Receipts are a pain in the neck for so many people. I get asked all the time what to do with them. If you have to keep a lot of receipts such as for a small business, Hanging Expanding Files are a great way to keep them under control.
I got a RED one so it stands out in my desk file drawer which is to my right.
The beauty of this product is that it hangs easily anywhere you can hang a Pendaflex folder - in a file drawer, a file box or even in an archival file container. AND it has no lid to restrict your access. You can just drop the receipts in.
After recording business expenses in my business log, all I have to do is open my financial file drawer and drop the receipt in the appropriate section of the file. I love it!
It has 12 sections so you can file by category or by month. I prefer categories myself.
Some of the categories I use are:
- "Large Home Purchases" for stuff like new furniture, large home repairs etc.
- "Temporary" for groceries and other small non-tax-deductible purchases. I only keep these receipts until I know they have appeared on my credit card and/or I know I won't be returning anything on the receipt. Everything month or 2 I toss the old receipts
- "Cars" for you guessed it, car repairs!
For my Business I use the Schedule C categories as my guide:
- "Office Expenses"
- "Books, Education & Training"
- "Computers / Electronics"
- and others that I need to complete my Schedule C at the end of the year.
At the end of the year, I take that year's business receipts and slip them into page protector pockets to file with my completed tax forms in my tax archive file cabinet which is in my attic. (The only receipts I keep handy are for larger purchases like computers that I may need to refer to for warranties. )
Most household receipts don't need to be kept for any more than the possible return period, usually 90 days. I recommend filing them by month in the hanging file and every month go through the receipt files 4 months ago and recycle any that would not be needed for insurance or warranty purposes.
Or you can use a Home Reference Binder with a tabbed vinyl pocket just for Receipts and go through it regularly to eliminate the old ones. See my website page on filing & binder supplies I recommend.
The expanding hanging file is also great to use as a tickler file. Just set up one pocket for each month and file things such as invitations, directions, greeting cards you need to send that month, health insurance claims you need to send in, and event tickets.
If you file medical insurance claims regularly, this can be a great time saver. Just put a blank submittal form (if you need one) in each month's (or every other month's) pocket along with preaddressed & stamped envelopes to make the job easier.
As you get them, drop the forms you get from the doctor in the tickler and then at the end of the month, send off the claims.