Many people receive multiple receipts each day. You don't have to save every receipt that you get, however organizing ones that you need to save is important. This is a guide about organizing receipts.
I buy several little one dollar photo albums, the kind with clear pages, that you slip a photo in. I use these to store receipts for important purchases. It is really easy to find and store. This makes finding receipts from Wal-mart easy for me when we need to return something.
Also I unfold boxes and make them flat and store them in a plastic tub in the storage room. This way the boxes don't take up much space and if I need to return something, I just put them back together.
By Robyn Fed from Hampton, TN
Store register receipts fade after a while. When purchasing large priced items I always photocopy the receipt and attach it to the warranty and/or owners manual in case the receipt is required at a later date to prove purchase.
By Seranita from Melbourne, Australia
I used to attach my receipts to my bank statements each month, Now I've decided to put the receipts in the junk and bill envelopes I receive. I just write the month on the outside. This way if I ever need a receipt to return something, I just go to the envelope instead of digging through my bank statements. So easy! Another idea is to use an envelope for each department store, etc.
I am a very disorganized person, so, during the year, I stuff all my bills, receipts, and other papers needed for income taxes into an empty Kleenex box. Then I don't have to hunt for them all over the house.
At the end of each year, after I do my taxes, I put a piece of packaging tape, the wide stuff, over a piece of paper with the year printed on it and tape it across the opening. They are small, sturdy, and fit on the closet shelf perfectly.
By Catastrofy from Winnipeg, Canada
I have a tip for organizing your receipts for income tax. Every year in January, I get a medium brown envelope and write on it "Tax receipts 200?" (whatever year is the current one). I put all my receipts in it through the year. Then, the next year when it is time to file your income tax return, your receipts are together and they are easy to sort into categories. Filing made easy for the accountant and yourself. You are not wasting time looking for receipts and trying to remember where they are.
If you need to keep a receipt for warrantees, etc. Check to see if it is printed on thermal paper. If they are, photocopy them for your records. Receipts on thermal paper tend to fade over time. Some fax machines use thermal paper, too. I've found ones that I can no longer read.
By Richard Lee
To keep all your records and receipts buy a good 4 drawer filing cabinet at a yard sale or thrift shop. This saves me a lot of time. When the IRS audited me, for 2 years back, I pulled out my bank file from 2 years ago. It included all my checks and statements for that year, and I had my taxes for that year in another file. I was ready to go the next day if necessary!
Also, the computer company who fixed my computer "wiped me out of their system". My receipt saved me another $61 to fix the same problem!
By Betty G.
I use a photo album to keep my receipts organized. I use the kind of album where I can add more sheets to it as needed. And each sheet has 3 slots in it. Into the top slot I put the purchase receipt, then any receipts for parts or maintenance on that item I put in the slots below and behind it. At the top of the sheet I put a removable tag so that I can find the sheet I'm looking for easily. Since starting this method I haven't lost any receipts (and I used to lose them constantly!)
By Cricketnc from Parkton, NC
Keep a small coin purse in your purse and when you make a purchase put the receipt in the coin purse. You will always have your receipts with you if you need to return an item.
I always save my receipts from the store, so that I can match them to my bank account and make sure I was not charged a different price. I staple the like receipts together and file them, just in case.
I keep receipts in a file according to purchase (gas, dining, home improvement, clothing, crafts, etc.) I can easily find the right receipt if I need to make a return or ask for a price adjustment. I recently got a $38 refund on a baby swing two months after purchase when it went on sale.
Utility statements are in another file, even though all are auto pay. I don't have to remember to pay anything, but I can compare monthly usage if necessary. All my credit card charges are noted in my daily planner to compare with the statement.
This may sound like a hassle, but it's very simple once set up.
By Mngranny1 from Minneapolis, MN
Tips for organizing shopping receipts. Post your ideas.
