GIFT CARDS: There has never been a better time to take advantage of great gifts and the people you give them to. Gift cards are everywhere and available for everything. You can easily fill all your shopping needs by picking up cards for everything from dinner to doughnuts, groceries to gasoline, bail bonds or Bibles, pork loin and pickles. Often you can find these cards in a display at the same store. But buying 161 gift cards at $20 each will cost like…$100. That’s a lot and who has that kind of money? The beauty of gift cards it that you can put any dollar amount on them. I always budget $1.50 per card. Here is the trick…I spend $1.50 but I write $25 on the cardholder in the Amount section. This way, people get the warm feeling of receiving a $25 gift for something they really want and you get the warmth of spending as little as possible on something they will never get. Believe me, no one ever questions the value of the card. If they do raise a concern, it is usually months later after they’ve tried to spend it. At this point in time, you can mutter something under your breath about the small print, evaporating values, or how you knew the girl at the checkout counter was going to mess that up. Use phrases like, “Those crooks took my money!”, or “There needs to be Congressional oversight on this industry!”, or “I’m never getting my gift cards at THAT store again!” They will be convinced.