Meijer shoppers may have noticed a new addition to their mPerks account: digital receipts. Individuals who use mPerks – that’s Meijer’s digital coupon program – can enable the receipts under the Shopping Tools section of their account.
The feature is handy, and it made me think about how important receipts are in general. Here are five reasons you should think twice before tossing your receipts.
Receipts make returns easier
Returns are the most obvious reason you’ll want to keep your receipts handy. While some stores are good about taking back returns without a receipt, others may restrict you to store credit or only refund the amount of the lowest recent selling price. Make too many returns without a receipt and some stores will even blacklist you from future returns.
Receipts can make you money
Yes, your receipts can make you money! There are several smart phone apps that pay you for uploading photos of your receipts. Some of these apps offer rewards for specific purchases while others are run by marketing companies just hoping for a glimpse at your shopping habits. Check out these receipt reward apps:
Receipts are needed for rebates
Rebates aren’t as common as they were in the past. However, you can still find opportunities to send in your receipts for money back.
Let’s say you find a rebate for deodorant that you just bought last week. Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to buy that product again to get the rebate? Well, if you have the receipt filed away, you don’t have to.
Receipts help you track spending
Another reason to keep your receipts is to see where your money is going. It’s hard to know whether you’re staying within your budget if you can’t see the total of what you’re spending.
Keep or scan your receipts and add up the totals at the end of each month. If you’re over budget, review the receipts to see where you’re overspending. Then, make a plan to plug those ‘holes’ in your budget.
Receipts make tax time less stressful
Finally, keeping your receipts can make tax time infinitely easier. No more guessing about what tax deductible expenses you made during the year. It’s all right there in your file.
Personally, I recommend using three files, but you can customize this system however works best for you. After every shopping trip, sit down with your receipts and three different colored highlighters. Look for items that fit one of these categories: work or business-related, charitable donations and medical expenses. Highlight those purchases and then pop them in the appropriate folder so you’ll be ready for tax time.
Scanning is also a great option that can help you stay better organized as you strive for a less paper in your home.
You may be inclined to toss your receipt in the garbage bin as you walk out of the store, but these are five good reasons to hold onto that slip of paper a little while longer.
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