How to Organize Receipts
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?
Lauren @ The Thinking Closet Says
I’m so delighted that you were inspired by my Receipt Organization…and it’s so exciting to see how you created your own. Thanks for the shout-outs, too, Laura! I’ll be sure to return the favor in my next Reader Showcase!
I love your pink organizers, however in the interest of keeping things simple, i believe i would have used just ONE organizer with only the word ‘Receipts’ on it (without the year, that way it can be used every year without the hassle of changing the label) and i would have put ALL receipts in there but put a pink paperclip on the Personal receipts and a green one on the Business ones, especially since you only have a couple of them each month. (or just a paperclip on one category and leave the other category loose without a clip.)
LauraJane SaysPost author
That’s a great idea. I hadn’t thought about separating them with paperclips.
I have a similar way of organizing receipts, but I’m like Brianna and, at the end of the year, take out all receipts, go through them one more time (say I bought an article of clothing in January, I don’t need it anymore by December, because if I was going to return it, I would’ve already), keep very important ones (big-ticket items, etc.), and file them with my yearly paperwork (that includes taxes, etc.), and start afresh with the same organizer for the new year.
LauraJane SaysPost author
Great idea on clearing them out at the end of the year.
I. NEED. THIS. SO. BAD.
And I think I have one of those Target organizers. I use one for my coupons, but this would be a perfect use for the other! THANK YOU!
LauraJane SaysPost author
Yes, the Target organizers are great! Using them for coupons is also a great idea.
Crystal Winters Says
I have started scanning receipts and organizing them by year but then within that I organize by company. They are all backuped to an external hard drive that I can just grab in case of an emergency and present the receipts to the insurance or whomever if there are any questions.
Shirley Hardrix Says
I have two of these. One is labeled for even year receipts and the other for odd year receipts. The receipts that was saved for 2016 will be cleared out. Receipts from 2017 will be cleared out at the start of 2019.
I know this post is old but do you remember what month they had these receipt organizers? I’ve been looking for these for years but I can never find in the dollar section.
Tasha Whitsitt Says
They were in the Dollar Spot at Target, so it is a hit and miss item. You might try looking on Amazon for something similar.