Every Day

Tracking Your Assets

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

Lowe’s                                          250.00

Panera Bread                                184.87

Gap                                               10.00

LL Bean                                         50.00

Tom’s Diner                                    30.00

Russell’s                                       150.00

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. 

8 replies on “Tracking Your Assets”

With a trip coming up next week and the half way mark of the year the end of this month, I remembered recently I needed to update my gift card stash numbers too. Great minds think alike? lolz
Assets are not an asset if left to languish and not worked into your financial plan. That's also why I redeem bonds/CDs promptly and move $$ out of checking accounts so I can keep those monies working for us. 😉

I kept seeing cards for this and cards for that in my wallet. So, one day I got them all out to see what was left on the store gift cards I got with returns. There was only about $50 worth, but I set about to clear the cards.

Similarly, I have on my to do list for the next week or so to update our gift card numbers. We have what I'll describe as three groups. 1) Bought for an almost immediate purchase. Travel, home project, etc. 2) Bought for a store/restaurant we regularly frequent, but have no immediate plans for 3) Usually given as a gift, but a store/restaurant we normally don't use.

I focus on trying to use up #3, and remembering to use #2. The gift cards in #1 I know I can use almost any time. For things in #3, I sometimes sell the gift card if I don't think we're going to use it. We received a $25 gift to Cheesecake Factory not too long ago, and we never go there. To use it for the four of us would require a minimum of another $35. So, I sold it for $20, and will put that money towards food on our road trip.

Hi Hawaii Planner,

That is a great plan. I do #1 also but they get used pretty quickly because I buy them just before I make the purchase. I loved the Cheesecake Factory when we lived in AZ. I think the calories would kill me now.

Thanks for sharing.

Hi AD, this is Chris. This is a topic I have not thought about. I am not sure how many unused gift cards we have lying around the house, but now I am curious to see how many we have. I know we have a partial one for the restaurant group our daughter works for and are planning to use later in the summer. I will report back when I check the usual places I would keep something like that. I do try to use most gift cards up in a timely manner, so not sure we have any?

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