We generate and receive receipts regularly due to several engagements, purchases, trips, and events. However, we rarely know how to organize receipts most sensibly.
Organizing and storing receipts is a task that should be taken with care because these receipts might be needed for various reasons such as claiming refunds, showing references, providing proof of work, business bookkeeping, or simply for the purpose of personal financial record keeping. Every receipt should be subjected to proper storing, from daily casual receipts to more formal types of receipts such as business tax receipts or rent receipts.
This article will show you how you can organize and store receipts securely in your personal and professional life.
Why should you organize receipts?
Before thinking of organizing and storing various types of receipts, you should acknowledge the purposes of why you should be doing this. You might find it trivial to keep the receipts to yourself in an organized way, yet it might potentially carry enormous significance.
Here are some reasons you should consider which will inspire you to learn how to organize receipts sensibly:
- Businesses need to keep track of the expenses and cash receivables for the purpose of bookkeeping. To keep the bookkeeping out of any error, you should focus on storing them.
- You might be out of your office due to business trips which might cost you numerous times, and you have to show the receipts to the authorities to get the money.
- Shopping itself produces a handful of receipts for you, and you might need a refund for any faulty item you bought. So, storing the receipts would be necessary.
- The personal financial calculation requires receipts you got at a different point of sales. Organized and stored receipts help you avoid errors during the calculation.
Except for these reasons, you might have a plethora of reasons which require safe storing of receipts in an organized way.
5 Best ways to organize and store receipts
Below are the 5 best ways to organize receipts for future usage.
1. Categorizing the receipts and storing them in file cabinets
While organizing the receipts, the first way you can use it is to make categories of the receipts, which help you sensibly manage the receipts.
You might have a wide array of receipts in your possession, which is increasing daily. So, categorizing the receipts would give you an edge in going through the particular genre whenever there is a necessity. Following are some categories that you can consider while categorizing:
- Home utilities. (Electricity, water bill, gas receipt)
- Shopping. (Daily groceries receipts, clothing, jewelries)
- Travel. (Business trips, vacation)
- Supplies. (Business expenses on supply materials)
- Insurance. (Disability premiums, health insurance, property insurance)
- Various types of Cash receipts ,Auto repair receiptsand itemized receipts.
These are some common types of categories that you consider. But there are, of course, more categories that can further be divided into subcategories.
After ensuring that you categorized them well, manage a file cabinet and rename the files according to the genres that you have selected.
2. Sorting receipts by date and time
Another best way to organize receipts is a sorting method based on date and time.
You may use any medium that is available to you or you are comfortable with.
First, collect all the receipts and organize them according to the date you have received them.
This method helps you arrange the receipts so that you may see the expense of a particular day in a month. This is important mainly for businesses and companies of different sizes.
3. Manage the receipts in a jar
This is a method for those who want to keep the receipts safe but needn’t arrange them in a particular order.
Bring a jar, preferably one that is unused so far in your house, and you don’t need it right now. Put the receipts on the jar but if you think some receipts are more critical than others, keep them a little above for the convenience of picking up.
This method is mainly for individuals who want to keep receipts for safety purposes. It is not for businesses or meticulous and calculative individuals who need personal calculation in detail very frequently.
4. Use expanding files
Using expanding files is one of the best ways to store receipts.
They are cost-effective as a file cabinet might cost you multiple times more. Using the expanding files, you can keep things organized and categorize them according to your need and preference.
You can even carry the files with you whenever necessary.
But the downside of using expanding files is that you can’t put a lot of paper into it. Again, security might be an issue while using them. So, if you want to organize business receipts, then this is not your choice.
5. Digitize the process
If you find security an issue worth dealing with while arranging and storing the paper receipts, then going paperless would be the best choice.
Digitizing the entire process would enable you to get rid of the security issues. Various receipt scanning apps are available nowadays, scanning your receipts and making digital copies of them.
Going digital would pose a threat as you need to have access to your device all the time to check the receipts, and scanning all of them would be cumbersome at times. But once done, it would help you tackle the security issues and save money and space.
Tips on organizing and storing receipts
You should pay attention to the following tips to make organizing and storing receipts a breeze.
Remove the unnecessary receipts
Keep in mind that storing something and arranging it are two entirely different activities. Even if you choose to save all of your receipts, there is no requirement that you place them in any particular way. The receipts that you will need to obtain later for things like filing taxes, returning stuff, or keeping tabs on costs are the things that you will want to arrange.
So, try to be selective while choosing the receipts to store and organize. Try to keep the receipts that are necessary to you. If you find any receipts unnecessary or irrelevant to your calculation, you should leave them.
Stay consistent with your collection
Even after choosing a nifty medium for organizing and storing your receipts, you may fall short of your expectation if consistency is the issue.
The habit of keeping the receipts in place just after receiving them is the way that you should practice from the very beginning of your journey.
Again, the same overall strategy of retaining receipts, capturing information, and categorizing them each year can keep your information consistent, dependable, and easily accessible.
So, be consistent in your process, but more importantly, you should handle the receipts in a way that maintains continuity.
Don’t forget to backup the digitized receipts
If you want to go digital and paperless, at first, think of a way in which you will be able to back up the receipts.
You should create a computer backup to protect scanned files. For that, insert a blank USB stick into your computer. Copy and paste receipts from the PC to the USB stick. Update this storage stick every few months.
Organizing and storing the receipts in a secure medium is necessary as we generate, receive and print receipts regularly due to several engagements, purchases, trips, and events. The processes and tips discussed above are thoroughly helpful in managing receipts most sensibly. So, follow them to get the best result in managing receipts for any further reference in the future.