Why You Should Shop with Gift Cards

You’re trying to save money.

You want to stretch your dollar and make the most out of the money you already have.

Trust us, we get it.

You also don’t want to have to give up everything you enjoy in the process (and you shouldn’t have to). You even want to have money for a few extras or to save for a big vacation. You want to have your cake and eat it too.

Impossible? Not if you use a little shopping trick most people don’t even think about—shop with gift cards.

shop with gift cards

Wait…shop with gift cards?

Yes, gift cards. It’s time to rethink gift cards from a “I don’t know what to get them ” gift to a wonderful card full of endless possibilities and money saving magic.

It’s time to start buying gift cards for yourself.

Buying gift cards for yourself to save money is the latest trend in the gift card market and it’s growing like crazy. In fact, more and more Millennials and young moms are buying themselves gift cards, instead of sending them as gifts.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: why would I buy myself a Whole Foods gift card when I could just go to Whole Foods and, you know, use my credit card?

Simple. Buying gift cards can save you money. A lot of money.

Money saving gift card magic

It’s Sunday afternoon and every person in town is at Costco buying massive packs of paper towels and giant bags of chips. You’re navigating your overflowing shopping cart through the overcrowded aisles and eating the samples you don’t have to wait in line for along the way. Somewhere between the produce and the pajamas you see a small stand full of cardboard cut outs.

These are money saving gift cards.

Hmm, get $100 to your favorite restaurant for $80, get 20% off your next trip to the movies, or even a spa day at 30% off. You were planning on going to the movies next week anyway. And you sure do like the Dijon salmon at that restaurant. But $100 seems like a lot…then again, you do have $60 worth of paper towels in your cart.

Maybe buying that gift card isn’t such a bad idea after all. Maybe it’s just the ticket to treat yourself and save money.

Money saving gift cards are a relatively new concept in North America—though Costco has had them for years, but not marketed them as “gift cards”—that’s a win for merchants and consumers. Places like Costco buy gift cards in bulk at a lower rate. They then sell those gift cards to consumers. You save money and the merchant guarantees a sale and gets money in their pocket. And since gift cards really sell themselves, Costco doesn’t have to do anything more than give them some floor space.

It’s a beautiful thing.

The whole money saving gift card market in North America grew 24% between 2017 and 2018. And you can see why, gift cards just make sense for saving money.

Think of buying gift cards as the ultimate life hack. If someone told you they would trade you $20 for $30, it would be a no brainer, right?

That’s what we’re doing at Moola. We’re taking your $20 and giving you $30 in return.

You’re welcome.

Budgeting with gift cards

Getting deals on gift cards helps you stretch your dollar, but they can also help you stick to a budget too.

Let me paint a picture for you.

You want to cut down on your latte habit. You buy yourself a $75 gift card to Starbucks at the beginning of the month and that will be your budget for the month. Of course, you only paid $50 for it because you got it at a great price from Moola.

As the month goes on, you see your gift card funds start to dwindle. At $17, you start to slow your spending. Maybe you don’t need that lemon pound cake with your coffee this morning. Perhaps we skip the mocha Frappuccino and opt for a simple blonde roast instead. By the 27th, you’re at $0.57—not even enough for a cake pop.

What do you do?

Add more money to your gift card? Use the balance and pay the rest?

Nothing. You forget about your card until next month and drink the coffee at your office.

You exercise self-discipline and will-power and you save yourself from spending another $15 that month on something you don’t really need (I’m sorry for personally victimizing you, Starbucks drinkers. I too love a good PSL).

10% of Canadians use gift cards as a budgeting tool to help manage their spending on small purchases. It’s hard to keep track of how much coffee you spend on a credit card or cash. But with a gift card? It’s no problem at all.

Gift cards help you budget by making you (painfully) aware of just how much you spend at a single place. Think of it as the cooler, younger cousin to envelope budgeting, without the hassle of juggling envelopes and carrying insane amounts of cash.

It’s really the future of budgeting.

It Pays to Plan

Here’s another scenario where gift cards could be your saving grace.

You’re going to dinner on Friday night for a friend’s birthday and you promised to cover drinks. You know your portion of the bill is going to be well over $100, so you log in to Moola to see if there’s a gift card for the restaurant before you go.

Would you look at that, there is!

You buy a $100 gift card for $90 and pat yourself on the back for saving money. When you use your gift card at the dinner, everybody asks you about the app you’re using and you are now officially the coolest person at the party and everyone loves you.

Or not, I don’t know.

The point is, changing the way you do this one thing in your life will save you money in the long run. Not to mention, it encourages planning and organization in your life. And really, who doesn’t need a bit more of that, right?

Keep yourself safe

Cash is vulnerable.

It can easily fall from your pocket or get swiped from your wallet if you’re not looking. I mean, how many times have you found money on the ground in an excited frenzy? Great for you, not so great for the person who lost it.

Digital gift cards are like cash, but easier to keep track of. You can store them securely on your phone too, giving you one less thing to keep track of in your daily life.

If you use Moola, your gift cards are even securely backed up to the cloud for you. If you lose your phone, you can just download Moola and all your gift card are right there.

Gift cards are the answer

Life is expensive and we’re all trying to save money. Let’s reduce unnecessary struggle in our lives by saving money whenever we can.

Give buying gift cards a shot. Moola has gift cards to a lot of the places you’re already planning on going to and you can save money with very little effort. We like things that involve very little effort.

Plan where you’re going to go.

Buy a gift card at a lower price.

Don’t spend over your card.

Save hundreds of dollars a year.

Convinced yet?

Give Moola a try for free.