Have you been doing a lot of holiday shopping? The news reports indicate that online holiday shopping is waaay up from last year. Of course, it is! We have all been told to stay home. The CDC advises us to stay away from the shops and to avoid other people so of course we are doing more shopping from the comfort of our computers. There are some gifts though, you may want to go and pick up from your local stores. So, holiday shopping receipts will come to you in two different ways; through your email and when you purchase your gifts in person.
What do you do with all these holiday shopping receipts?
Do not toss them right away.
Keep Your Receipts
The first great reason to keep your holiday shopping receipts is so you know how much you have spent. Do you budget a certain amount of money to spend on holiday gifts? That amount is easier to track when you keep your receipts.
If you are standing at the register, take a minute or two to verify that the receipt shows the total is the amount you expect to see there. Sometimes mistakes are made at checkout. Make sure that you have only been charged for the items purchased by double-checking your receipt.
Do the same thing even if you are shopping online. A couple of weeks ago I almost accidentally purchased 2 gift certificates for my daughter-in-law. By mistake, I must have clicked the up arrow. I didn’t notice this until I was ready to checkout and I saw the total amount was much more than I expected.
Once you select the item you want to purchase and have it in your cart double-check to make sure the amount is correct. As you know, there are usually additional taxes, shipping and handling fees that come next.
Also make sure that everything you think you are buying is in your shopping cart. I thought I bought a new dog leash for Miles along with a new collar and a collar for Josie. When the email invoice came to my inbox, I realized I forgot to add the leash to my cart. Miles doesn’t really need a new leash, so I didn’t go back and order it. It pays to double-check your orders before you place them.
Next create a holiday shopping receipt folder in your email. Put your email receipts in that folder. As the packages arrive at your door, delete those receipts from your email folder.
Having all the holiday shopping receipts in this folder makes it easy to remind yourself when you ordered the gift, how much you spent, and to verify when the gift is expected to be delivered to you or someone else. This is the second great reason to organize your receipts.
Holiday Gift Receipt Envelope
If you are shopping in person, take the paper receipts out of your bag when you get home. Label each receipt with the name of the person receiving the gift. If you bought multiples of a certain item put each person’s name on the receipt.
Put the receipts in an envelope labeled Holiday Gift Receipts. This will make life easy for you if someone wants to exchange the gift for something else. You will know exactly where to find the receipt for them.
It also helps to keep your bag clutter free – an added bonus!
It’s hard to know when to keep receipts, for how long and where to keep them. You don’t always need to hang onto receipts. Some you can delete or toss without a second thought. These receipts, though, fall into a separate category. They are holiday gift receipts. Since you’ve gone to the trouble to buy someone a gift, you want to be able to verify when you purchased the gift, when it was shipped to you or the recipient, and that it arrived. Or the recipient may want to exchange your gift and need a copy of the receipt. Keeping your holiday gift receipts organized allows you to easily do these things.
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Great blog! Because I am a paper person I print off my email receipts and keep them in that same folder until I am sure that I know longer need them.
Good idea! There are so many ways to track receipts – this is another good way.
I’m a believer, Diane! I have an email folder for not only the receipts, but all of the delivery notifications because it is easy to lose track of what is where. Once Christmas is over, I have records in case someone wants to make a return or track something down. I keep it all until the dust settles, then it is easy to delete it. I also file paper receipts, although I seem to have fewer and fewer of these!
Thank you, Seana. It is a very good idea to keep those receipts until you know there is no need for them any more!
I love your suggestions for mindful shopping, ordering, and receipt management. Taking that pause to see what we’re doing and then track it can take a lot of stress out of the holiday season. Recently, I received an order from a candle company. I was surprised that I got two of one of the candles and thought it was a mistake. I looked in my electronic “Mail Order” folder. It turns out I did order two. But I like the story you shared. I probably forget to make that final look before I checked out. If I had, I would have noticed and changed it from two to one. I opted to keep the candle instead of going through the hassle of returning it. But you gave me a good reminder to double-check. Thank you.
Thank you, Linda. Taking a moment to slowly double-check receipts is a valuable lesson for all of us!
This is a great reminder for all shoppers. We went to Barnes and Noble and when I was checking out. The lady in front of me left her card in the credit card machine. So, the cashier had to credit the other person back then do my order. I think people are very stressed right now so they forget all the steps.
Oh my! I agree. I think people are stressed and don’t think about all the steps involved in the transaction. I hope the woman retraced her steps!
Great advice. I hang on to paper receipts until after the holidays and do just like you for digital receipts. Makes it so much easier if you have to return something.
Thank you, Janet. Sometimes the best solutions are the easiest!