I have been a member of Swagbucks for a while now..even though I was not actively using the site until a few months ago. I have earned a few swagbucks that I redeem for either Walmart gift cards or Amazon gift cards but I was trying to figure out how to account for them in my budget.

Because I have a zero based budget I need to account for every dollar in some kind of general category in the budget, whether it gets used or not. I did not want to list the gift cards as income because that would inflate my income category and I would have to then account for them a second time when I spent them.

img from swagbucks.com

img from swagbucks.com

I think I finally figured out what to do so I will try that for this month and then see if there is a better way next month. When I get a gift card I will just record it in Mint in either the shopping or food general categories. I used to have very detailed budget categories but now I have the following:





-Bills & Utilities

-Everything else

-Home refers to rent including pet rent.

-Auto covers the loan payment, insurance, gas and the transfer to the car maintenance emergency fund.

-Food covers regular groceries and allowance for occasional pizza or chinese food!

-Shopping covers all shopping that is not food. It refers to clothing, cleaning supplies, cat items, and toiletries.

-Bills & Utilities cover the electric bill  and the cell phone bill.

-Everything else refers to savings goals like the emergency fund and miscellaneous items that I may pay for like postage. I don’t count postage as shopping because it is not something I do on a monthly basis and I don’t have anything tangible at the end of the transaction.

So each of the categories above has a set portion of my income dedicated for that purposed in Mint and I track everything whether it gets spent or not.

So since I only use two types of gift cards I figure I can split them up between either the shopping or the food categories because I know when I use those. Let’s see how this method works!

How do you account for your Swagbucks?