- Just say no. Don't fall into the habit of accepting every receipt that comes your way. Say no at the checkout when you know you don't need it for later.
- Store in the right place. Designate a place for receipts. A folder that's divided up into different categories will help you sort receipts better than if you were to dump them all into one big envelope.
- Scan them. Invest in a scanner and scan the receipts that you don't need physical copies of. Receipts tend to fade with time, so saving a digital copy of them not only adds less clutter, but also help you keep a permanent record.
- Snap a photo. Another convenient option for digital copies of receipts is to take photos with your phone or camera.
- Use sites and apps. Use tech tools to help you with this chore. The Lemon smartphone app lets you quickly scan the receipt, then keep track of it on your phone or an account online. Shoeboxed is a great service in which you send in paper documents like receipts and business cards for staffers to scan and digitize so you don't have to do it yourself.
- Know what to keep. Read our guide to educate yourself on what paperwork you actually need to keep and what's fine to throw away.
- Clear it regularly. Take a look at your receipts you stash in your wallet, and try your best to clear it out regularly — either toss them or store them in your folder. Remember to also monitor that folder regularly as well, and go through it to trash receipts you no longer need.
- Request email receipts. If you can, always opt for an email receipt when given the choice. Many businesses and services, even doctors, give you that option now instead of paper receipts.
There are plenty of ways (and apps) to help you track your finances, but for those who aren't exactly tech-savvy — or who simply can't sit still long enough to manually enter each and every purchase — collecting receipts can be a great, hassle-free money management technique.
Here's how it works: When you receive a receipt, place it in a small coin purse that you can transfer into whichever bag you choose to carry that day. Every time you add a receipt to the coin purse, you'll have a visual reminder of how many purchases you've made recently — and a better idea of whether or not you need to cut back on those afternoon lattes.
Empty the coin purse weekly and stash the stack of receipts in a special drawer or folder. Then, at the end of the month, paperclip all the receipts together and add a label that marks the month plus your total dollars spent. That way, next time you need to analyze your budget or reassess your finances, everything is in its place.
Receipts, just like bills, are heading towards the paperless route. Many retailer giants, like Whole Foods Market, Nordstrom, Gap Inc., are sending customers digital receipts, and it's a trend that's catching on.
The pros to getting electronic versions of receipts include having less clutter and being able to search and organize your receipts with ease on computers. It is also obviously more environmentally friendly. The biggest downside to that will be the retailers may potentially spam you with offers once they get a hold of your email address.
What do you think of paperless receipts?
So I know it sounds like such a simple tip but really it does make a difference! I recently moved and had hired a moving company. After a long day, I signed and paid for an invoice that seemed reasonable enough for me. Well, later I went back and realized that moving company had actually charged me for the movers' breaks and their lunch! I called up the company the next morning to explain what happened and they refunded me the difference! Guess it pays to double check!
I'm glad it all worked out for Colbie. This rule applies to all kinds of receipts — I always double check my grocery, restaurant, and other types of bills just in case there's some sort of miscalculation. You'd be surprised how many times you'll catch a careless mistake! Share your savvy tips in the How Do You Save group.
Logging receipts by category is an effective tool for better managing your budget, but it requires careful spreadsheet or envelope work. Help those of us who are drowning in paper by sharing how you organize your little spending records.
Weights and measures inspectors from Northern California discovered that Target repeatedly charged customers with higher prices than the listed prices, and as punishment Target must pay a $1.7 million civil penalty. Sonoma County District Attorney Stephan Passalacqua remarked, "Customers should not have to worry about being charged the correct price. We believe the settlement sends a message."
The investigation was limited to Northern California, but there's more than a good chance electronic scanners in Targets all over the country have been over-charging customers. Target is a fan-favorite around here, but spending money unnecessarily is not OK. Next time you are shopping at Target, or anywhere for that matter, make sure you're paying attention to what you're being charged — those mistakes add up.
It's an automatic reaction to dissect receipts for more big-ticket items or when our shopping trips are limited to a few items. When we make serious grocery store runs, involving dozens of items, it might seem like more of a hassle to scan through the receipt for errors, and besides we watch every item as it properly scans, right?
Checking the receipt on the spot may be out of the question with the next person in line breathing down your neck, and once you leave the store it's difficult to prove that you've been charged for two of an item when you only walked out with one. Do you check your receipt for errors, or do you think it's a waste of time?
Now that online banking allows us to easily track every purchase we make with our debit cards, cashiers at some places like coffee shops ask whether or not we want our receipt when we've made a debit purchase. There are some people who only use debit cards to simplify the process of tracking expenses, but if you're charged incorrectly and didn't take a receipt you won't have any argumentative leverage.
I'll admit that I'm guilty of saying no to a receipt when in a rush, but it's not a good habit to adopt. Do you always take your receipt?
As we spend money we inevitably collect a messy paper trail of bills, transactions and receipts.
Consequently, keeping your receipts orderly and wallet clean is a never ending challenge.
If you're looking to organize your finances you should check out some of the online services that help keep track of your spending and receipts. The options vary per service but a combination of any program with your old school "receipt box" (or the bottom of your purse) can help you better manage your spending and keep track of where your money is going every month. For the simplest ways to get started, read more