Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Stop waiting and use your stuff before it expires!

I recently was trying to get stuff organized and in sorting through everything found the following items, all of which were expired:

  • Several high value coupons, including a few free item coupons
  • A $15 facebook ads credit
  • A coupon for a $20 Target gift card for completing a baby registry (which I did)
  • A $25 cash card from Huggies Enjoy the Ride (Oh the pain! The shame!)

It made me literally sick to my stomach to essentially throw away over $45 just because of my procrastination and lack of organization. In truth I knew I had the cash card, but didn't realize it had an expiration date on it and was saving it. Why was I saving something that could essentially be used as cash for any of my everyday purchases? Partly because it's a pain to use, but really mostly because it was something I had won, and so I wanted to use it for something special for me. So I waited just long enough to not be able to use it on anything.

There is surely a lesson to be learned from this. Keep track of what you have by going through things regularly instead of twice a year. Check gift cards and coupons for expiration dates immediately and make little reminders for yourself if those dates are short. But mostly... stop waiting. There will never be a perfect moment to use something, so take the plunge and just use it while it's still good. You'll get your value and save yourself this sick feeling.


tehnyit said...

That is very good advice. The same would go for food as well, especially fresh food like milk, bread, fruit etc. If it gets thrown in the bin, you might as well take the cash from your wallet and drop them into the bin as well, same effect.

Granny Sue said...

Agreed; we get too busy to pay attention. I am still learning how to shop and cook for two. It can be helpful to have leftovers, but not things that get tossed because they get too old.

About paying bill automatically--I like it and do it for some bills, but others will take out the money as much as two weeks before the due date, so they get the advantage of having your money instead of you. That, I don't like. I prefer to set up due dates myself. However, many places are now charging a fee if you pay by mail! My car insurance adds $3 to the bill if I mail in my payment. I don't think access to my bank account should be their right; it's a courtesy I can extend if I want to.

FindSavings said...

Oh, do I hate when I find out about coupons or gift cards I "put away". I do with rebates too...although I have gotten much better now.

Dave Drew said...

I agree. It's like letting vegetable go bad and you have to throw them out. I think it's about getting in touch with that inner voice that tells us what to do. We always know what we need to do, but we ignore that inner voice for some reason. Save the money.

Dave Drew
Money Saving Author