I have what's called a Kangaroo bag. It is a ziploc style bag but has 3 pouches 2 of which are zippered. I use a piece of magnet (from the craft section) and have it in the side of my fridge. In one pouch I have coups, one holds receipts, and the other holds all those little "frequent shopper" cards..... You could also use just a regular zip bag if you only want it for receipts or use a couple lined next to each other! I never zip mine, it just hangs there in all it's cheap plastic glory . I love it tho! (12/27/2004)
I file my receipts by month in a plastic multi-slot file folder which has a slot for each month. I keep my folder in my file cabinet under "Receipts".
When my monthly MasterCard statement arrives I pull out the receipts for that month, check off each one and throw them out. (12/28/2004)
I keep all receipts in one hanging file. Within that file are manila files with store names on them. The receipts within each store file is filed with the newest toward the front. Always find receipts just where they should be. (12/28/2004)
I use a highlighter to mark any important purchases on the receipts that I save. I have a file in my file cabinet labeled "Receipts and Warranty Records" If the receipt may be needed to prove purchase for warranty work, I put it along with the warranty paperwork in an envelope and label it with the product, the model and serial numbers and the date of purchase and place it in the file. Makes it easy to find if the product breaks down during the warranty period. I review everything in this file periodically and dispose of any receipts no longer needed. (12/29/2004)
I keep all my receipts in a old check file. I have put new labels on the dividers for each store. This way if an item goes on sale or needs to be returned I know where the receipt is. (12/31/2004)
With the new computer printed receipts, a highlighter can cause the printing to disappear over time.
If it is an important receipt, make a photocopy and store that. I have found that receipts kept for tax purposes have turned to almost blank pieces of paper in the course of a few months - especially in temperature extremes. (01/03/2005)
By Betty Lynn
Receipts for appliances, etc., I staple to the front of the guarantee and keep it in the instruction booklet. Each appliance has its own clear plastic cover in an A4 2 ring binder. Each time I add one I leaf through to make sure I still have the appliance and dispose of any no longer needed. If I give an appliance away I also give the receipt/guarantee and instruction book with it.
Grocery/supermarket type receipts I keep in my purse until I have recorded my spending in its individual budget catagories, (I keep a book for jotting down all spending which I transfer to Quicken periodically).
Once spending is recorded I record any good specials in my price book.
Cash receipts are then disposed of. Any credit/cash card receipts I pop into a small clear pocket in my A4 bank statements file. When the next credit card/other account statements arrive I check off the amounts and usually destroy the receipts.
Some receipts, for large bills paid in cash or builders or hardware shop accounts or car service for example I throw into an A4 copier paper box which fits neatly on a shelf under my desk. At the end of the year I throw out those no longer needed and pop the rest into a clear cover and drop back into the bottom of the box.
By Jo Bodey
For organizing receipts, I have a 13 pocket expandable file which is labeled Jan.-Dec. I keep all store and restaurant receipts organized month by month. There is a KEY guide that is used w/highlighters that are color-coded to an item. Such as, blue is household items, pink can be clothing and so on... Marking with the highlighter next to the item purchased so, it does not end up destroying the ink on the receipt. Then, I circle the date, the final amount spent and the type of payment used for the purchases.
At the top of each receipt, they are labeled for which type of important purchases there may be. At the end of the each month, I can better tell what has been spent when & where. Then, sorting them in groups & stapling them together. Then come June, I'll look through which ones I may need to keep & which ones I can toss. The new coffee pot receipt, I will keep until the warranty is up. I hope this helps! (01/22/2005)
I often shop with cash for my boss. I keep his money and all receipts in a loose-leaf binder - type pencil pouch. This way it is clear when I need more cash, and all the receipts in the same place helps keep things clear.
I keep my receipts in two groups . The first group goes under a paper weight on my desk. These are all the receipts from grocery shopping or gas which I generally use cash or my debit card and occasionally a credit card. Then at the end of the week or month I check them against my online statement then I throw them out.
The second group of receipts I usually keep forever they are filed neatly in a tin. These are for items that have warranties or extended warranties or high ticket items.
