I want to introduce a new series of posts for the blog – reader tips!
Its usually my own home projects and ideas that I am showing you, and so there is a vast array of ideas that others have created and are using well in their own homes that I would love to explore as well. It’s always fantastic to hear from you as to what works for you as well, and I am getting lots of emails with great ideas from you which I want to showcase here – hence where this series has sprung from.
Reader Tip – How to organise receipts
Todays post is all about a couple of fantastic yet easy ways that a reader has found to organise her receipts – thank you to Susan for this tip, I hope it helps give you some ideas if you are struggling for a system for your receipts in your own home. So lets take a look!
Receipts can be a pain – we need to keep a track of them for 2 main reasons:-
- TIME RELATED – To check against bank statements and/or for expense tracking
- PROOF OF PURCHASE RELATED – In case we need to return or query a purchase – proof of purchase
You end up getting a LOT of receipts and paperwork coming into the house as a result of these 2 needs, of which all need to be organised in some way.
Finding an easy way to store and find the ones you need is really important – and that’s where Susans tips come in really handy.
1. Storing receipts by date
The first thing you will most likely want to do with receipts is to check them off your bank statement, and Susan has a simple yet effective system to deal with all the receipts coming into her home:-
When I get a receipt from somewhere for an item I 1. put in in my wallet. 2. clean out the receipts when I get home, 3. put the receipts on a spindle/spike ( i.e a knitting needle or the like, with dates going from earliest in the month on the bottom of the stack to the latest of the month on the top of the stack,( as the month goes along that is). I take the spindle of chronologically stacked receipts to the desk in the office. When the bank statement shows up, and I’m ready to check through purchases, I turn over the spindle and go purchase by purchase which are already stacked from the first through the end of the month. Goes pretty fast and is EASY!!
I love this idea as it keeps things simple, and keeps the receipts neatly and tidily together so you have much less chance of losing anything.
Getting into the habit of taking receipts out of your purse daily or weekly can also streamline this really easily.
As a step further I would like to add that you could then transfer all the receipts you need to keep for expenses etc… into an expanding file – where you can create a file per year, and then label the tabs within the file per month. Simply store away the receipts you have to keep in the right month, and shred the rest once checked off against your bank statement.
Next Susan moves on to the receipts she wants to keep purely for proof of purchase – no longer are they needed specifically in date order.
Storing receipts for proof of purchase
Proof of purchase receipts are best off being stored in categories rather than by date, so that if you need to return something or check the details of a purchase you can simply look in the right category and find what you need quickly.
Susan simply uses a shoe box sized container with tabs and add labels according to the category that her purchased item fall into, as shown in the picture here:-
She uses the same box to store extra cards for creating new labels, and has a purge every so often to ensure the box doesn’t get too overwhelming (i.e. when the date has passed that an item can be returned – or when she no longer owns the item in question).
Her top tip is to use specific categories that are easy for you to understand, and also colour code them so that you can easily and quickly find receipts when needed.
So, if you are wanting a system to store your receipts, I would look at this approach to make life simple:-
- Place all incoming receipts on a spike so that they collect together in date order
- At the end of each month check against your bank statement
- Any receipts not required any longer can be shredded
- Any receipts that you need to keep for expenses reasons can be placed in a date specific concertina file
- Any receipts for purchases you may want to return can be placed in a well categorised shoe box container.
- All receipts to be purged regularly and any no longer required to be shredded
I want to thank Susan again for these ideas, as I am sure they will help you when you come to organise your own receipts.
NOTE – If you would like to feature on the site in a future post, and you have a great organising idea that has really helped you and the way you live, then I would absolutely love to hear from you! – contact me HERE and we can take it from there. Thanks in advance!