Thursday, October 31, 2019

How to Use Gift Cards to Prepare Your Budget

The vast majority of us have a budget to follow based on our income, our expenses, and our needs or desires. What if gift cards were the perfect solution to respect your budget?

General Budget Planning

First, at the top of the budget list is the rent and recurring bills like electricity or internet, then there are all the other necessary expenses. Here we’re talking about groceries, gas, health and beauty products, etc. All these expenses are non-negotiable and many of us already know how much we spend on them. FundScrip has many retailers in these categories, such as Metro, Sobeys, Loblaws, Pharmaprix, Brunet, Esso, Petro-Canada, and many more.

After the necessities, we have all the non-essential expenses like going out to restaurants, or the morning coffee (although some might call it a necessity), entertainment, sports and leisure, travel, etc. After you’ve established your ''necessities'' budget, you’ll know how much you have left over to spend on these little extras.

Consult FundScrip’s complete list of retailers.

Gift Cards as a Budgeting Aid

So, why are gift cards the perfect solution to assist you in following your budget? It’s simple, when buying gift cards from retailers where you shop regularly for your monthly necessities, you automatically know how much money you have on the cards, and you won’t be able to spend more than the amount on the cards. When the cards are empty, you’ll know how much you’ve spent, and will remember not to spend more. It‘s a sure-fire way to spend the exact amount you planned to spend on each category!

It can also be useful to give gift cards to your kids or teens instead of cash, because you know that they won’t be able to spend the money anywhere other than at the retailer you selected. Also, it will familiarize them with the notion of budgeting and monitoring their expenses.

Tip: Use our Excel budgeting spreadsheet to inspire you to build your monthly budget with the help of gift cards.

Also, don’t forget the most important part - when you use gift cards for your recurring expenses, you’ll raise funds at the same time without changing any of your shopping habits. Talk about killing two birds with one stone!