Friday, October 10, 2008

Keeping All Your Receipts

You know that feeling when you get inspired by a great idea? It doesn't have to be a big idea, it can be a small idea or even something you used to do before, but forgot. Then someone says something about it and you think, "OOH! I need to do that too!"

Then you know that feeling when you don't take the time to do it or just plain forget... and it turns out you should have done it back when you had the chance?


So a few weeks ago Budgets are Sexy put up this post: Tip #318: Keep All Your Receipts for at Least Three Months. I read it and thought to myself - ooohhh, now that's a good idea! Way back when (okay, sometime before online banking) I used to keep all my receipts, by year, in shoe boxes. I'd take a box, write the year on it in Sharpie and keep it on the shelf in my closet. At the same time I'd shove all my receipts into an envelope by my desk where I paid bills. Each month when my bank statement was mailed to me* I would check off the receipts against the statement, then toss all the receipts in my yearly shoe box. It wasn't particularly neat, but it worked, and if I ever needed a receipt I could find it either in the desk envelope or the box.

Then online banking came around...

Once I was able to take the crumpled receipts out of my jeans pocket and almost instantly check them online, I started throwing them away. Later, as I became more environmentally conscious, they went in the shredder then to the recycle bin. Which frankly, makes it even harder to use them if you need to, which is why I thought Budgets are Sexy was right and needed to go back to a shoe box system.

Except.... I didn't.

And you know where this is heading, right? Yep. I need a receipt and don't have it. A week or so ago I bought a rake at Lowes. I used it once and right in the middle of the yard - snap! The handle broke in two! Its a good quality rake, but my guess is there was just a bit of dry rot in the wood and it couldn't the pressure. Now I am wishing I had started that shoe box system back in September.

I can take a hint though. Last night I got out my trusty Sharpie and a cardboard box and put it on the closet shelf.

More Organized Reading:

Thoughts About Trying the Envelope System

Organizing My Life, My Finances and My Basement

Organizational Tools to Keep Me Motivated

Rare photo of a shoe box without a cat in it by: massdistraction
(Seriously 90% of the other photos of shoe boxes had cats in them. What is it with cats and shoe boxes?)

*Remember back when physical paper was actually sent through the mail? Crazy!


Budgets are Sexy said...

NOW you're talking! Good work ;) And thx for the mention!

Dawn said...

You are most welcome! I just wish I had done it months ago!! Grr....