1,500+ receipts now shredded… Oy. I swear, every season I tell myself I’m gonna do them more frequently but I never do! So I end up having to shred like a bazillion receipts which not only takes me forever (1.5 hours), but cramps up my hands at the same time, haha… It’s not fun.
Do you know what’s MORE not fun than that, though? Getting your identity stolen. Or your credit cards/banking accounts hacked – BLEH. I’d gladly shred for a few hours here and there to make sure my $hit is safe, for sure. Though it would be a lot smarter if I just found some large industrial one out there I can use (for free) instead, huh? I think my poor little machine is a bit stressed out right now, haha… and the same with the wife ;) I put her through quite the annoying noise w/ all that squealing for two hours – she nearly strangled me!
We’re all good now, but man – don’t let those things add up over time like that, okay? Not only will it irritate you by the time you’re in the mood to get down and dirty, but you’ll get even MORE tempted to just throw them all out in a plastic bag and be done with it. DON’T FALL FOR THIS! There are all kinds of nasty people out there, and they’ll do whatever it takes to get their grubby little hands on your priceless pieces of paper gold – be careful out there. And get into a good habit of shredding every handful of months, okay? (Says the guy that waits 3 years and then decides to bitch about it ;)).
Just make sure you’ve held on to them long enough where they’re no longer needed anymore. I keep them all for at least 1 year, and then I shred the rest. So I always have a few piled up just in case I ever need them for some reason (the most recent year’s worth). Though it’s different for tax records/payment stubs/etc. – I keep all those for 7 years, and I wanna say that’s about the industry average.
Everyone has their own methods with this stuff, but I like to keep all my receipts in this wooden tower thing (one box for each year), and then a nice sturdy file cabinet to keep all the other records & tax doc. Having a main place to put EVERYTHING in makes a huge difference. When everything was spread out back in the day I was all kinds of disorganized. Now, I just open up the respective drawer and everything I need is right there in front of me! And I make sure it’s right near where I take off my pants every night too (ow ow!) so I don’t have an excuse to NOT pull them out from my pockets and plop them in their rightfully-designated home each time (some people like the box method too). If you make it super easy on yourself, everything goes pretty smoothly ;) And I take it one-step further and make sure all receipts are always in my right jeans pocket too so I can literally go throw the motions every night without even thinking about it. Works nicely.
So that’s my tip of the day, and I’m stickin’ to it. Y’all have any better methods of keeping track of this stuff? Anyone gone totally digital and loving it? I can’t get myself to go down that path just yet as I’m afraid the internet will blow up one day and we’ll lose our entire lives, haha.. so some things will always be in paper for me ;) Whatever works, though!
(Shredder monster by siddharthav)
Killer resources and apps:
- Best Budget Templates & Spreadsheets (FREE)— The best free budget templates from around the community! Including the ones I use :)
- Personal Capital* (FREE) — A great app to track your investments and net worth. You can see an in-depth review we did here from a millionaire who checks it daily 😂
- You Need a Budget (YNAB)* (FREE TRIAL, then $14.99/mo or $98.99/year) — One of the BEST budgeting methods in the space, with new users saving $600 on avg their first two months, and more than $6,000 over their first year! Check out my friend Vic’s review of YNAB here that went on to completely change his finances 💪
- Digit (FREE 6 mo. Trial, then $5/mo) — This is one of my favorite apps for automatically saving money, and I even came on board as an advisor I believed in them so much! You can see my full review on Digit here.
- Acorns* ($3-$5/mo) – Similar to Digit, this app helps you automatically INVEST money by rounding up all your transactions to the nearest dollar and then investing it right away for you. My full review of Acorns can be found here.
- Honey (FREE) — By far my favorite coupon service out there! Click the Honey button any time you're about to buy something online, and BOOM - any discounts it finds will be automatically applied at checkout. You can see my write up on them here.
- Credit Karma* (FREE) — An easy way to check and monitor your credit score AND report! See my full review of these guys here.
- My Favorite Blogs + Books < -- Click here to see all my other recommendations!