What is in Box 7 of the Advent Financial Calendar?
You open the box to find a Finger Pointing, puzzling. What could that mean? Pointing? Points? Ah, yes, Points, specifically Loyalty Points and also Gift Cards. This is all money in your pocket if you choose to use them, but if you don’t they are worthless.
As my readers know, PC Points is my favourite, and we will be using them this Christmas to make our Christmas much more frugal. Still, I also have Petro Points, Aeroplan Points, Hudson’s Bay Points, Sunoco Points, Canadian Tire Money, Optimum points and I’m sure there are others I have forgotten. All these point systems has made my wallet very “Costanza-like” in size, but I have these points.
Gift Cards? Mrs. C8j cleaned out our closet and found our gift cards from last Christmas and luckily none of them had expired, but that is another area where there is “Free Money” for Advent and for Christmas. She and I can go out to dinner for free, we can go to a few movies and I have many books I can buy as well. I keep collecting Canadian Tire money when I buy gas, and eventually I have $20 at least and usually buy new wipers for my car or something like that, but this year, maybe I’ll buy a friend something useful (like a Mr. T. Air Freshener) from Canadian Tire.
Use your Points and use your Gift Cards! You earned them, use them!
If you don’t want to spend them, donate them (you can with PC Points), make them work.
Personal Finance Advent Calendar
- Day 1: Empty Box
- Day 2: TFSA
- Day 3: A Safety Deposit Box
- Day 4: What’s in your Safety Deposit Box?
- Day 5: Your Will in a box
- Day 6: A Credit Card Bill
- Day 7: A Pointing Finger (Points)
- Day 8: A Lamb
- Day 9: Your Child’s Diploma
- Day 10: A Cane
- Day 11: A Home Inventory List
- Day 12: A Bank Passbook
- Day 13 (new) A Puzzle Piece or Day 13: A Pair of Tiny Shoes (budgeting)
- Day 14: A Stock Certificate for ACME Buggy Whips
- Day 15: A Kettle (Charity)
- Day 16: A Coffin
- Day 17: A Scroll of Household Fix Ups
- Day 18: A QR Code -or- Day 18: A Wii Fit
- Day 19: A Library Card
- Day 20: A House Plan
- Day 21: A Feather
- Day 22: DVD of the Shawshank Redemption
- Day 23: A Tuning Fork
- Day 24: A Happy Face
That’s a good idea to turn “virtual” money into savings.
I’m a big fan of those PC points too… And now Sobey’s has got a card as well. While I still secretly think that loyalty programs ultimately drive up the cost of goods, if they exist I’m going to use them.
I’ve read that all these accumulated points are actually a huge liability to companies (imagine what would happen if everyone decided to cash them in at once!) I’ve been holding on to PC points “for a rainy day”, but now I’m thinking I should use the points on groceries, and then transfer the difference into a high-yield savings account (where my emergency fund is).
For example, if I redeem $20 worth of points on groceries I was going to buy anyways, I put $20 in my savings. I figure that way my money grows a little, and I won’t lose it if the program gets canceled or changed.
This is a good tip. I heard a stat that 70-80% of reward points/miles are never used. I think the number for gift cards is around 10%. Mail-in rebates again is a very high percentage. If memory serves me, it was about 90%.
I think Canadian Capitalist had a post about how he feels captive to loyalty plans for products or services that he doesn’t even like. I’m in your camp on the PC points. Those are very useful, since they can be traded in for bread, milk, chocolate, etc.