As much as I try to avoid wasting money to a lack of planning or forethought, it still happens. Just this weekend actually. My father-in-law just lost his job and my in-laws are without any income stream until unemployment starts. And they weren't doing terribly well before he lost his job. My husband and I wanted to send them some money. Knowing they weren't going to cash a check from us, we decided to get some visa gift cards.
We looked at the grocery store, knowing that we could get credit card cash back and gas discounts by buying the cards there. We wanted to get $300, but the store only had $50-cards. We first walked away, saying we'd look elsewhere. But then I thought about the gas rewards and we impulsively grabbed 4 $50 cards. After we checked out, I realized each card had a $4.95 activation fee. Duh! $19.80 in stupid tax paid. It completely negates the credit card rewards and gas rewards. At least we did something good. Next time, I think we'll just get them a wal-mart gift card.
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