Going through my drawer full of receipts over the weekend was like driving through Manhattan during rush hour. The long and painful process involved looking through them one by one and trying to figure out which ones are really worth keeping. In hindsight, I should have thrown out the ones I won’t need but maybe it’s the “better safe than sorry” mentality that kept me from sorting them out from the get go.
“Why do I even keep those receipts”? I asked myself numerous times. Below, I thought of 11 reasons why I save those seemingly useless pieces of paper.
- Refund – What if I needed to return something? Having a receipt is surely the only way for a hassle free exchange or return (assuming the terms on the back of the receipt says I can).
- When you don’t shop at Nordstorm – Whatever I said is not correct if you shop at Nordstorm. This department store’s return policy seems to be “we don’t have one”. I heard Costco has a pretty relaxed policy as well. Use it, don’t like it and return it anytime.
- Reimbursements – If you work for a company where you have to make purchases for them, you better save your receipts to get reimbursed. Whenever I see people filing expense reports with only one receipt worth less than $5, I always wondered “Why can’t you group them together and file less?” That was until the accounting department send us an email telling everyone to file those expense report no later than a week after the expense is incurred. Alright, if you want to do more work, I will shut up.
- Check Against Your Credit Card – I know so many people who never check their purchases against the credit card statements anymore. It’s such a shame because they might be paying for things they didn’t even buy. Worst yet, overpaying tips that they never authorized.
- Get Tax Reductions – As more and more taxes are filed online, it seems like there’s no need to keep those receipts. Just wait till you get an audit. You will be sorry then.
- Price Matches – Your credit card could have a program, the stores have them and your spouse might even offer it. The only proof of purchase though is through your receipt. Keep them.
- Save It for Warranties – Unless you want to fake a receipt (illegal in case you didn’t know), keeping those receipts just in case is a good idea. This is especially true for electronics, because usually the first thing they ask after you get on the phone is “When did you buy it”.
- In case the Cashier Never Activates Your Gift Card – I’ve ALWAYS worried that the cashiers will do something wrong with those gift cards. Now I have proof that it does happen.
- Show Proof for Services If it Wasn’t Fixed the First Time – Ever get something fixed and it starts breaking again within a week? Show them your receipt and tell them it wasn’t fixed correctly the first time.
- Record it in Your Budget – If you don’t save your receipts, how will you remember to write it down in your budget? Whether you do it everyday or once a week, just save those receipts because even if you CAN remember them, why waste your brain power when you don’t have to?
- Figure Out How to Use Up Your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) – If you can’t use up your FSA, wouldn’t you want to know what you bought before that qualifies? Receipts are a great place to start.
Maybe some things are just necessary after all. Save those receipts.