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Blog: If Your Money Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy
Gift Cards...Perfect or Not So Perfect?



You're making your list and checking it twice and can't figure out what to buy that one that's not so nice. A gift card will make a great gift and give that picky one a lift.  Was that gift the right choice?  Let me lend you my opinion and voice.
 
Ok, that was just a fun introductory for one of those gifts that are so easy to buy and give and are usually readily received.  However, after watching a video on my bank's website it made me wonder.  The woman speaking talked about how gift cards are easily forgotten to be used by the recipient and if they are forgotten for an extended amount of time their value starts to decline or goes completely away after a certain date.  You also have to be aware of fees associated with the gift cards and be careful that a large retailer is not going to go out of business shortly after the holidays like many did last year.  Circuit City and some other big retailers went out of business shortly into this year.  That did not prevent them from selling gift cards that were absolutely useless after they closed their doors.  Make sure you look for lists that circulate around in December via e-mails regarding these types of issues.  I received one last year and it kept me from buying several gift cards from certain retailers.  I didn't know if I should actually believe the e-mail because it was hard to believe that some of the big retailers listed would actually be going belly up…they did! 
 
One thing I am doing this year is sending a "Wish List" text to family members for my family.  This helps others know what we would like or need and what gift cards we would LIKE to have and USE.  Also in these economic times it's nice to get things that are needed since they might not be able to be afforded on a tight budget.  Something, as small as a $5 coffee house gift card, can be a great gift and very usable to someone who enjoys a small treat once in a while. 
 
So bottom line…gift cards can be a great gift, but be a cautious consumer and cautious of the recipient whether they use their gift or just forget about it.  Usually if they request a gift card they have intentions to use them, otherwise ask them what they would prefer…a wrapped gift or a gift they can treat themselves with later. 
 
Happy Shopping,
Triste
 

posted on: 11/18/2009 11:30:00 AM by Triste Horrell
category: Finances


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If Your Money Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy


by Triste Horrell

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About Triste:

Being an organizing expert makes one want to be a "showroom" in all areas of life. However reality can hit hard when you're a mother of small children and a military wife and own an organzing business. Of course Triste would like to have a picture perfect Better Home and an even Better Garden. Throw a Pottery Barn in the backyard for exceptional creative time to become the wiz-woman for all the ideas and inventions that the world could not live without. But Triste has settled on the fact of telling herself "I can be perfect in my mind and no one can mess up my space there!" In reality Triste is very self-motivated and has true business accomplishments like having SYSTEMIZE since 1997, the first home and business organizing firm in the state of South Carolina. She has been repeatedly recognized in her Greenville, SC area for her organizing expertise and makeovers on local NBC and FOX news, Greenville News, local magazines such as Greenville Magazine and Upstate Parent and NPR radio. She has turned people's lives around by focusing on what she calls the "four building blocks of being organized" consisting of space, time, financial and personal. This is even represented in her business logo. "That's what I'm in business for, turning people's lives around!" Also applying her popular 3 Steps to Systemize have not only organized her clients but KEPT them organized for years.

Triste's Website:

www.systemize4u.com


Downtime Activities

  • Reading Magazines
  • Spending time at our cottage
  • Keeping our Westie pretty
  • Putting tealights around after the kids are in bed
  • Adventures with my awesome hubby
  • Making microwave smores...just for me
    1 graham cracker, broken in half 1 small piece of chocolate 1 big marshmellow On one side of cracker put piece of chocolate and marshmellow on top. Place in microwave and heat for approx. 17 seconds (while cooking replace marshmellow on top of chocolate if needed). Put other half of cracker on top, eat and enjoy and watch out for oozing chocolate!

My Organizing Tool-Box

  • Time - Outlook
    This is a great way to keep papers off the desk and track where you need to go, task list, jot down quick notes on the virtual "post-its, keep up with contacts in the virtual Rolodex
  • Personal Finances - Quicken
    This simple yet practical program keeps your bank accounts in tact...did I mention simple?!
  • Business Finances - QuickBooks
    I have used this program for years and have set many clients up on it. It is a must for keeping track of business transactions and keeping tax time easy...push a few buttons and out come the reports, your done and your tax preparer loves you.
  • Space - turntables
    I love these things! You can put them in cabinets, the fridge, garage, and closets. They are inexpensive, easy to find and available at any discount store and you can even find fancier ones. If you are not sure what they are, they are the white (or other fancier kinds) and spin around like a lazy susan, you can have a single or double-tier one for spices.
  • Personal - Magazines and Internet
    I love to look at magazines and the internet for good articles on personal development, pictures for decorating inspiration and fun projects to do with my family. I keep my magazine subscriptions to a minimum (3) so I can read them and enjoy each one. I look for things on some of my favorite websites for whatever fancies me at that time.
  • Online Recipe Boxes
    Use these on some of your favorite websites, bring the laptop into the kitchen while the recipe is up and you never have to have the paper clutter. One of my and my husbands favorites is Williams-Sonoma.


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