Financial Challenge #4: The Gift Card Challenge

Financial Challenge Series:

We are so excited to present to you our 2018 Financial Challenge Series! Each month, one of our employees will complete a financial challenge and then blog about it right here on our Blue Chip FCU News Blog! Be sure to let us know your favorite challenges, suggest future challenges and share your own challenge results! This month’s challenge:

Financial Challenge #4: Gifts that shouldn’t last a lifetime… The Gift Card Challenge

What is it: The gift card challenge requires the participant to go through any gift cards they may be stashing away before spending money on groceries, date nights and shopping. This is an easy challenge that only requires a little attention to save a lot of money.

How long did we do it: We did the gift card challenge for 1 week.

Here’s how it went…

Gift cards are fantastic gifts that we all love to receive, but… if you are anything like us, we stash them away and end up just forgetting about them. In our goal to save money, but still enjoy life, we were trying to come up with a fun date night out. Doing the gift card challenge, I immediately went to my stash of gift cards and found a Regal Cinema’s card! WIN! After calling to check the balance, I realized there was enough for 2 tickets and a little left over for snacks. Date night done right and inexpensively!

If you don’t have any gift cards… we have a solution! Check out your credit card or airline rewards points. Many times you can redeem those rewards for gift cards to your favorite store. Last year at Christmas time, we redeemed points for a $200 gift card to use for Christmas shopping. If you don’t have a rewards credit card, you can sign up for our BCFCU VISA Credit Card today!

Pro’s List

  • It’s easy: This challenge doesn’t require a lot of time or planning. It’s all about remembering where you stashed those gift cards and planning your spending around the free money available to you.
  • It adds up: If you are anything like us, you probably have a drawer full of gift cards with free money just waiting for you to use. We just did the challenge for one weekend, but if you have a lot of gift cards, this is an opportunity to save money multiple weeks by utilizing those cards. We saved over $25 on our date night!
  • New Adventures: Does your gift card stash consist of restaurants and stores you aren’t familiar with? GREAT! This is an opportunity to try new things and maybe find your new favorite store or restaurant. And you saved money on the experience. We have a friend who used her gift cards to plan out date nights for her husband for a full year and presented them as his Christmas gift. What a clever way to use the money available to you and have a great time.

Con’s List

  • Overspending: In order to actually save money, you have to avoid overspending even with a gift card. Call and check the balance of the card before heading out. If this is a new restaurant/store, be sure to check menu/retail prices online. That way you know what to expect and can be prepared if you need to spend in addition to your gift card.


Is this Right for you?

Absolutely! This is a challenge where everyone can be successful! Have fun and remember to use those gift cards.