I recently set up an organizing system for my 2014 receipts that is working well for me. I saw the idea here on the Thinking Closet blog and immediately knew I wanted to do the same thing. In this post, I’ll talk about how I set up the systems and my rationale for determining which receipts to save.
First, I picked up these receipt organizers in the Target dollar spot for (you guessed it) just one dollar! They even had full size ones (that hold regular sized paper) for the same price. I’ve used something like these before, but it always annoyed me that I had to handwrite on the labels they provide. My handwriting is terrible, so I hate to look at it. Therefore, inspired by Lauren’s idea, I made my own!
It was super quick and easy to design and cut. Honestly, the whole thing for both organizers probably took less than 20 minutes. (If you are interested, Lauren has a detailed tutorial about how she did it.) Lauren used the beautiful Silhouette silver foil sticker paper for her label, but my printer will not print on that paper. Therefore, I used a full sheet of Avery removable sticker paper to print and cut. It’s some of my favorite sticker paper because it prints and cuts easily plus you can remove or reposition the stickers. I used it for my file labeling project as well.
As you can see, I’m using two organizers. One is for our personal/household receipts and one is for my business receipts. I used the Silhouette silver foil paper to make the labels on the outside. I love how something so simple really dresses them up while also being super practical so I can tell them apart.
When it comes to determining which receipts to save in here and which toss, I keep things pretty simple and streamlined. Here are my two simple rules:
1) I don’t print out online receipts. I feel like it’s a waste of time and ink. I have a very detailed folder structure in my e-mail which ensures that I can always find them quickly if needed. Although I do need to save receipts for all of my business expenses for tax purposes, the vast majority of the things I buy for my business are online, so I only have a few physical receipts (usually not more than 2 or 3 per month).
2) For personal purchases, I only save receipts for big ticket items or things I think I may return (like clothing). I just toss the rest of my receipts after I record them in our budget. This means there are usually only a few receipts each month that I need to save. This really make things a lot easier if I do need to find a receipt. I have a lot less to search through. I used to save all our receipts, and it really didn’t work well. I’ve never needed a grocery receipt, gas receipt, or restaurant receipt a year later, so why save them?
How about you? How do you organize your receipts and determine what to save and what to toss?