I used to keep every single receipt I received, at least for a while.  For my food and beverage receipts, I’d keep them until I verified that the amount on the receipt matched my credit card statement.  For my shopping receipts, I’d keep them until I was sure I wasn’t going to return the purchase.

What I discovered after doing this for years is that keeping food and beverage receipts is very very unnecessary.  For one, it’s not like you can return it.  And two, 99.9% of the time, the charges are correct.  The only time I remember it not being correct was when a restaurant entered an incorrect total.  Again, this only happened once since I started tracking my expenses almost a decade ago.  Since the need to verify these receipts is so insignificant, I’ve pretty much stopped checking completely and toss my food and beverage receipts almost immediately.

As for my shopping receipts, I still keep them until my purchases are no longer returnable, like after I’ve washed it (clothes), given it away (gifts) or worn it outside (shoes).

Since food and beverage receipts make up the vast majority of receipts I get, implementing this change (of not keep them) has made a huge difference.  I feel so much more organized without all those little crinkled slips of paper popping out of my purse, wallet and drawers.


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