Sometimes, it is incredibly easy for me to get off track with our budget. If I am not careful, I can easily find myself needing budget help myself. When that happens – and yes, I can admit that it does happen – I have a go to method using discount gift cards for helping myself get things back on track that may surprise you. In fact, this has become one of my favorite ways to save money.
Believe it or not, I discovered that using gift cards can not only help me waste less money, but for those who are having trouble staying on budget, it can help with that too.
Surprised? If you’re having the same reaction that I did, you’ll have a light bulb moment here in a few.
How to Use Gift Cards When You Need Budget Help
The reasoning behind it is pretty simple. When you receive each paycheck, pay your regular bills first.
Then, buy gift cards for the things that are not regular bills. These can include things such as gasoline, groceries, clothing and so on.
When you go to the store or wherever, don’t take any cash or cards with you except for the one for the business you’re visiting.
If you only have a specific amount of money to spend, you can’t overspend.
Buying Discount Gift Cards to Use for Budget Help
It sounds like a pretty good idea, doesn’t it? I think it does, but it gets better.
Not only can the spending limits imposed by using gift cards be the budgeting help you need, but they can also help you save money.
By making sure you buy your gift cards at discount prices if possible. Even if you only save $4 or $5 each time you purchase that gift card, you’ll save hundreds each year.
Places to get discount gift cards
- Raise.com – Raise offers discount gift cards for thousands of stores.If you are new to Raise, click HERE to check it out and use Raise.com coupon code 40RAISEAF at checkout. It will save you $10 on a $40 order.
- InstaGC – InstaGC doesn’t sell gift cards, but you can earn gift cards to hundreds of places for free. Sign up HERE and you’ll get 10 points free to get you started. You can cash your points out instantly once you reach 100.
- Swagbucks – Like InstaGC, you can also earn free gift cards with Swagbucks. Sign up for a Swagbucks account HERE and you’ll see how easy it is to earn free gift cards. This is one of my favorite sites that helps me save money.
- Ebay – Ebay is another great place to buy discount gift cards. They are especially good deals around the holidays.
Using Grocery Store Programs With Your Gift Cards
It isn’t just the money you save purchasing the gift card that can help either. It can help you save in other areas of your budget too.
For instance, I often shop for groceries at Kroger so this means I need to buy a Kroger gift card.
Often, Kroger will offer 4 x’s the fuel points for select gift cards.
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If I buy my gift cards there, I get the extra fuel points which in turn saves me per gallon on gas. I have paid as low as $1.53 per gallon combining this and my regular deals to get fuel points.
Building a Buffer with Gift Cards
Finally, gift cards give you the option to do something we should all be doing, very easily.
Build a buffer.
It can be hard to give yourself a little wiggle room when all your cash goes right out the window.
Instead, take $5 or $10 extra each week (or whatever you can spare) and start adding it to your gift cards. Don’t spend the extra.
Eventually you will have a buffer built up in case of an emergency. This is a great way to help prepare your budget for a financial crisis.
If something happens and you don’t have the money for something one week or month, your buffer will allow you to still have what you need without having to struggle to find the money in your budget.