I know people think giving gift cards or money is impersonal, or whatever weird idea has been perpetuated by society, but let me tell you right now that gift cards are the best!! Honestly, gift cards are what kept me fed at some points throughout college. Unlike cash, gift cards are really just free money. Anytime I get cash, I feel that I should be responsible and use it for bills or maybe save and invest it. But with gift cards, you can only use them at a specific store or restaurant. But what do I do with gift cards I get instead of just blowing them all the day after Christmas? 

Stash them away

We all have those weeks where we have two dollars to our names after we pay rent, bills, and insurance. All we can eat is an egg over some rice while school or work is stressing us out. And the only boost of serotonin we want is an order of large fries or a cup of coffee from Starbucks or whatever your guilty pleasure may be. 

Keep your gift cards for those moments. The moments that you are helplessly broke and you want food you can’t afford. Have I spent my last few dollars on Taco Bell before? Yes, but the guilt I felt immediately after eating there was twofold. One from the shame that comes with eating Taco Bell at 2 am, and two comes from sitting in your car feeling greasy and disgusting and now broke. Don’t feel more broke than you have, and save your gift cards. 

Use them for wardrobe changes

I’ve gotten a point in my life where I have to wear some professional-looking clothes once in a while. Maybe not so much during the pandemic, but eventually, things will return to normal, and I will have to look nice when meeting potential donors. But professional clothes are not cheap, and I have a weird body so I have to get some things tailored. I can buy the nicest clothes but if they don’t fit right then what’s the point? 

Anytime I get a gift card to a clothing store, I like to save them for clothes I might need for a job interview or work-related things. Trust me; you’ll thank me later. 

Be a responsible adult

Sometimes we get really lucky and we get the holy grail of gift cards, the ever-coveted Visa Gift Card. This is just digital cash, and it is a godsend because you can use them for bills. Could you imagine not having to pay your electric bill from your own money for a month or two? Just the mere idea of it gives me goosebumps. My mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas this year, and I told her money for bills or rent. Honestly, if someone could pay my rent for one month, I would be so happy, but with Visa Gift Cards, they can help out with it twenty-five dollars at a time. 

Use them for gaming

I play video games, as do a lot of people, so when I get a gift card for Playstation or Steam, I am so thankful. Video games are expensive, and I want to play so many different ones that I just can’t afford to keep buying them on top of having to buy for online subscriptions like Playstation Plus. And this year, with the release of the next gen consoles, we have even less money for video games. It’s an expensive hobby, and helping a gamer you may know by gifting them twenty dollars towards gaming, will mean the world to them. 

Gift cards can be a great gift, and if they are something you are asking for, make sure to tell people where to buy them. Last thing you want is a gift card to a place you don’t eat or a place you don’t shop. I know it can seem a little pushy, but if you ask for gift cards for Christmas, give your family a list of places that way you get what you want and they don’t have to guess. Just remember not to blow them all in a week.   

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