Saving Receipts - Is It Necessary?

Wong Wai Jeat
| April 2019

Every person that purchases something from a store gets a receipt. Even with online purchases, you will receive a receipt by either email or paper. It used to be a more common practice to save receipts, but since the introduction of ePayment, saving receipts can seem a little, well, archaic. So, should you save receipts or toss them? Let’s get to the bottom of it.

When to Toss Receipts

There are some receipts that you can simply toss to the side without worrying about them, such as small purchases when buying an inexpensive meal or clothing item – but this is after you have verified the purchases on your card statement. You can also get rid of utility bills along with phone bill receipts, as itemized bills can often be found online and date back several years in order to catch discrepancies.

When to Keep Receipts

Keeping receipts for everything you purchase can become messy, but there are times when you should hold onto your proof of purchase. When something goes wrong, a receipt can prove it without fail.

Business Related Expenses

To be reimbursed for business expenses you will need to be keep track of receipts. Some companies require proof of every expense, including costs of travel, conference fees, meals and any other items that your company will cover.

Items with a Warranty 

If a product with a warranty stops functioning within the warranty period, you can get a repair or replace the item at no cost, but the warranty period depends on whether or not you kept the receipt. With that proof of purchase, your warranty starts on the date you bought the item. Without a receipt, your warranty start date will default to the date indicated by the product’s serial number which relates to the manufacture date. Given the number of days, months (or years) between the date the product was made and your purchase date, that 2 year warranty you thought you had might end up being valid for only a few months. Save your receipt! 

Reconcile Statements

It is extremely important to reconcile bank and credit card statements with receipts to make sure every transaction on your statement has been entered correctly. By comparing receipts to statements, you’ll be able to catch errors such as duplicated transactions, coding errors, or fraudulent transactions. Keep receipts until you have reconciled them.

Proof of Services Rendered

When a repairman visits to fix an appliance, the plumbing or heating systems, or other major household item, it may not be fixed the first time. Keep your receipt so that you have proof of services paid for that were not completed properly.

It is a good practice to get into saving receipts for important purchases and expenses, especially if there is a warranty involved. But today, there’s no need to stash away paper receipts in a box or spend hours organizing them when receipt organizing apps are so readily available.

These apps make it easy to scan receipts and keep track of major purchases. Some, like XimpleThings, have very handy features to manage warranties including registration and notification when an item’s warranty is about to expire.

There’s no point in saving receipts if you can’t find one when you need it!

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