I have received a $50 gift card for my birthday, and I've been thinking on how I should record it in my books, using double-entry accounting. I don't think it would make sense to classify as an expense any money that I spend using the gift card, since I'm not really losing any money. By that same logic, I don't think that receiving the gift card should be classified as a revenue.
So I've been thinking of increasing my assets by $50, while at the same time increasing my liabilities by $50. That way, whenever I spend the gift card, it won't be classified as an expense. But it just feels wrong to use a liability account, since I don't owe any money to anyone.
Another possible work-around is to use a contra-asset account: I increase my assets by $50, while at the same time subtract $50 from a contra-asset account labeled "Unspent Gift Card". Whenever I spend the gift card, I subtract the appropriate amount from the Gift Card account, and add the same amount to the Unspent Gift Card contra-account.
But I don't really know if this would be the correct way to do it. Should I just stick with normal revenues and expenses? Or what? What is the correct way to record the gift card in my books?