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Recession-Proof Beauty: Use Gift Cards Wisely

Not to step on Savvy's toes, but if you're having a hard time keeping your spending under control, this post is for you. I've already talked about strategies to spend less on beauty products, but a post on Get Rich Slowly gave me a great idea.

Instead of charging that splurge item, go with a creative kind of installment plan. Purchase gift cards with cash when you can afford it, then save them until you have enough money to buy the item. Yes, you'll have to wait a little while before putting your hands on that Clarisonic or T3 dryer, but it's better than paying interest on a credit card balance. To see how long it'll take you to save up your money for a few big-budget beauty buys — and to see the money you'll save on interest —


The splurge If you want it in a month, then save... If you can wait two months, then save... If you can wait three months, then save...
Clarisonic, $195 $49 a week $25 a week $16.25 a week
no!no!, $250 $63 a week $32 a week $20 a week
Bespoke Labs Overnight Dryer, $130 $33 a week $16.25 a week $11 a week

To put things in perspective, let's pretend that you decided to buy the $195 Clarisonic with your credit card and took three months to pay it off. Assuming a 10% interest rate that same purchase would cost $258.50 — more than 60 dollars more! And if your rate is even higher — let's say 19% — you'd wind up paying $328.60 over three months. So as you can see, a little planning will save you a ton in the long run.

Join The Conversation
jillis24 jillis24 8 years
cant wait to do this with everything!!
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Great idea...
frimpled frimpled 9 years
Maybe get a piggy bank? Or stuff your cash in a sock drawer? Or a savings account? Just sayin, less effort for the same result...
blooditsnotfunny blooditsnotfunny 9 years
People should beware of buying gift cards because they steal your money! I always wind up forgetting about gift cards and when I finally bring them back to the store, I find that they have been taking $2.00 off of my card every month for 3 years. Gift cards are in general a scam... Don't get them! There is nothing wrong with keeping money in your pocket!
OMGoshDramaQueen OMGoshDramaQueen 9 years
Great idea Bella!
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
Good idea. I'd probably forget that I did it though.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
That's kind of a cool's kind of like putting money aside for something, but you're not tempted to spend it on other stuff because it's a gift card. Much better idea than paying credit card interest.
gabiushka gabiushka 9 years
Finally TFS! I thought I was the only one who thought that way.
TFS TFS 9 years
meh, thats just pure effort though. :/ why not just get a job that pays more. or jsut stick to buying just things on your income can afford. dont get people just only earn like 15grand a year seem to try and live like a millionaire. jeeze.
lily8206 lily8206 9 years
Gift cards are no longer allowed to have an expiry date... or at least in Canada they aren't.
sjj158 sjj158 9 years
No way.. after what Shaper Image pulled I don't trust gift cards. Since they filed for bankruptcy (and most are now closed) they would no longer accept gift cards. The unlucky people who received those as presents or bought them for themselves got stuck with a useless piece of plastic. I'd rather save on my own or buy with my card and then pay it off at the end of the month.
Annika2494003 Annika2494003 9 years
That's such a great idea... thanks bella!
emalove emalove 9 years
Good thinking!
omilawd omilawd 9 years
This is a good idea, but if you're saving up long term for an item: BE CAREFUL! Some gift cards take out annual fees or expire completely after a while...and there's no way of getting that money back.
ALSW ALSW 9 years
Not a bad idea! I'm not much of a splurger, but it would keep me within budget and make me consider my purchases even more.
emsmiley emsmiley 9 years
I have always planned to do things this way and am now determined to do it! thanks for the kick in the butt!
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Great idea!
krampalicious krampalicious 9 years
this is the best idea pretty much ever. thanks for enabling my broke ass! ;D
em1282 em1282 9 years
I do this with restaurants...never thought to do that with other cards!! Great idea!
lily8206 lily8206 9 years
This is a great way to stay within a budget. It's too easy to go into a store and buy something extra cause it's "only $20 more", but it all adds up. If there isn't money on the card then you wouldn't spend the extra money!
EkaterinaBallerina EkaterinaBallerina 9 years
I'd actually thought of doing something like that with my Starbucks card, refilling it when I had an influx of cash. It's a pretty good idea.
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