In the He Says/She Says series, we discuss financial topics where we agree to disagree. Now say “He Says/She Says” three times fast. Well done.
If you were to ask me which reality show I’d most likely appear on, I’d probably say Wipeout, House Hunters, or American Gladiators (circa 1990, not the failed 2008 revival). If you asked Joanna the same question about me, she’d probably respond with just one answer: Hoarders.
Joanna thinks I have an unhealthy obsession with saving receipts. I’d prefer to think I have a healthy obsession with saving our financial bookkeeping. I’m an organized, minimalist at heart and don’t have many packrat characteristics. But those small, rectangular slips of paper appear regularly in our civil disagreements.
Joanna: “Can I toss this Target receipt?”
Me: “Nope. I don’t know if I want to keep that hoodie yet.”
Joanna: “I’m throwing this Cracker Barrel receipt in the trash.”
Me: “I’ll throw you in the trash.” (note: this is the best comeback I can usually come up with)
Saved receipts have saved the day on many occasions. Proof of purchase for warranties, exchanging “thoughtful” gifts, returning defective products, tax deductions, travel reimbursements for work, etc., etc. Thus, anytime I consider throwing a receipt away, a voice calls out from deep within my financial soul that refuses to let it escape my grip. Most financial gurus recommend holding on to tax-related receipts for SEVEN years — their advice, not mine. So generally, I err on the side of being cautious and hold onto most important receipts (high dollar purchases, electronics, etc.) for that time period. Admittedly, some Chick-Fil-A receipts will slip themselves into that pile, too. After all, it’s not like they’re taking up any space! They’re just little paper lifesavers that deserve a home in a dusty file folder I won’t touch for… *cough* fifteen years.
But finances aren’t the only reason I’ve saved receipts. When I was younger, I got in the habit of saving receipts from special events and moments. My first date. Lunch at a (lousy) Mexican restaurant on Spring Break. But upon meeting Joanna (a.k.a. Receipt Slayer), I’ve stopped journaling my life through receipts. Which means we’ll never remember that one time we stopped at that gas station outside of Vegas. I can’t even remember the significance because I don’t have my paper memento.
So pop quiz, hotshot (bonus points if you can name that reference). Where do you stand on the great receipt debate? Are you a “hoarder” or a “slayer”? Weigh in with a comment below.
(Original photo by compujeramey)