National Use Your Gift Card Day reminds Americans to use the $1 billion in gift cards left unused each year. On the third Saturday in January, take stock of the gift cards you received over the holidays. Make the most of each one of them before they’re forgotten for good!
We all do it. Stash away gift cards thinking we will have more time later to use them. They collect dust and disappear into an abyss somewhere. We discover them as we clean and often don’t remember how much was on the card or if we used a portion of it. Those partial balances add up, too! The first step is to collect the cards together and see what you have. You know where to look.
- Every pocket of every purse and wallet you have
- The infamous junk drawer
- Glove compartment of the car
- Bottom of the toy box (it may have been used to scrape goo off a toy)
- The other junk drawer
- A gift bag with the tissue paper still in it
- The toolbox (we know what happens when a flathead screwdriver can’t be found)
Once you have your gift cards, get organized. Where do the gift cards work? Restaurants, retail, and services all offer gift cards. Some gift cards are designed to be used just about anywhere.
Maximizing Your Gift
- Check for deals to maximize your gift cards. In most cases, gift cards work just like cash and can be used with coupons. There are exceptions, however, so it’s always good to check first.
- Is the card to a place you don’t shop? You have a few options:
- See if the card is good at a companion location
- Check to see if the gift card can be cashed out
- Have a gift card swap party or sell your gift card for cash
- Donate your gift card to a charity fundraiser like a silent auction
- Plan to overspend the amount of the gift card to avoid having small balances lying around. Even if you add a small useful item (lip balm is always handy) to go a penny over the amount, you’ll be able to hand the card over to the retailer to recycle the card.
HOW TO OBSERVE #UseYourGiftCardDay
Collect your gift cards. It’s time to use them. Don’t let them sit for a year and risk losing your gift altogether. Maximize your gift cards with deals and get the most out of your gift cards, too. Have a shopping spree or a spa day with your gift cards. Don’t let those gifts and savings pass you by! Use #UseYourGiftCardDay to share on social media.
NATIONAL USE YOUR GIFT CARD DAY HISTORY
Tilson PR founded National Use Your Gift Card Day in 2020 to make sure everyone gets the most out of their gift cards. Leave no gift card unturned and find tips, ideas, and deals by visiting useyourgiftcard.com, too.
Happy New Year! If your bleary eyed and looking for Asprin, that was an energetic whisper instead of a yell…
Well 2020 is officially here. Now if I can just train myself to write that year, on important things like billing, receipts and checks. If you haven’t adjusted your organizer, calendars, and yearly to-do lists, it’s a good day to spend quietly preparing to rejoin the world. (If you’re lucky enough to have time off to do so.)
First make it a point if you’re not totally digital to transfer any dates, notes, or important information to this tears planner. Sync the digital, worlds of desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile so you have your information handy. You should do a complete backup of your contacts, calendars, and any other vital information.
For digital media burn real back up disks. I know, it sounds old fashioned today, but that thumb drive, external hard drive, micro sd card can all be wiped out. The wrong delete command can undo all your hard work. What would you do if you lost all those irreplacable photos?
Ok, like most of us I have cloud storage. So why do I need to do anything physical like a real disk? Cloud storage has gotten better but, experts still agree if you go with this method, you need more than one. A physical disk also lets me keep my private files…Private!
Data breaches happen all the time. Google, Banks, Stores where we shop, they appear in the news all the time. Sensitive information like credit cards, financial records, taxes, contacts, and any photos, you don’t want out there don’t store it anywhere that has network access. Yes, it makes it easier for you to get to your files but internet security is really only good until the next hacker breaks it. Do you really want to learn through social media that “That” photo is out there. With identity theft rates going higher, do not want to take chances with your sensitive information?
Staying on Track
As a blogger, and in charge of the family finances, I safeguard this information. I use a variety of both physical and virtual tools to make my life easier. To keep my days on track and remember appointments I still use a paper planner. Everything from holidays, birthdays, and planning for both my family and my blog go here. I find it easier to stay focused, complete tasks in a timely manner and use things like alarms on my phone for special reminders.
Outside of that and a secret stash of sensitive login information I’m fully digital. We use app named Prism to keep track of paydays, bills, credit cards and so on. It let’s me track and make payments easily with an easy to understand interface that covers everything. It reminds me when the water payment is due. Keeps my bank balance, tells me the car insurance is next week and keeps up with my automatic payments. With bank-level security and automatic locking features even if I lose my phone no one else can get in.
Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.
WikipediaDate: Wednesday, December 25, 2019
TrendingCelebrations: Gift-giving, family and other social gatherings, symbolic decoration, feasting etc Significance: Commemoration of the Nativity of Jesus Observances: Church servicesAlso called: Noël, Nativity, XmasObserved by: Christians, many non-Christians
As we celebrate this Festive holiday(s), we remember that not everyone can be home. A special seasons greetings to our Deployed military and families, first responders and those whose job keeps them away from their family. We are truly thankful for the job you do. So to our first responders let’s hope it’s a Silent Night. For our troops, no creature us storing not even a mouse. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.
There are two kinds of people who venture out for Black Friday. The first is the ultimate bargain hunter. Then there are those who are going out for the fun of it. Both have different styles and goals in mind. Which ever you are here are some great tips, even if you are in an in between category.
Is it worth it? My retailers have given up the holiday of Thanksgiving itself. The practice started as retailers began to compete. Every year the store opening and crazy deals have gotten earlier in an effort to beat out their competition. Several years ago some started at 6am. Now they’ve backed into Thanksgiving Day itself. I worked these crazy schedules for years. I can vividly remember my first Black Friday morning. When pulling into my mall and seeing the lines stretched around the buildings in the freezing weather.
Opening the doors has to be done with great care to avoid being trampled. As I was behind a vast counter, I’ve never been so thankful for the two feet separating them from me. One year they even had a stampeding hoard going up the escalators behind me. I’ve seen the news reports of violence and thought wow I’m glad i don’t live there. Then people did it in my store over $15 toasters.
I decided upon witnessing this i would never need a toaster it waffle iron that much. The danger is just not worth saving $5.00. While I did work this for many years, I’m thankful I’m not giving up my family time anymore.
As you venture out this shopping weekend please remember to be patient, kind, and respectful to the retail personnel who work so hard for you. Many have to now completely give up their family Thanksgiving to be here and ready for your shopping pleasure. Here are my insider tips after so many years behind the counter.
Do you really need it on Thanksgiving Day? While fun, you give up that precious time with your family. Those moments once gone can never be reclaimed. Like several of my close family, and indeed myself coming to close to having no more of those moments I appreciate them more profoundly. I remember my dad’s smiles and hugs, his military service humor. The warmth is given to each other as we spend a relaxed afternoon sharing stories, memories, food, and catching up on experiences. So decide if you really want to give that up.
- If you are venturing out have a game plan. You should rank items in terms of importance.
- Divide and conquer- Go as a group. It adds to both the fun and makes it easier to find and get what you want.
- Coupons and deals – Make sure you know the store policies on both the deals and coupons. If you find them in the sales ad or online read the fine print. Some cannot be used until after a certain time or even date. Lots of retailers give out coupons at the door Thursday/Friday for Saturday and Sunday. Knowing this in advance makes it easier to both budget and keep transactions smooth in the stores.
Coffee, Coffee, Coffee!For most this is a beverage we use to kickstart our days. If this sounds like you make sure you have some both before venturing out and throughout the day. Being tired or exhausted lead to shorter tempers and less patience. On this day your experience will prove much more pleasant if you have these qualities in abundance.Limited Quantities – The deals you see can only be anticipated to a certain extent by retailers. It is also a gamble on their part. They have to bet on what items you will buy. This represents a good amount of money invested to have an item in stock at your local store. Some items can have the special pricing locked in by order that day. Keep in mind the clerk in front of you in all likelihood had no part in those decisions. As they also do not have the final say in some policies. Knowing this will help you make choices on these items. It will also keep lines moving so the people behind you will stay happier.
For most this is a beverage we use to kickstart our days. If this sounds like you make sure you have some both before venturing out and throughout the day. Being tired or exhausted lead to shorter tempers and less patience. On this day your experience will prove much more pleasant if you have these qualities in abundance.Limited Quantities – The deals you see can only be anticipated to a certain extent by retailers. It is also a gamble on their part. They have to bet on what items you will buy. This represents a good amount of money invested to have an item in stock at your local store. Some items can have the special pricing locked in by order that day. Keep in mind the clerk in front of you in all likelihood had no part in those decisions. As they also do not have the final say in some policies. Knowing this will help you make choices on these items. It will also keep lines moving so the people behind you will stay happier.
Where ever your adventure takes you make sure to bring your smile, your patience, and anything you need such as credit card, photo ID, cell phone charger, phone, and any apps you may need to keep it fun.