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How to organize your receipts in bin

How to Organize and Store Your Receipts

Do you have receipts on your kitchen counter, bedroom dresser, in your purse, wallet or even on your car seat?  Here’s an easy way to organize and store your receipts.

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Step 1: Start with a three-drawer bin.  For this project, we used:

Sterilite ClearView 3 Storage Drawer Organizer

Step 2 (Optional): Make it pretty by trimming some scrapbook paper, and taping it to the inside.  Not only will it hide the view of the receipts, it is pretty to look at.  These papers were made by Reflections, and purchased at Michael’s Crafts:

Reflections Scrapbook Paper Purchased at Michael's Crafts

Step 3: Label each drawer.  Here are the label titles I used:

Top Drawer: Receipts

Middle Drawer: Health Care

Bottom Drawer: Reimbursements and Box Tops for School

Tools used

Tools for the receipt bin project

How to organize and store your receipts

Now, let’s talk about each drawer.

Top Drawer: Receipts

organize and store your receipts

Receipt envelopes

This is the drawer for all of your general receipts.  When you come home from the store, place your receipts here.  At the end of each month, I file the receipts in large colored envelopes.  You can use envelopes like these: Pastel A7 Envelopes

  1. Temporary Receipts (Orange) – Grocery, gas,dry cleaning,  banking, haircuts
  2. Clothing (Yellow) – All clothing and shoe receipts
  3. Household Items (Pink) – Small items for around the house; keep just in case it breaks or you need to exchange it (small appliances, yard items, décor,)
  4. Home Improvements – Save as long as you own the home (Green) Any item that increases the cost basis of your home.  According to the IRS, “Improvements include putting a recreation room in your unfinished basement, adding another bathroom or bedroom, putting up a fence, putting in new plumbing or wiring, installing a new roof, and paving your driveway.”

 Let’s stop for a tax lesson:

You paid $100,000 for your house.  You installed new windows, upgraded the landscaping, and put in a pool.  These items totaled $10,000.  Several years later, you sell your house for $150,000.  What is your gain?  It is only $40,000.  The other $10,000 is added to the cost of your home.  So save those receipts.  The tax laws are always changing, so you never know when you may need this information.  At this point, your job is to simply save the receipts.  You’ll need a tax professional to assist you when you sell your home.

5.  Hobbies (blue) – If you have a hobby or two, and purchase things on a regular basis, save your receipts.  Your hobby may one day need an appraisal, and the receipts will be helpful.

At the end of the month, transfer your colored envelopes to a larger storage bin labeled “2013.”  At the end of the year, you can toss all of the orange envelopes labeled Temporary Receipts.  These were your temporary receipts.  Just be sure to dispose of them properly (shred or burn).  Save all of the other receipts in your bin.


Middle Drawer: Health Care

This is meant to be a temporary holding place for your monthly medical receipts such as:

  • Prescriptions
  • Doctor’s Visits
  • Mail Order RXs
  • Summary Reports from Doctor
  • Over the Counter Receipts

At the end of the month, or at the end of every quarter, move the receipts to a medical folder in your file cabinet.  If you have a Flexible Spending Account or Health Savings Account, be sure to submit the receipts for reimbursement.


Bottom Drawer: Reimbursements and Box Tops for School

If you travel for business, you are bound to come home with receipts in your pockets, purse or wallet.  Keep these receipts in the bottom drawer until you’re ready to submit them for reimbursement.

Box Tops for Education Logo  Do you collect box tops for education?  When you finish a box of cereal, rip off the box top for education and drop in the bottom drawer.  We use a snack size zip lock bag with 50 box tops per bag.  For more information on this school fundraiser: http://www.boxtops4education.com/

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