For the longest time, whenever I received a gift card as a present in a greeting card, I always “saved the card” so I wouldn’t lose the gift card. Then I had all these piles of greeting cards in different places, some in my desk, some in my bedside table, and some in the living room. I never had a good system. I was constantly trying to remember what stores I had gift cards to and over the years would end up paying at a store that I had a gift card for, simply because I couldn’t find it somewhere in my house, in the original greeting card it came in. Today’s Helpful Hump-Day Hint will help you organize your gift cards so you can locate them easily and save money!
Here is my Gift Card Drawer. It is a small drawer located in an antique hutch that I have in my living room, right at the front door. It’s perfect because it is small, so I don’t put anything else in this drawer (except my Christmas money envelope.) Now whenever anyone in our family receives a gift card, it goes directly in the drawer. Yes, I have a lot of gift cards! It is something my family gives each other, because let’s face it, no one really needs more stuff. If I see a gift that jumps out at me as something a friend or family member would love, I’ll buy it. If not, it’s a gift card that I know they will use when they need something. The best part about the gift card drawer is it’s location to the front door. I walk by it every time I leave the house to shop. I grab my purse and keys, look through the gift card drawer to see if I have any for the stores I am going to and I’m off – and saving money.
Sometimes I try to make different piles, but I admit, this does not always stay organized. If we are saving up for a project in the house, we will keep track of Home Depot cards and regular Visa gift cards so we know how much we have to spend on supplies for the project. Other than that, it’s like Christmas morning in the drawer!
Once I use a gift card, if the balance is zero, I always ask the cashier to throw the card away for me. I’m not a “reloader.” I never do it and I hate having cards that I am not sure if they don’t have any money on it. If there is a balance, I write the amount on the back of the card with a sharpie or a ball point pen. Sometimes it is hard to write on the card, then I use a small post-it note. If I get more than two uses out of a card, I keep crossing off the balance and writing the new one directly on the card or use a new post-it. Each time I get home, the card goes back in the drawer. Sometimes this is an end of the week ritual, emptying my wallet and putting cards back.
How do you organize your gift cards? Do you have a system in place that works for you? Leave me a comment and let me know. Thanks for reading!