjoy them - that is what the giver wanted you to do when they gave them to you!

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  11. I LOVE gift cards. Especially to Target! My husband has zero opinion, and since I am mainly responsible for our finances, I split my vote with you and husby. I generally will spend about half the gift card on something we need, and half on something we (I) want.

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  12. Im with you. When someone gives me a gift card its fun stuff. I budget it groceries, but the 2 amazing rugs pier one had on sale last week didn't make it, but then there was that gift card :)

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  13. My husband and I are the exact opposite with gift cards! Unless they were given to me for a specific item, I would definitely use them for necessities and maybe a few fun items, but he would want to spend it ALL on fun stuff! But, I think it also depends on what your finances look like. We're living off of one income and are really trying to scrimp where we can and I think gift cards are the perfect way to help there! Maybe when we're out of this stage of life, my view on gift cards will change!

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  14. I guess it depends on what the gift card was given for. If we got it as a gift for a baby, then I would probably use it for good use. If one of the kids or I got it as a birthday gift, then its a splurge! But I'm practical at heart, so my splurges are things like nicer clothes than usual or a latte at Starbucks :)

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  15. My husband and I are a little of both and pretty much always agree on gift card use. If money is super tight, we use them to help out with the budget and necessities. If things aren't so tight, we use them on fun extras that we would've never bought with our own money. This way we really get the best use out of the gift and know the giver would approve. =)

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  16. I always splurge! Gifts should be used for fun things only!

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  17. I wouldn't buy anything that was frivolous, but I would spend it on something less mundane than toothpaste ect.

    For instance, the left speaker on my computer is broken, so I would go out and buy some nice speakers for myself. That way I get the "thrill" of buying something new but I don't waste the money.

    Every year for Christmas my parents would get a house gift. Something big that we all had to share like a TV, so that's probably where I get that habit.

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  18. I guess I'm a little of both. I like to use them on something we've been needing but haven't purchased yet because the price is a bit steep. So I guess I usually use the cards towards something. That might be a good compromise for you both. Or just split it 50/50, and use half for toothpaste and the other half for fun stuff. :)

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  19. On principal, I prefer to view gift cards as free money to use on something fun. However, in practice, I find myself using them to supplement regular purchases.

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  20. FUN Stuff! Hello? Tell D it's a present so it should be fun!!!

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  21. I would definitely buy fun things, that I wouldn't normally buy, with a gift card. Think of it this way: You ARE essentially still saving money, because at least you're not buying the heart shaped cake pan with your real money!!

    That's how I think of it, anyway :).

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  22. To me, the key word is GIFT card. If someone would normally buy you toilet paper as a gift, then go for it. Otherwise, buy a gift! Something fun! That is free fun money, and sometimes I feel guilty if I buy something normal because I know the person who gave it to me wanted it be something fun and extra. (-:

    ~K

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  23. Gift cards are for fun! Sorry husby. Whitney is right on this one.

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  24. For funzies, for sure. ;) Like a previous commenter said... it is in the place of a GIFT! :)

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  25. i am exactly like your husband, and my husband is like you! lol! i use it for groceries, UNLESS its at a store where you can only get fun things, then of course i am all about that, but if its to target or walmart....necessities!

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  26. This is why I always tell people NO Target or Wal-Mart gift cards, because in order to "save" some money I'll use a gift card for toiletries and cleaning supplies. If I have enough left over I will pick up something fun, but usually I don't have any left over :\

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  27. I am with your hubby; I used my Christmas gift cards for things that we needed at the grocery store.....I actually enjoy it more when the bank I have groceries, formula & diapers & the bank account doesn't reflect it :)

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  28. My husband and I usually lean to the more rational side of things and tend to talk ourselves out of "fun" purchases to save the money, however, I think if someone gives you a gift card, it is to buy something fun! They could have bought you toothpaste, deodorant and toilet paper but they didn't, they wanted you to buy a fun thing that you WANT! :)

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  29. I'm with you...gift card is bonus for something you wouldn't normally buy for yourself...because that's what a gift is! People don't buy you groceries for Christmas! But my hubby is just like yours. Case in point: we were each given $50 cash for Christmas by his grandparents. When I was heading out for my big "restock after travel" grocery trip last week, he gave me his cash to spend. I was like, "Um...I hope you don't think I'm going to contribute my $50 to the pot, because I've got plans for that money, and it doesn't involve canned goods!" :)

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  30. I like to use it for fun things! Or at least something I kind of need, that is also fun. I agree with someone before who said that they could have just bought you toothpaste and paper towels. It's more fun to tell the person who gave it to you that you got some really cute melamine plates at Target (see something fun AND useful).

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  31. I think I side with your husband. I've even been known to buy birthday gifts for other people with my giftcards. Sometimes for the very person who gave me the giftcard! Awful, I know!

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  32. I am totally with you. Gift cards are for fun stuff not boring groceries. I do the exact same thing and save them for the good stuff!

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  33. I'm sort of lame and I just use it on whatever we need. TP, soap, etc.

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  34. I am half and half. If there is something that I've been wanting and I get a gift card to that place - I'll buy it. If I get a gift card somewhere that there isn't anything in particular I want I'll use it for things I "need" if nothing else.

    But I'm all about the "funzie slurges!!" :)

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  35. We usually buy fun stuff with them since the people gifting them to us wouldn't have purchased groceries for our gift in the first place. ;) I see his point though. Sometimes we combine our gift cards that are to the same places and buy something big together. One year, we bought a TV, for example. Kind of a need/want thing.

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  36. I would love to be able to buy any thing I fancied with a gift card...but all too often it goes to the essentials to make the budget stretch. My husband it more like you though and would love to just shop away with the cards :) He has taught me to laugh and let go a bit.

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  37. It definitely depends on our budget and how low we are on funds that month. Most of the time it is spent on necessities (b/c it's necessary ... LOL), but I love to shop for fun stuff when I can. I told Curt (& I think I told D too) that I'm buying you guys gift cards from now on. That is, unless I find something that I KNOW you want/love. I loved how your face lit up when you opened your Hobby Lobby card. I wished I had bought you more. If I bought you gift cards to places that only had fun stuff (or the theater or a restaurant), I'd know you'd only use it for something really enjoyable. How's that?

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  38. Haha! Target gift card = free groceries to me ... but it may mean I throw in a couple things I wouldn't have gotten otherwise (like a shirt). :)

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  39. They're called "gift cards" for a reason. To be used to buy a "gift" for yourself instead of someone buying it for you.

    In that context, how happy would your Husby be if he opened a Christmas present that contained toothpaste, paper towels,toilet paper and a few cans of corn?

    I rest my case.

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  40. i am so like you. i too still have my money from last christmas. and yes gift cards are for fun splurges. there are times where i have to keep myself from using them on practical things and the same with my christmas money. i feel like that is too treat myself to something fun that i wouldn't get regularly.

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  41. Gift cards are 100% for splurges! Unless, of course, you don't have any money and you need milk... then, thank God for the gift card and go get yourself some milk.

    My husband and I are exactly the same as you guys on this one. I insist gift cards are used for fun, and he'll buy paper towels with it.

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  42. Just received a cheque for $500.

    Many times people don't believe me when I tell them about how much you can make by taking paid surveys from home...

    So I show them a video of myself getting paid over $500 for doing paid surveys to finally set the record straight.

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May the Lord bless you and keep you safe today! Thanks for the comment, friends! :)

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