Is it easier to save money or to spend money? When I was younger, I enjoyed saving money. If I rec. a gift of money, the money went into my bank account. At some point, when someone gave me money I felt that it was neccessary to explain what I used the money for. Not sure when this happened. I know my Uncle got tired of hearing that I put the money into the bank. He started getting me gift certificates for a particular clothes store.
There is a huge amount of gift cards that went unredeemed last year. This year, I tried not to contribute to that by giving people cash or checks rather than gift cards.
1) Gifts of cash -put the money into the bank rather than spending it right away.
The problem that I have had with giving cash in the past is that I figured that it would not be used for something special. Ladies and gentlemen, I am now over that concern. If someone needs the cash to buy dinner for the next night that is great. I don't care if they bought gas or used it to go out to dinner.
2) Don't save gift cards for special things
In the past I have saved gift cards for that perfect thing. Now if I make a purchase at a store and have a gift card, I use it for the purchase even if it is for something as simple as socks or a DVD for my kids.
3) Why do we need to justify that we bought this great thing with our giftcards? It would be nice but in reality we need trash bags and cat food.
4) My husband and I both rec. universal type gift cards this year. I used mine towards buying groceries. I had the gift card and our next purchase was food. Yes, I could have saved it for something great but that is not what I needed.