15 November 2007

Stockpile gift cards for the new baby's arrival

Here's how Ana saved up for her baby's arrival:

When we were expecting our first child, we knew we had to get prepared, but there's always that apprehension of getting too prepared in case something changes at the last minute.  So, instead of stocking up on diapers, clothing and other small supplies, we decided to stock up on gift cards to our favorite stores.

Each week, we purchased a $20 gift card at one of these stores (sometimes 2 stores when we had the funds in the budget).  When our son finally arrived, we then knew what size clothing and diapers to get and had plenty of funds to buy what we needed and also weren't stuck with items we couldn't use.

So, why gift cards instead of just stashing the money away?  For us it was less tempting to dip into the funds when it was locked up in gift cards instead of in cash.  It was rather nice knowing that - for the first few months anyway - we didn't have a huge strain on the budget!  And buying the gift cards at different stores allowed us to take advantage of the sales at each when they occurred.

And, when a friend asks "What can I do to help?" you can simply hand over a gift card and a shopping list and send them on their way!

Of course, if you want to keep the interest on your money, you could simply transfer your $20 per month from your checking into a savings account. If you're concerned about the temptation factor, funnel the funds into a CD that matures close to your baby's due date.

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i just threw a gift card shower for a friend! she had a history of miscarriage and didn't want a shower, but her MIL insisted so we requested everyone do giftcards to stores that were not just kids stores- think target, ikea gap etc- it was great! everyone really researched their card amount to reflect the big ticket baby items and we were able to throw a shower without the mom to be worrying about an excess of baby stuff just in case...a few people even gave her gift cards for their own service -i.e i will go shopping for you etc..

Costco is also great (for formula!)

I think this is a really great idea, and one I'll remember the next time around. Buying a $20 gift card each week is so easy and affordable, and really would have come in handy those first few weeks pp (er, months) when we were running to the store constantly for those little things we never knew we'd need. Awesome hack!

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