When you first feel the need to start keeping receipts for everything you’ve purchased you’ll suddenly feel a cold chill as you realize that you’ve somehow become your own parents without noticing. After all, isn’t keeping hold of receipts something that your grandma does, and not a hip and vibrant young guy or gal like yourself?
But why would you even keep your receipts in the first place – what purpose do they serve?
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1. Proof of purchase
The bigger the ticket price for the item, the more important it is that you keep a receipt, especially for returns and warranty purposes. Everyone has had something break shortly after they bought it, and you’ve been mis-fortunate enough to throw the receipt away prematurely, you may have been out hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars. It’s the same feeling when something breaks 6 months down the line – too late for a return back to the store and even without the receipt you may stand little chance of having the item repaired or replaced under warranty. Some manufacturers let you register your warranty information online or through the mail to simplify the process, but not all. And what if you forgot to fill the form out? It’s recommended that you keep your receipts to show proof of purchase for at least the length of your product’s warranty. After that, the receipt does no good and just takes up space (with exception of #3 on the list).
2. Expense Tracking
When it comes to managing your personal financesAre Your Money Management Skills As Good As You Think They Are?. Read more ... », the only way you can get a clear picture of how much you’ve spent, and on what, is to examine the receipts that you keep on file. Anything otherPersonal Finance Management With A True Budget. Read more ... » than that is just guess work. Remember that there is a line between budgetingTop 3 Reasons To Use Card Nanny Over Downloadable Budget Software. Read more ... » and expense tracking. Receipts help you track your expenses, but they do not make a budget. You should always have a budgetPersonal Finance Management With A True Budget. Read more ... » in place before you make a purchase to ensure you are within your goals and are making financially sound purchasing decisions.
3. Tax deductions
If you’re filing an itemized tax return, you’re going to need every single receipt you can lay your hands on. Keeping them sorted now will save you the hassle of scrambling around at the last minute looking for them. Consider this: if you can lose your keys and spend 15 minutes trying to find them, imagine how you’re going to find all the receipts for the purchases you made through the year. Chances are, if you aren’t organizing your receipts, you won’t be able to find them when you need them.
Obviously the best way to keep receipts is not to just throw them all into a shoe box until you’re forced to file a tax return – that’s a good start but this is the 21st century and you’ll need to be far more organized than that. You could choose to download, install and attempt to figure out some receipt software. A better solution, in our humble opinion, is to simply sign up for a Card Nanny account instead.
Card NannyPersonal Finance Management With A True Budget. Read more ... » allows you to electronically store and categorize your receipts for permanent reference, including details like who was paid, store warranty, manufacturer warranty, and the date the purchase was actually made. All you need to keep your receipt filing system current is to simply login to your Card Nanny account and add any new receipts to your existing records. This goes without mentioning that using Card Nanny means you’ll always have access to your receipts no matter what happens, like if you throw that shoe box away without checking inside it first.
To summarize, keep your receipts for proof of purchase, expense tracking and tax deductions. You’ll potentially save yourself money on returns, warranties, and taxes – plus you can tweak your budget based on your spending habits and set new money saving goals yourself.