Monday, January 24, 2011

Save Your Receipts

I think it's safe to say most people don't save receipts, unless it's a major purchase (warranty) or you need it for your tax return. I didn't either until I started couponing. I knew I was saving money each time I went to the store, I just didn't know how much. So, I started adding it up. To my surprise, I was saving more than I thought! Here's a few more reasons why you should save your receipts...

1. Budget
If you are just starting out couponing, I encourage you to set up a budget. I personally think it's best (and more motivating) if you have a goal to work towards. Having a budget will help you do that. After just a couple weeks of adding up your receipts, you should be able to see where your money is going, and determine where you would like it to go.

2. Returns
In the past, I was notorious for buying clothes without first trying them on. I'd get it home, rip the tags off and throw the receipt. A few days later or the next week, I'd finally try it on and it wouldn't fit right. Then I was stuck with it. Now I try everything on in the store. I leave the tags on until I'm actually going to wear it for the first time. And I always save my receipts. Mostly to make sure I don't end up with a faulty piece of clothing. (Some things do come apart in the wash!) Or maybe you are the type that binges, and then has buyer's remorse. Well, if you save your receipts, you can always take it back.

3. Rebates
I never paid much attention to rebates before, and then I discovered my first P&G rebate offer. After spending $50 on P&G products, I ended up getting a $100 P&G coupon booklet! (And boy did it go far!) I just recently sent in my second P&G rebate and I cannot wait to get my new coupon book!

The point here is that I would have missed out on some sweet rebates if I hadn't saved my receipts. Now, when a rebate offer comes up, I just thumb through my old receipts and I'm usually lucky enough to already have purchased all or most of the required items. No "extra" spending out of my pocket! If I see a rebate offer and I haven't purchased the item(s), I tuck it away. You never know if you will end up buying the rebate item next week...

4. Sales Tax Deduction 
Now I haven't actually tried this, but I have to be honest... I'm tempted. You can add up your sales tax throughout the year, and if it is more than your standard deduction, you can claim that. If you are planning to make a major purchase (big appliances, electronics, car, house, etc) this year, you might want to check it out! --And get back to me on how much you saved ; )


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