Wednesday, April 30, 2008

wfmw: a new use for gift cards

I have been dying to post this idea of mine for months now. However, usually by the time I remember it's Wednesday, the list over at Rocks in my Dryer is well over 200 and I don't see the point of getting lost among an enormous crowd. However this week I think I caught it early enough . . . .

With summer right around the corner and the idea of having my children home all day long, I've been trying to come up with ways to keep them occupied. Now, I don't know about you whenever I ask my kids what they'd like to do, it's usually something to do with bowling, mini golf, or the movies. Basically, they are the normal "nothing to do in their own backyard" type.

Well, I don't know if you've noticed but even bowling is rather expensive now. Taking this little family of four out for a movie easily costs us $50-$60, not to mention the gas to get there.

The worst part about all of this is, given all of our schedules, when we finally realize we'll all be home together and free for long enough to partake in such an event, it's usually too late to budget such an expense. Meaning that if we choose to do something fun as a family, we'll be eating baked beans and veggie dogs all week long to make up for it.

So, after many a Saturdays of wishing I would have scheduled better, I came up with an idea.

Gift Cards!!

They are in every supermarket now. Cards for the movies, a million different restaurants, toy stores, the bigger arcade/golf places, even Bush Gardens. So, now what I'll do, is when I have a little money left over from the weekly grocery budget, I'll pick up a gift card or two, depending on how much I have left, it could be a $5 gift card to Blockbuster (perfect for a movie night at home), or a $20 gift card to Barnes and Noble. Doesn't matter what it is, just something that I know the kids will enjoy. That way, when the situation arises when we're all sitting around wishing there was money in the budget to do something besides the beach or the local park, we go on over to the trusty gift card book and let that plan our day for us.

Oh, and as an aside, the gift card idea works really well for home improvement projects, vacations, and other stuff too.

For more ideas head on over to Rocks in my Dryer.


Marie said...

Here are a couple tips for you:

1. Shannon actually posts her WFMW linky Tuesday night. If you want to be a lower number on the list, post then.

2. A lot of radio stations have deals with local businesses to make a limited number of gift cards available for half price. Just look at the websites for your local stations to see if any of them do this. They usually make them available at a certain time on a certain dady of the week. My station in FL usually sold out within the first ten minutes, the one here in NM can take a day or two.

Austin said...

Great little post. I'm glad you're so excited about gift cards. I work for a company that manages and tracks gift cards, and we blog on about gift card issues and other related topics. Before purchasing all your gift cards, consider this: Last year $100B was spent on gift cards, and $8B was lost. Just be careful, and make sure you keep track of your gift cards, because most them either expire, or get lost!

Linds said...

Good idea and a great way to help the budget!

Liz said...

that's a fabulous idea. glad you didn't wait to post it! :) nice to "meet" you

a Tonggu Momma said...

I think this is a brilliant idea! What a wonderful budgeting tip.