Monday, August 18, 2008

Feathering the Nest

This past weekend my Mom and I returned all my duplicate wedding presents; used the gift card money to buy the stuff I really wanted but didn’t get. However, it seems that in my zeal to complete the bed of my dreams, I spent more than the amount on my gift card.

See I really love downy duvets- so cuddly, so soft, and so warm. This was great when I was in NorCal and the nights actually made frost on the lawn, but in LA that doesn’t often happen. While I think it’s tolerable and worth the coziness factor, my husband doesn’t.

So I found the lightest weight down insert and bought it even though it was over the gift card amount. While I was fully aware of this at the time of purchase, I’m still holding on to my receipt in case this guilt gets any worse (or it’s too hot for the hubby’s comfort).

What my husband doesn’t understand is why I didn’t get cash back for these returned gifts. I explained that since I didn’t have receipts (these were wedding presents) that it was store policy to give back store credit on a gift card.

He looked exasperated and said, “But then you have to spend that money back at that store!”

I’m thinking- well duh. Why would they give you back your money so that you could spend it elsewhere?

While this was the only store I overspent my gift card it made me think: how often do I spend under a gift card amount?

Normally, it makes sense to me to spend the whole gift card and maybe a couple dollars over. That way I come away from a store with two sweaters, three t-shirts, and a pair of flats all for only $6.29 of my own money! While I’m a fairly prudent purchaser and probably would have made those purchases without the gift card, this made me think: do I spend more when the money is in the form of a gift card?

The answer for me is probably yes. It’s always easier for me to spend someone else’s money than my own. How about you? Do you spend more money or in a less sensible manner with gift cards?


Anonymous said...

I had to ditch my down comforter when I moved as well. It was so hot!

I too spend less carefully with gift cards. It is hard not to.

R.A. said...

My husband and I came up with a nice way to look at gift cards...we go to the store and find something we like, as close to the amount as we can, without getting crazy and going over...then we checkout and offer the remaining $2-3 to someone in line...the smile we get is worth the couple dollars lost on it, the couple we'd spend over the gift card amount trying to use it, or the holding onto the card and trying to remember to use it at a later date.

So Cal Savvy said...

I love R.A.'s idea- I'll try it and let everyone know how it went!