Save Your Receipts To Promote Frugality

by David Ning · 7 comments


While packing for the move to the new apartment, I started throwing away all the receipts that I kept in my drawer for the past 2 years. Naturally, I started to become curious of all this spending through the last 24 months so I decided that it would be fun to just add up all the amounts from the huge load of receipts.

The total came out to be $18,495.34. Oh.. My.. God..

I felt a little disgusted because most of these expenses were not really necessities as my wife were taking care of the necessary expenses like groceries and utilities. To say that I wasted some money was an understatement. Instead of using $18k on eating out, electronics, entertainment, I could’ve put it into my savings account and be much further down my path to financial freedom.

I know, I need to spend money once in a while but $18k is a lot. Seeing this total gives me much more motivation to save money. For those of us that doesn’t like to save, perhaps keeping all the receipts for a few months and seeing all the money that could’ve been saved would be enough motivation.

What do you think? Would this work for you?

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Mark @ TheLocoMono says:

    I only save certain reciepts for stuff like warrenty or deductions. Everything else, I simply enter into my Money Plus software which provides me a detailed report on where my money is going.

    I love my Money Plus.

  • Carrie Anne says:

    I have been collecting all my receipts the past two months, since DH & I started having a stricter budget. I just put it in an envelope, but I also track as I go each month and deduct things from each area of the budget: car repair/oil changes, food, misc., entertainment, gas, etc.

  • SouthernbytheGraceofGod says:

    Congrats on your Wedding, firstly.

    I travel for a living, and I save every scrap of a receipt. At the end of the month when I tabulate my expense reports, OMG at the crap I spend money on. I really enjoy having BOA help with some of the spending with their keep the change savings, but, I could be inspired to save a bit more.

  • I did a similar excercise at the end of 2007. I had receipts from the entire year all over the floor. It would have taken me all day to add it up. I’d estimate it totalled more that $70K. Yeah, it made me want to hurl seeing all that spending. I took a pic and hope to post on my blog soon.

  • Fiscal Musings says:

    It sounds like it’s sleeting, but every time I turn on the outside light & look, nothings happening.

  • Fiscal Musings says:

    I would hate to save all the receipts, way too much clutter. But a good look every once and a while at our detailed credit card and bank statements wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

    • Deanna says:

      I saved my receipts in a shoe box just wrote the year in fancy writing or colored and kept it on a shelf in my office out of the way. Often we first put in a drawer causing lots of awful clutter but then i would take them all and add to my shoe box.

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