I need help in organizing all my receipts. Should it be by the month or store?
Lauramac from Banning, CA
You will never remember which month you bought something, but you're likely to remember where you got it. I have an expandable file pocket folder w/ all letters of the alphabet. You may find some letters rarely get used, where others are packed (generally which ever one starts w/ the name of your grocery store). I actually combine some of those w/ few receipts in order to give more room to the large ones. My 2 cents. (12/29/2006)
I have a big magnetic clip on the frig which I attach receipts to in the order I spent the money. After I have too many for the clip to hold I add to a ziploc bag that is marked with the year. That's as much as I do as far as organizing receipts which probably isn't much but I reckon it's better than doing nothing. This way I can find the receipt I need....that is if I need one and usually I don't....but every now and then I do and then I'm glad I can go to the frig and find the appropriate one. (12/30/2006)
Hi everyone. Organizing receipts is important for many reasons, and I work for a company that offers a service which helps users organize both online and paper receipts on secure personal accounts online. The site is called Shoeboxed (www.shoeboxed.com). I encourage anyone looking to organize their financial lives to check out the site and sign up for free. We also have a new program called the Shoeboxed Mail-In program. This new development, dubbed the "Netflix for receipts" by certain press outlets allows users to send receipts to Shoeboxed for us to scan into your accounts for you. Check out everything Shoeboxed has to offer by visiting our website at www.shoeboxed.com.
Thanks and stay organized! (01/21/2008)
I've been really happy with their service. And it's free, so that's a plus. (02/19/2008)
I'd organize them by how you will remember it. If you had to return something, would you remember where you bought it or what month you bought it in? I do mine by store. I also just produced a video on organizing entryways and it includes a segment on receipts. Hope it helps!
If you have trouble with the link, you can also watch it for free at itunes
I run a few small businesses and need to keep receipts for tax reason. Because of this I keep all receipts and enter everything into QuickBooks. This helps me budget for the businesses and for personal. There are often times I will buy with personal money and the items ends up being used for business. I can do a onetime expense report at the end of the year for these items. Each Credit card is only used for ONE company. I may purchase some items at Office Depot and use 3 different credit cards at the same time.
To organize my receipts I have a small accordion folder that I place an envelope in for each credit card, check card, banking account or cash expense. I use to do it my account name but I found that when looking at the receipt all you have is the last 4 digits of the card number, so that is how I sort my envelopes. The receipts are filed in the individual envelope for that particular account with the most recent in the back. This makes reconciling the statement easier if they are in date order like the statement is. I also do this for deposit receipts from bank accounts.
Once the statement comes in I verify the receipt against the statement for any errors, they do happen but not often. Then I enter the bank statement into QuickBooks. I staple the receipts to the statement and file the Statement in my accounts Payable or Expense Section of my file cabinet in a folder with the same individual account name.
Personal receipts that I am sure I will never need again I may toss once they have been reconciled with the statement or entered in QuickBooks. If the receipt is for a warranty item I will make a copy and place it in the manual and file with all my equipment / warranty info. I will staple the original receipt to the appropriate statement and file in my expense section. At the end of the year all expenses for my small business will be filed with the taxes for that entity.
To answer your question, Lauramac, if you had to return something to Walmart, would you recall which MONTH you bought it in? Me neither, that's why this suggestion works great. Like some others here have mentioned, a 13-month hard-plastic file works great for us gals-on-the-go. Use the alphabet labels that come with it, but put all your favorite grocery store receipts in the front; put all the Walmart ones in the back. All others are by alphabet, such as Sam's Club, Payless Shoes, etc. File to the back of each secion; keep the file where you LIVE...you know...your CAR! File receipts as soon as you get back in the car and it will keep your purse neat and life almost-carefree! Get a new one each year; they are cheap at Walmart in the Office supply section. Already bought mine for '09! Happy new year, Ya'll. (12/28/2008)