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Maintaining receipts is a fact of life for many people, but it can be extremely frustrating. Tiny pieces of paper that have to be maintained and categorized long enough to submit your expenses for reimbursement — who has time for that?!? It’s not uncommon to lose receipts and then spend additional time struggling to rebuild them once you have to submit an expense report or turn them in to get your money back. This quick life hack will help you stay organized and keep your receipts and other items under control.
Even if you’re not getting reimbursed by your business for purchases, it’s a smart idea to keep track of receipts so you have an idea where your money is going on a monthly basis. Every year, there’s a wonderful day (for the government) called Tax Day. Capturing your personal and business receipts in a way that you can find them again makes it that much easier to be ready to organize your taxes and get the best possible return. Plus, you’re more likely to stay on budget if you are closely watching your expenses.
Are you using a cloud-based storage system for your photos? If not, this might be reason enough to look into it! One of the best ways to maintain your receipts and ensure that you have easy access to them regardless of whether you’re in front of your computer is to save all of your receipts to the cloud. Quick and easy — as soon as you receive a receipt from a purchase, snap a picture! If you want to get really fancy, you could create a specific folder for all of your work-related or home-related receipts and save the images appropriately. Dropbox or Box are excellent options for cloud storage that are inexpensive yet provide cross-platform functionality so you can grab your receipts digitally and match them up to your expense report or budget.
If you have a few extra moments to process your receipts, there is an interesting new trend in mobile apps around receipt management. Not only will the apps handle the issue of annoying pieces of paper, but they’ll also pay you for capturing your receipts! Some of these apps include:
Each app provides a slightly different take on the same concept: capture your purchase and receive money back. This next-gen way of couponing is being used by millions of individuals in the U.S. to earn back a small percentage of their total purchases.
Not every hack has to be difficult; sometimes the easiest ones are already in your hand — like your phone!