That way I am protected from spending that money on something else. If I was unsure of where I would buy an item, I would probably get a Visa gift card that could be used anywhere, or a prepaid card from my bank that has no activation fees.
Check your state laws first. In my state, Missouri, gift cards can not expire or be deducted from monthly. (In other states they can).
This is also a great way to save up for Christmas. You can either give the recipient the gift card, or spend it yourself on their gifts.
Store your gift cards in your safety deposit box so you don't loose them to theft or fire, or simply through being misplaced.
By Mom-from-missouri from NW Missouri
A friend of mine shops at the Target sales frequently. Quite often they have a sale where you get a $5 gift card for buying an item. Two years ago she started saving her gift cards in January. By December, she had enough saved to get her family an xBox 360 for less than $30 out of pocket! They never would have been able to afford one any other way! I thought this was a great idea, so I've been saving my own gift cards, instead of using them on my next purchase!
By lyonpridej from Oklahoma
If something more important comes up, such as a car repair bill or whatever, then I dip into that envelope and use that money and just keep saving till I have the amount I need. That way I don't have to dip into my savings account which is for big emergencies. This is only for "wants" that I do this, not for "needs." I feel it's very important to distinguish between the two.
Source: My mom and dad when I was very young.
By Kathy from Sylvania, OH
By Nancy K. from Elmira