TIL Unused gift cards cost consumers $3 billion year; Starbucks alone has $140 million in unused gift cards.

Customers are losing $3 billion annually as a result of not using their gift cards, folks. That's a big sum of money that's just gathering dust. Furthermore, what do you know? Unused gift cards brought in $140 million for Starbucks alone. You think that's crazy? Individuals are buying cards for them as presents or self-care items, but then they lose them or forget about them.

Granted, I'm not saying it's illegal to not utilize gift cards, but really, that's a lot of money lost. You feel me? Money that could be utilized for, like, paying bills or buying groceries? And every dollar matters given the current state of affairs in this country.

Some people may contend that gift cards are fraudulent in any case since they compel you to spend your money at a specific location rather than anywhere you choose. However, when someone offers you a gift card, it's usually because they are thinking of you and want to give you something wonderful. Thus, why not put it to use and express gratitude for the idea, you know?

I think it's simple to forget about gift cards, particularly if you have a lot of them lying around. However, it's like to leaving money on the table, everyone. Money that you could be spending on fun things for yourself or your family.

Not to mention the companies whose revenue is boosted by the selling of gift cards. It's like taking money out of people's pockets when they don't use their cards. Because many businesses put a lot of effort into maintaining their operations and providing for their clientele, make sure you use any gift cards you receive in the future.

Some stores, I've heard, allow you to exchange gift cards for cash, although the amount you receive will usually be less than the card's worth. Therefore, rather than taking a loss, it would be wiser to just spend money on something you need or want.

I don't hold it against anyone now for forgetting about the gift cards or letting them expire. Things occasionally slip our minds due to the busyness of life. But let's make an effort to use the cards that have been dealt to us with greater awareness. It's a small act of kindness that can go a long way toward expressing our appreciation and support for the people who took the time to offer us a gift.

Don't let a gift card gather dust the next time you find one in your wallet or drawer. Give yourself or a special someone a tasty lunch or a nice cup of coffee. Even while it might not seem like much, it's a chance to show your gratitude for the time and consideration that went into giving you that gift card in the first place.

$3 billion might not seem like much in the big picture, but when you consider all the things that money could be used for, it does add up. So let's all do our share to cut down on waste and maximize the gifts that have been bestowed upon us. It's an easy gesture that can have a profound impact on both our lives and the lives of others.

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