Wednesday, May 31, 2006

What To Do With All These Receipts?

So sitting in a shoebox sized box next to my desk are all my receipts over the past few months. I usually shred them, but that takes way too long although my dog loves chasing each set of papers I send through the shredder...Trying to rip a piece of the paper before it makes it in is like a game for him. I tried making a fire, but that's just too much of a mess and takes too long. Maybe I should just put all my receipts in Brownie's crate so he can rip them apart. Haha...That's an idea I never thought of. Seriously, what to do? I'm debating just tossing them in the trash. I mean they only have the last 4 digits of my credit card number now. For expensive purchases, I've been scanning receipts and storing them on my computer. So much less clutter...well I still end up keeping the paper receipts lol. I guess my thinking is that since I'm so disorganized, the chances of finding my receipts are greater by having them in two locations. What do you do with your old receipts? How long do you keep them?


Justin said...

I'm always surprised at how hard people work to keep their information safe. It's probably a smart thing to do, but it seems so time-consuming. I just throw the receipts away, unless there is some identifying info on them or there's a chance I need to return something or have to prove I paid for a service if something is done wrong (such as a contractor screwing up a home repair for me).

Maybe someday I'm going to be an identity theft victim, but to this point I can't say I worry too much about these things.

LAMoneyGuy said...

Justin, you're playing with fire. The work to keep your info safe is nothing compared to the work required to dig yourself out of an id theft situation.

FF, invite a friend over to keep Brownie busy and get busy at the shredder! It's worth it.

SkyeBlue said...

For the bills I have to pay each month,rent, etc. I keep those for about 6 months in their own envelope so I can acsess them readily if I ever need them. For 1 time bills, or medical receipts I store them seperately. We pay all our bills by cash or money order so sometimes I have 2 receipts as proof of a payment.

But, if we have purchased say a new TV or whatever I take that receipt and staple it to the owner's manual and store that in one of those expanding files. That way if I ever need to find the manual, or the receipt to return the item, I know exactly where it is.

kassy said...

They sit in the shredder until I get around to shredding them which can be for months at a time. Then they go in the yard waste bin because layering paper between the veggie waste helps keep the bugs down.

freedumb said...

Great feedback everyone!

Justin, I think LAMoneyGuy is's all about reducing risk, so at least start with disposing a few receipts properly...I have to take my own advice though :)

LAMoneyGuy, Heh...Brownie would be quite mad that he doesn't get to chase papers before they hit the shredder...

SkyeBlue, I wish I was as organized as you! I've just doesn't stick...I like the stapling the receipt to the manual idea! Just can't lose the manual :)

kassy, Cool use of the shredder paper! I actually tried to make my own 'oil disposal box' using the shredded paper...but it doesn't hold oil as well as the 'oil eaters' they sell at the I probably won't do that again :)

the Prince of Thrift said...

Did you know if you itimize, you can deduct the sales tax on those receipts off your federal return. Started with 2004 tax year, so we have only been able to do it for a couple of years, but none the less, it's something to discuss with your tax preparer.