My rule with receipts is, “I don’t need one unless it’s…”
- .. for business, reimbursement, or tax purposes;
- .. an item a) with a warranty, or b) I might return;
- .. keeping track of a budget.
Otherwise, keeping track of them is a hassle. Without a quick and easy system to manage them, they get stuffed in our wallets or desk drawers, or thrown in a box to sort later. (If you’ve had to go through such a box – as I did recently – you’ll appreciate this simple way to file receipts when you first get them.)
Our best idea yet is a box on the shelf above our mail center. Each month we label a recycled letter-size envelope to collect purchase receipts; every other month we do the same for bank records. It’s almost as easy to put the current receipts in the back of the current envelope as it is to leave them on top of the dresser. Circle the date on receipts before putting them in the envelope. It only takes a second and can save you time and frustration later.
Here’s some good news: Unless you need them for business, tax, or warranty reasons (I’m compiling guidelines on keeping records, and will share it soon), many or most credit and debit card receipts (gas, groceries, incidentals) can be tossed once the charges appear on your statement.
With receipts in chronological order, it’s easy to match them up with either online or paper statements.
Pat yourself on the back. You’ve just eliminated paper you don’t need, reconciled statements, and made it easier to keep track of records you do need. That’s nice work.