The Eternal gift Card Quandary

found treasure
See, this is why one must tidy up their desk multiple times a week, rather than only doing it before Mercury goes into retrograde, because they just might find a treasure trove of random gift cards!

Over the years, I’ve learned that there are three types of gift card people in this world.


The people that spend their gift cards decisively and ideal away without any hesitation.

The people who hoard their gift cards, allegedly for a rainy day, but end up holding on to them for months or years. (Ahem! yours truly.)

The people who absolutely forget about or lose their gift cards and end up frittering away what was essentially complimentary money. (I hate to admit it, but I’ve been this person, too.)

Why do I hoard gift cards for so long? — because honestly it makes no sense. I like to shop.

No, I loooove to shop. I could get an honorary Ivy league PhD in the shopping arts, LOL! and I especially love that I get to pick exactly what I want when I use a gift card, because I’m incredibly picky about…well, nearly everything.

(And this is why it took me a lot more than 10 years to finally decide on a new couch.)


Katte og makeup sweatshirt ??

$ 42.

Shoppe nu

But with great power comes great responsibility. Do you spend the gift card on something you need, or do you spend it on something you want? and if you opt for something you need, do you play it safe, or do you get the thing you’ve been lusting after forever but never would have gotten yourself in a million years?

For example, say you unexpectedly get a $400 gift card to spend solely (ha ha) on shoes. Do you get a single pair of Jimmy Choo glitter heels (SWOON), or do you go the functional route and get the four pairs of Nike running shoes that you know you love and wear all the time (and that you know you’ll eventually go through over several years)?

As you can probably guess, those “Choose Your own Adventure” books were a great source of vexation for little Karen when she was a kid.

All of this is to say that I’ve been sitting on a Nordstrom gift card for months.

I know I must probably use it to replace my favorite blank nyc artificial leather jacket, which I’ve worn and loved for years. It held up well, but the pseudo-leather is falling off in huge flakes on the back of the collar, and I don’t think there’s a good way to fix it. Thankfully, I found out that Nordstrom still sells the exact same jacket.

I’ve hesitated to pull the trigger, though, because part of me thinks that even though I’ll wear it all the time…why not look around for something new and different?

Beyond that, must I even use the gift card get a jacket? I could use it instead on that Chantecaille foundation I’ve wanted for a while…

I think that maybe because gift cards feel like getting complimentary money it ups the ante on the final decision. There’s a lot more pressure.

Another funny thing I’ve observed about gift cards — and I know I can’t be the only person who does this — once I finally get around to spending one, I still keep the physical card, instead of throwing it away.

Why I do this, I don’t know, but it results in a whole mess of confusion.

[I guess it’s kind of like going to the Chanel counter and leaving with your purchases in a Chanel bag? That is, you know the bag is disposable, but you keep it around anyway because it says Chanel? I may OR may NOT keep THIS, decide LATER.]

I think it may be time to turn over a new leaf and transform into one of those decisive gift card people — or so she says after adding and removing the same black jacket to her cart multiple times over the past hour…


How do you typically manage your gift cards? If you’re the type who always knows how much is left on them, or if you can readily and swiftly make a decision, show me your ways!

Din venlige kvarter appelmisbruger,