What did you buy this Christmas for that tween who acts and dresses like she is 25; or how about the teen that only speaks in monosyllables? I mean seriously how do you figure out what to buy for someone whose sole communication is limited to yes and no…mostly no? How about Sister June’s tots from Florida that you aren’t even sure if they are 6 or 9? We won’t even discuss Auntie Bertha from Phoenix who you haven’t seen since you were 6 or 9?
I bet you opted to buy a gift card. Consumer reports states that gift cards are the worst gift you could give. Why? Store cards don’t have fees like bankcards but they are sometimes inconvenient since you can only use them at that particular store. A huge percentage of cards remain unused moldering away in drawers and wallets and some simply forgotten.
Then we come to deciding which store to get that gift card from. Someone I know loved Bath and Body works and they received a gift card to Bed bath and beyond. Ok, both have the word, bath in their names, and they are both nice stores. It is just a minor mistake but Bed bath and beyond happened to be 40 miles further than the other store so, yes, it went unused.
While Cards from malls and those issued by banks like Mastercard, Visa, and American express seem like a good idea they come with purchase fees up front. In addition after a year of inactivity they subtract an amount every month so that a $25 card can become worthless in 10 months time! Lose that card and you will pay a hefty fee to get another or more commonly you are simply out of luck.
The Mall cards I’ve seen literally come with a huge booklet in tiny print of stipulations, rules and limitations. Personally I don’t even read the manuals that come with electronic equipment so I sure as heck am not going to spend my time reading that!
In conclusion if you want to give a gift to someone and you just don’t know what to get them, give them a check or cash. There are very creative ways to turn cash into a gift that keeps on giving. And if you get a gift card be sure to spend it--quickly!
There are lots of ideas to make money a gift in itself...search Pinterest for tons of ideas. This star tutorial is an easy one that you can make in any denomination...