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Paper Organization Challenge – Day 10: Receipts

Paper Organization Receipts

Today’s topic is receipts … those tiny scraps of paper that seem to enter our lives and multiply almost daily! Wondering what on earth to do with them? Believe it or not, there are more options than tossing them into a shoe box.

Here are some simple strategies and tips to help you organize your receipts one and for all:

  • Establish a consistent location for collecting incoming receipts. While you are away from home this could be a specific spot in your wallet, purse, day-planner or briefcase. In addition, establish a dedicated spot at home or the office for all incoming receipts (be sure all family members or office staff are aware of this system as well). Tip: write pertinent notes immediately on your receipts right at the checkout counter (nature of business, location to file, reason for keeping, etc. – you’ll be happy you did when it comes time to process the receipt!)
  • Process receipts. Simply gathering receipts into a central location is only a first step. Depending on the quantity of receipts you collect you may need to process them monthly, weekly, or even daily! At this point you simply need to place all receipts in either (1) your Action Files (created on Day 4) if the receipt represents something that needs further handling like a rebate or reimbursement claim, or (2) your monthly files (meaning the January-December files we set up on Day 9). Now, when you do your monthly bookkeeping all your receipts will be right at your fingertips!

Once you have handled your monthly bookkeeping, receipts can either be tossed or filed. Here are some guidelines:

  • Keep Receipts for:
    • Items you may need to return
    • Items for which you need to be reimbursed
    • Rebates to be processed
    • Appliances and other large purchases
    • All business expenses (these receipts can actually be stapled right to your monthly bank statement or credit card statement)
  • Receipts that you can shred or recycle include:
    • ATM receipts and deposit slips once the amount is confirmed on your statement

I’d like to hear how you’re doing with our Paper Organization Challenge. Post a comment and let me know.

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