Feel like you are drowning in your receipts? Following these simple tips can help you keep those pesky receipts in check and you in control.
Individuals have varying methods of keeping their receipts in check. For instance, a lot of moms religiously save receipts for clothing, holiday purchases, large items and others just in case there’s a problem, while some others are quick to throw them away.
However, if you’re a mompreneur, you’ve really got to come up with receipt-saving skills – and fast. Imagine you buy a bunch of office equipment, write it off at tax time and then get audited. Chances are good that you’re going to be facing a lot of trouble.
It’s exceedingly important to keep track of your receipts, but saving each and every slip of paper you get probably isn’t necessary, either in the office or at home. So, where can you strike the balance?
Know what you don’t need
There are plenty of receipts you don’t need. Basically, if you’re not going to write off a purchase or you don’t need proof of the transaction for your records (think vendor sales – how are you going to prove you got all the gadgets and gizmos you were promised if there’s no receipt?), you probably don’t have to hang on to it. Sure, it’s better to err on the side of caution, but there’s a difference between doing that and building a mountain of papers in your office.
What about at home?
A good rule of thumb is to keep the receipts for anything you give as a gift, large purchases (especially if you have a warranty) or things you may return. For instance, if you buy a DVD and you’re going to watch it that night, you can probably throw out that slip. However, if you also bought clothes on this shopping trip, hold onto that one until you’re sure they all fit.
Where should you keep them?
Chances are good that there are going to be fewer receipts that you need at home than in the office. So, when you’re in your house and come across a slip that you ought to save, put it in a folder and keep it someplace safe. For instance, if you’ve got little ones, put it in a cabinet – don’t leave it lying around, where it’s bound to become confetti or the canvas for a beautiful crayon drawing.
As for the office, you should have a set spot for important receipts so they don’t get lost. Consider a filing cabinet separated by months to keep things organized or invest in accounting software that allows you to take a picture of each receipt, then save it and attach these to your digital files.
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