How Do You Organize Receipts?

March 13, 2013 | By | Comments (8)

Credit Card and Receipts

Over the weekend, not only did I prepare and e-file my taxes, I also started a massive clean out project of all of the paper clutter that has been living in my apartment (and the apartments before this one!).

I used to be a meticulous receipt saver and organizer. Matching them up with my bank statements and filing them away in envelopes by year. But let’s be honest, I don’t have time (or the need) for that anymore. Instead, I’ve realized that less is more, and I’ve started scanning the important receipts (for major purchases or anything I would list on my renter’s insurance) and documents and shredding the rest. I’m probably an over-shredder, but there’s something so satisfying about that little machine.

I want to know how you organize your receipts? Do you even save them? POPSUGAR Living has some great tips on how to organize all those little slips. I especially like the idea of requesting e-mail receipts.


  1. Michele

    I’ve recently started to scan all of my receipts and save them in different folders on my computer. I do the same at work and thought, why aren’t I doing this at home? It’s worked out really well for me. I even lost a receipt for some items that I wanted to return but I was able to print it out and return them with no problem.

    I first create folders to represent the year (2012, 2013, etc.), then within those folders I have categories like Health, Car, Insurance, etc. and then within those folders, I have folders labeled by months (Feb, March, etc.).

    March 13, 2013 at 12:26 pm
  2. Vanessa Santiago

    What type of paper-shredder machine is best for the home? I’ve heard the only ones that don’t constantly get jammed are the high end industrial ones, but those are very expensive. Maybe RS magazine could do a trial to find out the best, or if they have already done it could you point me to it online? Thanks!

    March 13, 2013 at 3:09 pm
  3. Kristin Appenbrink

    Hi Vanessa, thanks for the question. We have reviewed paper shredders before, but it looks like some of our recommendations are outdated. Here’s the updated version of our winning shredder:

    I personally have this shredder from Fellowes, which I picked up at Target: I like it, but you do have to let it cool down occasionally. Hope that helps!

    March 13, 2013 at 3:16 pm
  4. sdavis

    Get a crosscut shredder mine is low end but it never jams up when I had a ribon one it was always jamming up. There is also a great scanning program called paper port I use it at work you can scan one or several items to put in a file, name the file then just drag and drop in a folder

    March 13, 2013 at 7:21 pm
  5. Shirley

    I am looking for a solution. I used to save everything, file all the receipts and check everything on my bank statement just like Kristen. But I got divorced, had 3 kids, remarried and added 2 step-sons…and last year I was hospitalized 4 times…My desk is covered with papers, receipts, health info, and I am at a loss of where and how to start…and Tax Day is April15th. Any suggestions? I came down here to begin…but where? So I logged on to my email and Real Simple and here was the beginning of my answer….but all of you have already scanned your receipts….where do I get a good simple scanner that doesn’t cost alot? Any ideas would be helpful

    March 14, 2013 at 2:00 am
  6. Kristin Appenbrink

    Hi Shirley, I have the Neat Receipts scanner (, and I really like it. I would say don’t spend the time scanning in things you don’t need to keep. Popsugar also has a guide to what you need to keep and for how long. ( Start by organizing those documents by year and scanning them in as you have time. The rest you can shred. Good luck with your organizing project!

    March 14, 2013 at 10:20 am
  7. Stan @ Chicago Paper Shredding

    The trick to most home shredders is to go slow. They just dont have a large capacity. I also read on a tax site that after you file, you can throw out or shred you old reciepts then. The IRS can use bank records to verifity deductions if for some reason you are audited.

    March 28, 2013 at 10:59 am
  8. sandy

    speaking of shredders, i am purging my file cabinets and would like to find free industrial shredding, anyone have any ideas.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:57 pm

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