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How to Make the Most of Your Gifts This Year

A great exercise I’ve found post-holidays is to take stock of any gifts you and your family received to determine how to make the most of them in the new year. Have you ever discovered years later that you have unused gift cards and no idea how much money is on them? This week’s tips will put your gifts to better use in 2020 and beyond:

Gift Cards

To avoid the above-mentioned issue, I recommend a gift card app like Gyft, or something like it. This app allows you to upload your gift cards and manage them from your phone. This makes them way more top-of-mind and reduces bulk in your wallet or purse.


Getting cash for the holidays is always fun, but I’ve heard multiple stories of people accidentally throwing away cash with wrapping paper and toy boxes, especially at large family gatherings. Be sure to designate a specific spot for cards or cash at large family gatherings, especially if you have younger children opening.

If someone gifts you cash, that usually means they want you to spend it on yourself. Consider taking a photo of you enjoying your gift, or let the person know what you chose. It will spread the holiday cheer right back to them.

Toy or Gift Duplicates

It’s every parent’s nightmare when your child opens something they already have and immediately turns to tell the gifter. Sometimes stores won’t return without a gift receipt, but I’ve found some pretty great uses for gift duplicates throughout the year. With as many birthday parties as my kids attend, I save these items for regift because most of them share similar interests. We also participate in a number of toy drives throughout the year, so I like to save for those.

One of the best ways to express gratitude for the gifts you’ve received is by actually using them. With these tips, you’ll have even more fun with your holiday loot. Happy holidays!

Kat’s Money Corner is posted in the Kansas City Star every week. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little ones, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, follow us on Twitter @CommunityAmerCU.


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