I’m Drowning in Receipts

I enter every single receipt that comes my way into Quicken. That’s how I know where all our money is going.  We’ve really cracked down on our diet, trying to eliminate “junk” foods and I’m very curious to see how we’ve done.  I’m tempted to just enter “groceries” for every single grocery store receipt but I want to see how the categories are adding up.

I’m sick of keeping track of money!  I want to just skate by and barely keep track.  I have tried to enter the receipts each evening, but that lasts one or two nights before I lose momentum and forget.

Friday would have been the perfect day to get caught up, but instead I spent exactly 20 minutes entering receipts and then spent the rest of the day in a funk because our Internet connection was down. I did work on two blog posts, but they are incomplete since I needed the Internet to find reference links!  Finally around 7pm our Internet was restored. We have broadband and can see the tower from our house so we have a fast connection. I guess due to the storms we’ve been having here in Arizona the service had some problems.

Once our Internet connection was restored, I again attempted to enter the receipts and was having an awful time trying to stay focused with the task.   I went to the kitchen to get a drink and and ended up washing dishes and wiping off counters!

There is at least 50 receipts in this pile, and I’d already entered twenty or so. I finally cracked down on Saturday and got them entered. Whew.

Pile of Receipts

If you’re curious as to how many receipts I entered for December, click here to read Those Darned Receipts.  Visit My Top 7 Reasons to Save Receipts to see why I save all our receipts and click here to find how I file/store our receipts here.

Do you track all of your receipts in a program like Quicken or Money? Do you keep all your receipts, or do you throw them away?

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20 comments to I’m Drowning in Receipts

  • Ken

    I hold them until I record them in checkbook and then throw them away.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Ken: Oooooh, I’d have a hard time throwing them away immediately. Stay tuned for a post this week on why I keep my receipts longer than that. Thanks for visiting and commenting! Mrs. A

    [Reply]

  • I don’t bother writing up my receipts because the only receipts I get every other week is my grocery receipt and I already know how much I spend there.

    [Reply]

  • Are your receipts cash purchases? If they are debit purchases, you should be able to see most of them through online banking. Of course this doesn’t help if you internet is down! I have gotten in the habit of tossing out receipts and following up online.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi Little House, the grocery purchases are cash. I do download the debit purchases from the bank, but then I match the receipts to the transactions. I just can’t stand the thought of throwing away the receipts! I have had so many times that I couldn’t find one, even though I so diligently keep them. Thanks for your comment! Mrs. A

    [Reply]

  • It sounds like your current system isn’t working for you. Maybe you need to tweak how you’re doing it. Using a debit card and downloading statements/transactions from your bank directly into Quicken for example. Personally we use our check cards for 99% of our purchases. 1-3 times a week I open up our Excel spreadsheet budget and enter in the transactions that have completed. It takes me 10 minutes or less each time. We don’t keep our receipts once they’ve successfully completed the transaction or if it was for a gift or something. Maybe I don’t itemize my purchases like you do though (for instance, what categories of groceries I bought – it’s all groceries and it all goes in one grocery budget line item).

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi Cynthia, I do download all debit transactions into Quicken, but we’re using the cash system for our groceries. The grocery receipts are the worst! My husband does all the grocery shopping, using cash. But sometimes he doesn’t spend all the money on groceries. Maybe he bought cat food, or toilet paper, or stuff for oil changes. I have tried to put the receipts in every single night, or once a week but I just keep getting behind. I guess I need to take a hard look at how I’m doing things. Thanks for your suggestions. Mrs. A

    [Reply]

  • Eesh, this has always been too much work for me! I mean to keep better track of receipts/spending, but I have to stick with the transactions via our bank’s website. Anything else just piles up and stresses me out!

    If you are, in fact, drowning in the receipts, could you ask Mr. A to put in his own? That might cut down on the number of them that you have to input.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi Abigail – I have to laugh! Ask Mr. A to put in his own receipts? That’s a good one. 🙂 It’s just that he doesn’t really use computers at all so we’d have to start using some kind of pen and paper system. 🙂 It is a lot of work. Thanks for your suggestions! Mrs. A

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  • I mean to keep better track of receipts/spending, but I have to stick with the transactions via our bank’s website. Anything else just piles up and stresses me out!I have gotten in the habit of tossing out receipts and following up online.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Alsters: I wish I could resort to this. I just can’t imagine not keeping track. I’ve been doing it all my life. It does pile up and it is a stressor so I agree with you there!!

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  • ctreit

    Entering expenses is indeed a pain in the neck, but if you really want to see what happens to your money, you got to do it. A budget only tells you how you should spend your money, but keeping track of your expenses tells you how you actually spend your money which is what really matters. My wife and I share the burden and each one of us enters the expenses that he or she makes. Well done on getting all the stuff in!

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    ctreit: Lucky you to have your spouse help out! My husband doesn’t do computers… thanks for the supportive words! Mrs. A

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  • Liz

    I’m not sure I’ll ever understand budgets and keeping track of expenses. Your savings will always suffer IMO. Pay yourself first (savings), then live paycheck to paycheck with the remaining money. No need then to keep track of spending because what’s left is yours to spend how you wish. It also makes you “feel” as though you are free to spend money rather then restricted by a budget.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Liz, this sounds like a good idea. But it has worked better for my husband and I to have goals to work toward so it helps us to have a budget. I don’t really feel restricted because I try not to spend any money in the first place. LOL. Thanks for your comment!

    [Reply]

  • […] about it.   I guess it’s a little late to ask how your December went.  I finally got that pile of receipts entered, but there is a new pile awaiting. […]

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