What to do with Receipts


One of the questions I answer most is “What do I do with my receipts?”  Here are some easy solutions.


Everyday Purchases

Only keep everyday purchase receipts until you know you don’t plan to take the item back, and it clears your debit or credit card.  These receipts can be kept in a small container that is easy to add to and clear out regularly (twice a month or so).  Using a small box with a lid…keeps them contained and helps keep your desk top clear.

Business or Tax Related Receipts

Are the receipts business related and/or need to be kept and filed for taxes or business records?  If so, you have two options.

-Paperless – creating digital images of needed receipts is a great option.  You can keep them organized in a file or different files on your computer, and throw the paper away.  Be sure to label the files well with the year and category of the receipts you are saving.

-Files – If throwing the receipts away is too scary, you can always use an accordion file with monthly tabs or tabs for each category to file all needed receipts.  Start a new accordion file each new year, and store the previous year’s accordion file with your tax info.

*I prefer accordion files over hanging files.  Small pieces of paper (like receipts) can easily slip out of file folders, but accordion files come in various sizes, and keep everything better contained.

Receipts for Items with a Warranty

I like to keep receipts for items that come with a warranty WITH the warranty information.  You can create a 3-ring binder to keep all of your manuals and warranty info organized and easy to find.  Tape the receipt into the front cover of the manual or to the warranty info page.  I have also found that some of my clients like to keep the box the item came in (especially in the case of electronics).  The warranty info and receipt can also be kept in the box.  These boxes can be stored in the attic or the top shelf of a closet…  Someplace you can find if needed, but you don’t need regular or easy access to.

Receipts in Your Purse

We have all been in those situations where we are handed the receipt and change at the same time – while the next person in line is obviously in a rush.  It can make you want to just throw it all in your purse and move out of the way.  Something I have found that helps keep my purse more organized is is a small, flat, zippered purse or plastic envelope specifically for receipts.  This helps keep the receipts from filing my purse, and gathers them all into one easy to access place.  You can clean this envelope/little purse out, and organize these receipts into your receipt box/digital images/accordion file…periodically (at least once a week).

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