I'm a Hoarder | Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

May 7, 2012

I'm a Hoarder

Confession: I am a hoarder.

Not like the insanity that is Hoarders or anything. I don't hoard animals or people or yogurt cups. I don't stockpile my trash or items from my childhood.  Hoarding is not deeply linked to some weird psychosis.  In fact, there is only one item I hoard and protect with my life (with the exception of maybe possibly also cookbooks). And I attribute this action to my deep affections to spend my money wisely and get the best deal possible.

You see, I hoard gift cards.

Most people get a gift card, give their thanks, and immediately run to the Mall to buy a new shirt or to Olive Garden to grab a plate of free spaghetti.  I respect this.  But when I receive a gift card, something comes over me.  I feel So. Incredibly. Lucky.  It's like I've been given gold or a key to the city. I see endless possibilities of what I can add to my closet or enjoy for dinner.  How could I thoughtlessly throw this gift away on a spontaneous and not-well-thought-out purchase?

No, gift cards are too valuable for this.

So some time ago, I decided I would make sure I was not careless with my gift cards. I would make sure I knew how I wanted to spend them before I used them up.  I started keeping them in a baggie that I can carry with me in my purse, so that all my gift cards are in one place in case I need to use them.  One of the best days of my life was when many companies decided gift cards would have no expiration date. My gift cards would never expire? Gift Cards 4 Lyfe! 

Be still, my heart.

At first it seemed logical, if not responsible, to have this perspective on gift cards.  Until I realized I was becoming hesitant to use them.  I found myself in the check out line of a store with a sweater I was excited to buy when I'd hear the thoughts bouncing around my head, "What if something better comes along?  What if you get this home and hate it? What if I use this gift card on a meaningless sweater, only to find that if I'd only waited a few weeks, the perfect dress would come on sale?"

And the gift cards started sticking around longer.

So instead of a small stash of gift cards, I have a gaggle.  All in varying degrees of value.  Some have never been touched, others are done to just a few dollars that will take the edge of a future purchase.  Some of the cards I only just received in the past few months.  I cannot confirm or deny that a few of them may or may not be 5+ years old. Don't judge me.

Here is a picture of my current stash:

That's actually pretty thin, as I've actually redeemed a few gift cards recently. I've been trying to challenge myself to "let go" and use the cards instead of letting them sit.  It's not like they are savings bonds and increase in value over time (BUT HOW AWESOME WOULD THAT BE?!).

Hubby rolls his eyes and puts up with my quirks. In, I try not to judge him for immediately blasting his gift cards over the first item his eyes land on.

What about you?  
Do you spend your gift cards as soon as you receive them? 
Do you hold on to them until just the right thing/moment comes along?

I'd love to hear from you - so leave a comment below!

In the meantime, I'm going to put a date on the calendar to go to The Cheesecake Factory with Hubby (a gift card received from my sister 2 Christmases ago. Yeah. I'm thinking it's about time to use that bad boy).


  1. Seriously - we're twins. I finally JUST used a gift card this weekend that I know, for a fact, is over a year old. And still, as I walked up to the counter, I was having doubts about it. Love it!!

    *P.S. If if helps make the decision easier, just know that if you find the need to return something, you'll just get store credit back instead. So you can hoard that for just as long. ;)

    1. I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one! And SO TRUE - I've gotten into the same habit - I pick out the clothes I want, and then take them home. And I've become the Return Queen. I keep returning/exchanging until I find JUST the right thing. SO LAME. But I think since having kids, I'm much more particular about how I dress and how things fit! We should go shopping together :)

  2. I DO THIS TOO!!!!!!!! I then get so cheap that I don't want to spend them!

  3. I confess I'm one of those who immediately runs out and spends it. Love getting them and spending them! I cannot even believe you still have some from "years" ago. So impressed. Happy spending!

  4. Lol. I spend within within 3 mo. I am always on the prowl at my fav shops so I typically know exactly what I want and have been saving for it.

  5. Lol. I spend within within 3 mo. I am always on the prowl at my fav shops so I typically know exactly what I want and have been saving for it.

  6. I am so jealous of your stash! I spend all mine right away...somehow in my head they equate to free money, which I never have trouble spending ;)

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