Unclutter Now: Receipts

What to do with receipts? They clutter your wallet, your purse, and they fade away. Yet you don’t throw them away “just in case”.
First, we need to distinguish two kinds of receipts: credit card receipts, and product receipts.
Here’s how to deal with each one.

Product Receipts

product receipt

  • For purchases of value, or with a guarantee, there’s a definite need to keep the receipt. In case of theft or problem, these receipts will come in handy.
  • Make sure you know which receipt is for what product. Store references are sometimes not very clear compared to us ordinary mortals. “Samsung 60XT74W” may seem somewhat comprehensible right after you bought the item, but a year from now? Not so much. Feel free to clarify what kind of item this is (e.g. TV).
  • Once you’ve done that, you can either take a picture with your smartphone, or scan it to your computer, so you can have an additional record of it (in case you lose the original).
  • There’s no need to keep receipts for appliances past their warranty. Once the date has passed, they are no longer useful.
  • Keep receipts for clothes or apparel, in case of refund or if you need to exchange it. If the clothes fit, and you’re happy with your purchase, then you can throw out the receipt. It has become irrelevant.

Credit Card Receipts

credit card receipt
A lot of people have at home dozens of envelopes full of credit card receipts, piously preserved for months, if not years. Their content has become unreadable, and no one can tell what they’re even for. Useless clutter.

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who check, and those who do not.
And I’m not talking about checkbooks, but your bank accounts.

If you don’t check your bank accounts (specifically by checking that all the receipts match your account), then why keep those pesky pieces of paper? To entertain the idea that one day, maybe, you will soon work on that backlog? Doubtful.
There is no real reason to clutter your wallet or purse with all of this paperwork. Might as well get rid of it.

If you check your accounts (income vs. expenditure), then you probably do so regularly.
Therefore, the only use you should have for a credit card receipt is to track back a forgotten expense.
Even so, there are now many online services available to track what you spend.
Of course, you can simply check your official bank’s records. If you have multiple accounts, this may be a pain to do, in which case you should look into other ways of combining everything (for example, Mint).
The bottom line is simple: as long as you have a correct record of your transaction with your bank, there is no need to keep a credit card receipt.

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