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.
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)
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