Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Gift card inventory

I try to take stock of my gift cards every quarter or so, to ensure we're making the most of our assets. Most of the gift cards were purchased as special promotional items, but a few were acquired as gifts. Here's what we have, going into 2018. As a result, I'll lower our budgets accordingly to account for these prepaid assets.

Dining out: (especially useful when I'm traveling, & M is on his own with the kids)

  • Sweet Tomatoes - $251 in gift cards
  • Sweet Tomatoes - 6 meal passes, valued around $60
  • Subway - $25
  • Starbucks - $70

Grocery stores:

  • Safeway - $15
  • Lucky - $30


  • Gap - $110
  • Nike - $50 (will be using in a week or so to buy Sam a new pair of shoes at the Nike outlet. He has outgrown his shoes, & has holes in them). 


  • Spa near my house - $500 
  • Another spa - $15

  • Two movie passes - valued at $20
  • AMC movie gift cards - $30
  • Lowe's - $50

  • Visa gift card - $50

Based on starting the year with the above assets, I'll be reducing our 2018 budget as follows:
  • Dining out - by $420, so our new monthly amount is $85/month.
  • Groceries - by $60, so I could get a round number. Our new monthly amount is $620/month
  • Clothing - by $100, bringing us to $900 (for the 4 of us) for the year. This will be TIGHT, with new shoes for the kids. 
  • Personal - the majority of the personal budget goes towards the boys/M's haircuts, as I wouldn't spend $500 at a spa. ;-) As such, I left the $500/year budget.
  • Entertainment - our budget is $100 for the year, so I'll leave the $50ish of gift cards in there. It will be tight as is. 
  • House - reduced by $50. So, yearly amount is $3,950. 
I'm going to leave the Visa gift card as unassigned, but will probably use it for a gift or a donation.

What about you? Do you track your gift cards? What do you currently have on hand, and how do you plan to spend them in 2018? Do you review ahead of your 2018 budget setting, and adjust accordingly?


  1. I don't have anything as impressive as your list :) Mine were mostly gifts from the kids in the classroom I volunteer in

    $25 Macy
    $25 Barnes & Noble
    $20 Starbucks
    $10 Target
    $20 Target

    I'll most likely get something for my son-in-law's birthday in February with the Macy's card, cat food/litter with the Target cards, and spend the Starbucks & Barnes & Noble on myself :)

    1. Yours look like they could be quite fun to spend! Maybe a book & coffee date is ahead for you. One of my favorite ways to relax. :-)

  2. We do. I had to laugh-I have the same amount in spa gift cards-means we are both too busy! We had been buying via the end of year Christmas promos via the late great AMEX Small Business Saturday promo and bonus gift cards offered by restaurants, This year we scaled way back because
    we have so many dining out ones that we have not used yet. Had to buy the Cheesecake Factory for the annual "Slice of Joy," though.

    1. You are totally correct - I keep trying to get something scheduled for the spa appt, and it keeps failing. I need to really make it happen.

      Most of my gift cards are purchased from promotional offers. We have one restaurant that we frequent (Sweet Tomatoes), mostly when I'm traveling. I feel like the gift cards should cover us for 2018, and the rest of the dining out budget can go to date nights & the other random meals that crops up.

  3. I still have coffee cards, Target (from the freebies when you buy so man ) a Visa from a birthday gift, a few restaurants/take out and some on a movie card. I intend to use them well the last week and 1/2 of December inot New Years weekend to give my cash flow a needed break. Impressive stash you have!

    1. That's a great idea - to use them when the family is around over the holidays!