How Atlanta Residents Can Stretch Gift Card Dollars This Christmas

I don't know about you, but I'm always a little sad once all the Christmas presents have been opened and family and friends have gone home. Fortunately I've discovered a way to keep the holiday spirit around after the holidays: gift cards.

I realize that gift cards are old news by now. In fact, cards are by far the most requested and received Christmas gift, according to the National Retail Federation - probably because people like the freedom to choose their own presents. But the amount of utility we get from gift cards varies wildly depending on how we use them. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, a little planning goes a long way, advise Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys.

The authors at recently put together a list of top tips for maximizing gift card value. It turns out that when we start budgeting our gift cards like actual cash - rather than treating them like an excuse to buy extravagant gifts we don't really need - we can get more for our money.

For example, you can blow your entire gift card on one brand-new pair of jeans - or you can browse the sales rack and get a pair of discounted jeans, a sweater and a winter coat. Or perhaps you have plenty of clothes, but you could really use some extra money to buy groceries. At sites like PlasticJungle, you can swap that clothing store gift card for credit at a grocery store or Target.

And the sooner you use your card, the better. Though recent consumer protection laws have limited fees and expiration dates that can eat up your balance, you still run the risk of losing your gift cards - or simply forgetting about them - if you leave them to gather dust in a desk drawer somewhere.

By treating your gift cards as a way to save money - not spend it - the benefits you receive from them will last you long after Christmas. And if you really want a gift that keeps on giving, do yourself a favor today and give yourself the gift of financial freedom. If you're tired of living with the burden of debt, filing for bankruptcy can help you start the New Year with a clean slate. Find out more for free when you sign up for a complimentary one-on-one debt analysis with an Atlanta bankruptcy attorney.

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