Here we are post-Christmas with all of our gifts unwrapped. Did Santa bring you what you wanted this year? Maybe you ended up getting a gift card or two? Gift cards are not only a great way to treat someone who is hard to buy a gift for or someone you just don't know very well, but it's also wonderful to receive because of the flexibility of picking out what you want at that business.

The one thing that can happen though when people get gift cards is they forget all about them and either don't use them (talk about money lost!) or they happen to have restrictions attached to them that you may not be aware of. It's all about checking out the "fine print" or the rules attached to using the card. Sometimes, there is an expiration date and you want to make sure you know when that is so that the card gets used before it goes to waste.

Another thing to be very aware of in New York State: a law in place says that a gift card can not expire any less than five years from the purchase date. If that doesn't give you enough time to use it, then no amount of time will do. Plus, on the gift card, all restrictions of use must be printed according to State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

The Comptroller's office warns that while some gift cards sellers have eliminated inactivity fees, consumers should still ask whether fees apply. DiNapoli also reminds recipients to spend their new gift cards in a timely manner, otherwise, the money could eventually get turned over to the Office of Unclaimed Funds. To find out if you have any unclaimed funds, click here.

LOOK: Here are 25 ways you could start saving money today

These money-saving tips—from finding discounts to simple changes to your daily habits—can come in handy whether you have a specific savings goal, want to stash away cash for retirement, or just want to pinch pennies. It’s never too late to be more financially savvy. Read on to learn more about how you can start saving now. [From: 25 ways you could be saving money today]

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