Thursday, 30 December 2010

Gift vouchers

So, Christmas has well and truly come and gone and some people are back at work before the New Year holiday weekend. I briefly found myself in a shopping mall this morning. It’s not like I set out to buy anything, but I still have Farmers vouchers burning a hole in my handbag that I got for Christmas last year (or was it two birthdays ago?). Looking back through my blog, I see I was trying to spend these same vouchers a year ago. Poor me. :-/

They say that vouchers are the perfect gift if you don’t know what to buy for someone. Just choose a shop they like, or a store with several departments, or even a mall and voila, your gift buying problems are solved! For me, that works very well in theory. The reality is somewhat different because here we are more than a year later with vouchers still in my handbag and very little to show for the ones I've spent. My sweetie is the opposite; vouchers burn a hole in his pocket and are disposed of almost immediately or very quickly after he receives them. I know others who are like that, too.

Thankfully, I didn’t receive any gift vouchers this Christmas. Actually, I begged and pleaded with my family to not give me any. I suspect they think I’m kidding when I say I simply can’t spend them. Even I don't explain it very well.

I’ve heard every form of ‘sympathy’. “You can give them to me if you don’t want to spend them.” Yeah, right. “You should go shopping with someone who likes to shop and then you’ll spend them easily.” Nope, hasn’t worked. “Wait for a big sale – then you’ll find something.” Wrong again; there are sales almost every weekend and I still have $50 left to spend. “You don’t have to buy clothes. Go to another department and spend it there.” Still not working. I just end up winding myself up, getting extremely stressed then going home grumpy at having not bought anything again. Stop laughing - it's true!

This morning's brief foray into Westfield mall ended ok. I still have vouchers to spend but am proud to report no tantrums, whining or tears (so far). It seems a shame to have not bought discounted items during this week's big sale, but there will be another one, right?

Oh, and don't get me started on what I do once I've actually bought something - you'd be amazed at how long it takes me to use new items, but that is another blog post!

What are your thoughts about giving and receiving vouchers?


Mrs Cake said...

I love receiving them, and have no trouble spending them (so long as they're for somewhere I shop, but I'm not too picky). I try to buy actual gifts, though, and if I'm uncertain will get an exchange card with the item rather than a gift voucher. :-) I would spend Farmers vouchers in the kitchen section and it would probably happen within a couple of weeks of getting them (or in the next sale, I am definitely a bargain hunter!).

Anonymous said...

Vouchers are a boring cop-out, particularly when they for somewhere as unexciting as Farmers. I'd manage to spend them over time though, on pantihose, underwear and make-up. I used up the last of a $100 gift card this morning on 15% off mascara.

Don't worry that you're not spending it on an actual gift. The giver couldn't be bothered to think of an appropriate gift for you, so why should you do the thinking for them?