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Receipts: Keep or Toss?


I was wondering what you guys do with your receipts? I always keep mine for a while before throwing them away because I feel like I will somehow need them in the future. Even when I throw them away 3 months later I feel a pang of guilt.

Other than declaring your taxes at the border, returns, and making sure your credit card bills are correct, what other uses do receipts have? How long do you keep your receipts for?
Dec 14, 2010 @ 12:00 pm

9 Replies



I only keep receipts of big purchases or clothes but once I take the tags off my outfits I just throw them away, I don't think there's really much of a need to keep them otherwise.

Most of mine are for food so I've actually been getting in the habit of just throwing them away right there and then. I used to keep all of it but they just fade away after a while so you might as well throw it away.

I do keep the ones for furniture and electronics in a separate folder in a fire box. My husband's grandmother actually gave us the fire box in case something ever happens, you need to know what you got for insurance purposes.

Dec 14, 2010 @ 12:54 pm

I only...

keep a receipt up to the refund/exchange date, after which I throw away. For tax purposes I can just look at my database and figure out what tax deductible purchases I've made in a year, look up the bank / credit card statement online, print that and use that for taxes. I don't have to have my receipt, just proof of payment.
Dec 14, 2010 @ 04:57 pm

I'm pathetic

About once a year I manage to kind of sort through them all and that's when I either ditch or keep. I usually ditch enough to fill my kitchen trash pail to the top so at least that part is a good thing. The bad thing is that I only do it once a year.
Dec 14, 2010 @ 06:19 pm

Im bad

I have a very har time getting rid of receipts they pile up on my dresser
Dec 15, 2010 @ 12:16 am


So I guess it's safe to throw receipts away right away if you're not intending on returning anything?
Dec 16, 2010 @ 12:21 pm


Technically you are supposed to hold onto your receipts for tax purposes (i.e. in case you get audited)

But I only keep mine for big purchases. I also recommend keeping anything you put on debit/credit until you get your statement. This way if anything doesn't match up, you will have proof!

Did you know that in Holland it is illegal not to take a receipt after making any purchase?
I'm assuming you're not going to jail if you refuse the receipt from your coffee, but you are required to take the receipt for everything.
Dec 16, 2010 @ 12:26 pm

go at it methodically

If the item can be written off for tax purposes, Keep the receipt (and at least several years, because you can be back-audited).

If the item has been worn and washed and still looks good, Toss the receipt. I would never toss before that point, just to be absolutely sure.

I keep my receipts until after the first wash or two because you can sometimes return items if there is more than the reasonable amount of wear - badly twisted seams, excessive shrinkage, etc.

Anything that has any kind of guarantee (eg. some kids clothes have a "won't wear out before they grow out" guarantee), Keep the receipt.

So bottom line? I tend to keep too many receipts, but it has paid off on several occasions.
Dec 16, 2010 @ 12:28 pm


Now that we're home owners (we're in the USA, don't know if its different up there) we can write off our home's property taxes as well as the interest we've paid on our mortgage that tax year. This amount puts us well over the threshold for itemizing taxes vs. taking the standard deduction. So now we're keeping "itemizeable" receipts like crazy! We'll try to deduct every last penny that we can. B/c you can be audited back several years you need to keep those receipts w/ your tax information for quite some time.

But other than that, I keep a receipt only until it clears my bank account or credit card account. I may keep it longer if its an item I suspect I may return.
Dec 16, 2010 @ 09:09 pm


I didn't know that you could go to jail for not taking your receipt in Holland! I'd be in jail by now! :P

I've never really had the need to keep my receipts because I don't usually returns things, etc... but still, I feel like I should take a financing course or something!
Dec 20, 2010 @ 02:11 pm

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