It's easy to spend other people's money, right? Well, it should be — so why do I have such a hard time? And by other people's money — I mean gift cards. Lots of gift cards.
For years, I would carry stacks of them around with me on shopping trips. I actually hoarded them. How did I get so many? My family lives on the East Coast, and they all give me gift certificates so I can buy what I'd like and not have to worry about returns. For my friends out here, gift cards are also the way to go because they think I am hard to buy for. Who me?
I loved the endless possibilities of what I could do with all my cards. I could dream about buying a Phillip Lim dress. Or a pair of Lanvin ballet flats. It was the gift that kept on giving, because I always thought about what I COULD buy with them, but when it came to actually using them — I rarely did. It's like I was paralyzed because it needed to be THE perfect purchase.
But then the reality of a bad economy hit. Not long after my baby girl received some gift cards from Babystyle I found out the company had filed for bankruptcy and was going out of business. They would not honor gift cards. I felt so guilty that my friends hard-earned cash was now going to go to waste.
So I made it my mission to use up all my gift cards, merchandise credit, etc. that had been gathering dust. That might seem easy… but it wasn't. While I loved using my numerous Saks gift cards to buy $700 Jimmy Choo snakeskin sandals that I wouldn't have otherwise purchased, there were a few places that try as I might - I couldn't find anything that I wanted. And maybe I never would. Even for free. So I kind of just burned off those gift cards buying something practical. Getting SOMETHING is better than being empty handed I figured.
I have now used up all my gift cards. Did I get the perfect purchase every time? No, but somehow I feel like a weight has been lifted. I don't feel guilty about NOT spending other people's money. I feel free.
On May 20th Kérastase (a celeb fave) is inviting consumers to come in to get complimentary in-salon treatments and blow outs at participating Kérastase Consultant Salons throughout the country. A perfect treat during this trying economy. Go to www.kerastase-usa.com to find participating salons.