Mad Money Machine

Hosted by Paul Boyer

Gift Cards

We have a stack of gift cards. Literally, a stack. I used to carry them around in my wallet so that in the event we were out and about and happened to stop at one of those stores, I’d have the card with me. But my wallet got so thick with these things that it became difficult to fit into my back pocket. So I moved them to the glove compartment. Today we had an opportunity to use a couple of them. First, dinner at Panera Bread. I actually had *two* cards for them. So I asked the cashier how much was on each. The first one had about three dollars. The other one was filled up with $25. Our order came to only $19 though, so I am still stuck with a card with nine bucks on it. Next up a visit to Trader Joe’s grocery store. I figured that the card for them was also $25 so I wanted to go in and pick up about $25 worth of stuff. As it turned out, we loaded up the cart with over $75 worth of stuff and I ended up having to pay to get out of the place.

That’s kinda the idea behind gift cards, isn’t it? You are always going to spend an amount in excess of what is on the card. So the next time we want to use up our Panera Bread card with only $9 on it, we will end up paying another $10 out of our pocket.

I personally don’t like these gift cards. I prefer coins or Federal Reserve Notes. Doesn’t matter the denomination. Dimes, quarters, dollars. These are gifts that don’t depend upon any specific store remaining in business. If giving money as a gift is too crass, then a candle will do. Please don’t buy the overpriced Yankee Candles either.

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Sat, January 10 2009 » Blog, Tips

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