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Get ahead with gift cards

January 4, 2012

The age old debate… 

1. Spend time searching out or making a gift that is meaningful, personal, and priceless.

2. Or get them a gift card.

Gift cards are awesome.  Maybe they don’t have the personal touch that other gifts might, but I still love them.  I love that I have the freedom to buy what I want, when I want.  I love that I don’t have to hurt anyone’s feelings by returning that ugly shirt they gave me.  I love that I can go out to dinner and order the big steak.  I love being able to shop online knowing what I buy will not come out of my budget.

But here’s the challenge.  It’s a new year.  Maybe you’ve decided to be a wise steward and stick to your budget.  Maybe this will be the year you actually make a budget.  Maybe you’ll reach your savings goal.  There’s no better month to get ahead than in January.  Instead of using your gift cards for “extra” stuff, why not use your gift cards to supplement your budget:

  • If you have a $200 dining out budget and $50 Darden or Outback gift card – lower the budget to $150 for January.
  • If you received Target or Visa gift cards, still buy something for yourself, but use it to help supplement your grocery budget for this month.

Listen, the first two months of the year are built to help you succeed at reaching your financial goals!  You have all this motivation from the new year, you have gift cards, and next month, you’ll have your tax return!  With some discipline and a little planning, you can begin 2012 like a financial genius!

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