You have heard the expression a penny saved is a penny earned. Well, it is also much easier to save a penny than it is to earn a penny. The easiest way to battle inflation is to save money rather than having to exert more time and energy to earn more money. Especially in today’s tough economy and growing job instability, it is more important than ever to find ways to cope with inflation.
You may notice the prices of certain products have come down in price, as the economy worsens, but often those items are not needed items, they are optional or luxury items. The items one needs to survive are often the same ones that grow in price along side inflation. You need to eat; you need to have shelter; you need to pay utilities; you need insurance, etc etc. These things that you need keep rising in prices, which is of course, inflation.
There are many ways to cope with inflation, but one simple way is utilizing gift cards with bonus rewards. These reward bonuses are instant or automatic inflation hedges that provide an immediate benefit.
Do you regularly eat at a certain restaurant or family of restaurants owned by the same parent company? For example Lettuce Entertain You company parents a host of restaurants that fall under the same gift card which can be used within the network. Of course there are many many other companies, that is just one example.
Periodically restaurants will run promotions that provide an instant 20 to 25 percent return. For example, buy $100 in restaurant gift cards and get a $25 free additional bonus. If you had invested that $100 in a savings account it would take you years at the current one percent or less interest rate to gain a $25 benefit.
Of course one can argue, “well if you are trying to reduce expenses, then don’t even eat at a restaurant.” However, this realistic and theoretical restaurant gift card scenario is practical for someone who actually would have spent that $100 at a restaurant regardless of whether they had a gift card or not.
There are 2 other benefits to this type of gift card inflation hedge. One, is often restaurants have member rewards for spending dollars as a frequent diner. So, not only are you getting an instant return on the gift card promotion, you are building “equity” points or dollars or rewards with your frequent diner club card. Secondly, if you are using your credit card to purchase the restaurant gift card with these 2 benefits of return, you can gain “points” on your membership reward program for using your credit card! Of course, this is only good for the person who is capable and has a history of paying off their credit card each month and not carrying any kind of balance which would incur fees. If you can’t pay your credit card bills off each month, in full, then you would defeat the purpose of this inflation hedge strategy!
Now there is ONE more exciting benefit to this gift card strategy! Did you know that plastic is an investment memorabilia collectible with collector’s value? SWAG, which is an acronym for stuff we all get, often becomes collectible and has its own category of selling on ebay! Well when you are done with your gift cards, don’t throw them away! They take up little space and someone would buy it on ebay as a collectible! Save it a few years and it should be worth more than a buck! Yes it is true you can get cash for trash, so that gift card that ends up having no monetary store value and would othewise be thrown in the trash, has collectible value to a gift card collector.
Restaurant gift cards with instant bonus returns are just one example of inflation hedging. With the right research and a keen eye to online gift card shopping and promotions, you will see there are the same types of instant inflation hedging returns for gift cards from merchants and retailers that go beyond restaurants!