File receipts you need to keep.

A couple of days ago, you may or should have contemplated a cut-off date for your receipts.  Yesterday, you should have sorted those receipts into date order by month. I promise we are going to shred receipts soon, but in the meantime, I would recommend  Before you shred the ones before that cut-off date, you need to set aside the receipts you need to keep.  You should have already set aside your receipts for items under warranty.    I talked a few days ago about other receipts that I set aside, specifically ones for items I intend to return or receipts for moving expenses and job expenses and other expenses that can be deducted on your federal income taxes.  Today, I would suggest sorting through all your receipts and finding receipts you need to keep for these or other reasons.

This task may be very daunting, depending on how many years of receipts you have saved up.  Do what you can today, and spend 10-15 minutes a day on it until you get it done.  Keep in your mind that at the end of the journey, you will get rid of most of the paper and the rest of it will be organized.

DISCLAIMER:  We’ll start shredding soon.  I will link you to A pack rat’s guide to shredding on the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Consumer Information pages in the meantime.  I would also like to point out that I do not classify as receipts any of the following:  pay stubs, receipts for home improvements, bank statements, credit card statements, utilities bills, and particularly anything to do with any kind of taxes including canceled checks or receipts from federal, state, or local taxing authorities, even if these are receipts.  We will organize all of these later!   If you’re wondering whether you should shred something, call your attorney or accountant.  I am neither.

Time required:  A couple of hours spread out over days because my husband and I let more than three years of receipts pile up without sorting through them.

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