15-minute Fridays: organise your receipts

Ooh, hot topic alert here.

I don’t know why but whenever I talk about tossing your receipts, I get a lot of pushback.

Let’s think about why we keep receipts.

  1. I keep receipts until I can enter the expense on my spreadsheet. Yes, I can check my bank account and see I spent R354 at Clicks but I also want to know that R222 of that was my prescription and the rest was nail polish and chocolate (two different line items on my budget).
  2. I also keep receipts until I (or my family member) has fitted on the item of clothing. Once it fits and I/ they have worn it, I toss the receipt (if it’s been recorded on the spreadsheet). If not, I place the receipt together with the item in my errand bag to return.

In the picture above, I have worn the shoes but the bag strap is the wrong shade of green for the bag I wanted it for, so it will be returned. The bag strap plus the receipt is in my errand bag; hopefully I will return tomorrow.

For now, let’s clear receipts. You can toss these immediately:

  • anything older than a year (some retailers also only accept returns within three months – by the way, I have returned items outside of the date; politely smile and ask for a gift card instead of a refund)
  • any food retailer receipts
  • shoes and clothes you have worn

If there is something you need to return, grab a tote and add the item and your receipt, and put it next to your handbag or in your command centre.

How did you do? Is your wallet nice and clear? Are all the piles of receipts around your home in the bin?

Storing paper that has to be kept for a certain length of time

On Friday’s post, Julia asked …
I would love to know your favourite storage solution for things that can’t be tossed aka things that need to be filed for at least 2 years. Do you use an actual file? A box? A concertina thing? What’s your favourite and why?

and then Patty said on Facebook that she can’t decide what she needs to keep and what she can toss.

Great questions

First of all, I keep very little paper … and I could still throw out some more (I’m eyeing you, old workshop materials!).

The only things I think you HAVE to keep are tax records for 5 years in South Africa (please check with your accountant though – who knows if your situation may be different) and the obvious important documents like birth and marriage certificates, deeds to your house, car, etc.

And of course, I keep everything from the City of Joburg 🙂

A quick aside about the tax records… my colleague received a letter from the South African Revenue Services last year wanting to audit her from 2003. I would go into a flat panic but she picked up the phone, told them they’re only allowed to ask for the last 5 years, so were those years in question, they said no, and that was that.

So while I’m very tempted to let it all go, I personally keep about 7 – 8 years (depends how many years fit in my lever arch file) of tax records.

I have a lever arch file for all my tax and another file for all the other stuff but that’s it. My receipts for BIG purchases also go in that second file.

I don’t think there’s anything other than these types of documents that HAVE to be kept for any period of time.

For regular accounts like Telkom/ Cell C, I keep one til I see my payment appear on the next one. So I really only have 1 – 2 at any given time.

And concertina files, boxes and such are way too “loose” for me – the loosest I get with my paper is stapled together  and kept in a plastic project sleeve for a few months (like the Great Pre-school Search of 2012) until such project is complete.

Have I missed anything?

If you’re thinking about something specific, let me know in the comments and I’ll answer there for everyone to see.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com