first and foremost, i would like to apologize for not posting yesterday. i am still getting the hang of the daily posting gig, and also drank one too many bourbons after a particularly rough day and ended up face down on the couch at 8:30 instead of writing my post. i repent. also, i am hungover as hell today- so my body is repenting too. but on to the promised content!
so i am very proud to say that a year has come and gone, and i have not used my credit cards even once. i did have to borrow money from the boyfriend on a couple of occasions, and i did certainly have more than a few months of barely scraping by (including and especially this one), but it still feels like progress to me. am i delusional? is learning to control my finances a gradual evolution, or should i have figured my shit out by now? i worry that it’s like being an alcoholic, where i either need to quit cold turkey or never get better…
as usual, i still have dreams and hopes of getting a tighter grip on my money and finally making a bigger dent in my debt this year. i’m still way behind from xmas and more other random unexpected shit (burst pipe!), but i’ve started a new habit to help defray at least a little of any future emergency money madness: i have become a gift card hoarder.
usually after xmas, i take any gift cards i might have and rush my little ass to the mall and spend spend spend… but this year i promised myself that i would hold on to them for a bit and see what happened. i have also amassed a few more from rebates and online surveys (i’ve had great luck with these guys), and my cache is looking quite tidy (see above). here’s my master plan:
1. break glass on gift card hoard when i actually need something practical, but don’t have room for it in the budget (underwear! condoms! life saving medication!).
2. use gift cards when urge to shop becomes so overpowering that aneurysm (or possibly loss of bladder control) is a possible side effect.
3. use gift cards as gifts, or to buy other people gifts when unexpected birthdays, anniversaries, bar mitzvahs crop up (and the bastards ALWAYS DO).
4. use gift cards as rewards for debt payoff benchmarks. i’m $478 from being below $8,000 on my worst card, and a little celebration could be in order when i get there.
when i say it out loud, it seems like sort of a stupid tiny plan that can’t possibly have any real effect on my financial big picture… but that tidy little stack of cards is an asset (albeit a tiny one), and i need to figure out how to juice as much out of it as i possibly can.
any other creative ideas for gift cards out there? or what about places online to earn freebies?