Tracking your income and your expenses is a necessity so that you can see how you are spending your money and where you need to make changes to be able to accumulate wealth. Then you work to make those changes.
Why is that important you ask? Is it to see where you stand compared to the Joneses? No! It is so that you can see how you can pay for the necessities in life, enjoy the luxuries that are important to you, and to some day retire with enough money to be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor in a healthy and long retirement.
Sometimes, we forget some assets that really are cash. I have been guilty of this! So this weekend, I gathered those assets and made a list so that I know where we stand with those. I was quite surprised at the total of those assets.
I am talking about gift cards. I knew I had a few hanging around in my wallet, in my desk, etc. But I had forgotten how many I had and what their value was. So I found them all and made a list so that we can incorporate them into our budget the next few months. I also took the time to check all of their balances so that I knew the worth of each of them.
Here is my list of gift cards:
Amazon $ 14.60
Panera Bread 184.87
LL Bean 50.00
Tom’s Diner 30.00
They totaled $ 689.47. That is a significant amount of money to have hanging around. I would not treat my cash so casually as to have it spread around the house.
So here is my plan. The Amazon and Gap I can use for clothing the next time I need to buy smaller sizes.
Hubby buys all of his clothes at LL Bean. He just wore a hole in a pair of jeans so they need replacing. I will patch the ones with the hole so that he can use them for yard work.
We need to buy cushions for the chairs of a new patio set so we will shop at Lowe’s to get them.
Panera Bread is not on my diet these days. However, Hubby likes their sandwiches and soup. So I can use them for meals for him. I will also use them to buy the bread, rolls, or bagels for his sandwiches. Bagels are often on our Sunday breakfast menu along with eggs and some kind of meat. My family all loves their bagels. I can also use them for gifts.
Tom’s Diner has wonderful breakfasts so perhaps we will take my granddaughter there when she visits this summer.
And last but not least, we love Russell’s Steakhouse.
It is our very favorite restaurant. We have a celebration in mind to use that gift certificate.
So now that we have a plan, they will get used and not just languish in a drawer somewhere. They will be used the same as cash the next few months.
Do you have gift cards just hanging around? Incorporate them into your budget!
We had the most glorious weekend. On Friday night, we went with good friends to a favorite restaurant for dinner. It was the very first time that we have eaten out since my surgery. I was concerned that they wouldn’t have anything that was on my diet. So I pulled up their menu online and found three things I could eat. I ordered a taco salad which came in a fried shell which I did not eat. I added grilled chicken to the salad but asked them to serve the dressing on the side which I didn’t even touch. It was mainly lettuce, veggies, the chicken, jalapenos, a little bit of shredded cheese and I asked for a little sour cream and some salsa. It was huge but delicious. I ate half of it. Next time I would share one with Hubby. I drank unsweetened iced tea. It all worked out and we had a fabulous time.
The weather was perfect…sunny and warm. We have still not turned on the A/C. We just kept the windows and window coverings closed all day until it cooled off at night and then we would open them for some fresh air.
On Saturday, my son and grandson came for breakfast. I always enjoy seeing them. My grandson is getting so tall.
The rest of the weekend we just relaxed and enjoyed it. I took a walk around our yard enjoying the beautiful lilacs that are now in full bloom along with the iris. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend too.