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The One Thing You Need To Stay Organized For Next Christmas

organizing for Christmas, planning for Christmas , tips to stay organized

I pulled fistfuls of receipts out of my coat pocket and placed them on the counter. It was the day after Christmas and along with many other consumers, I had a few things to return. Sorting through the pile of crumpled paper looking for the needed receipts, my idea to put all the receipts into a zipped coat pocket that seemed so smart at the time, all of a suddenly lost it’s luster. There had to be a better way to organize holiday season purchases.

It’s never too soon to prepare for next year’s holiday season, and I was determined to have a plan in place. Being organized isn’t difficult, it just takes a small amount of consistent effort. Here’s my plan for next year:

  • Buy an index organizer with alphabetic tabs
  • Every time I make a purchase, the receipt is put in the tab corresponding to the name of the retailer
  • When the season is over, add up all the receipts and tape a piece of paper with the total on the front of the organizer.
  • Keep the organizer in a safe place

So the season is over and you have all the receipts for your gifts neatly organized and indexed. What does that get you?

  • Warranty : If any of the gifts happen to require warranty actions, the receipt will likely be needed. You can easily find the receipt and get the item repaired for replaced.
  • Returns : If an item needs to be returned for whatever reason, the needed receipt can easily be found.
  • Know The Cost of Holidays : The following year, when you start budgeting for Christmas, you have a record of how much you’ve spent each of the recent years. This gives you an idea of how much you money you need on hand for gift buying to make sure you don’t overspend and pay interest on charged gifts.

It’s easy to just plow through the holiday season, putting your receipts into a zipped jacket pocket. But that method is error prone, receipts are easily lost, and you might find yourself combing through a pile of crumpled paper looking for the receipt you need to return an unwanted or broken gift. Next year, spend a few bucks on a plastic organizer and be ready for anything next year’s holiday season throws at you.

How do you organize your receipts and keep track of your holiday purchases?

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

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Brock

4 Comments

  • Honestly, I don’t keep track of all that. I charge everything on a credit card so if push comes to shove and I need a proof of purchase I have it. However, we are not big “stuff” people. I order the big gifts for the kids from Amazon, so everything is online. The smaller gifts are things like hand lotion that no one is going to bother to exchange.

    I gave up on trying to keep track of all that stuff years ago when I realized I had tons of paper that I never looked at. Bills are paid and then thrown away, not filed. EOBs are glanced at and tossed. When I see blogs with elaborate home filing systems, I always wonder if they ever look at that stuff once they’ve filed it.

    • As long as you have it covered in one way shape or form, you’re good. I like to have all my receipts in one place (I don’t always use a single credit card). Thanks for sharing!

  • That’s not a bad idea – especially if you purchased a bunch of items that may be under a warranty for someone else. Though maybe it’s a good idea to just get a gift receipt in those instances so they don’t have to come ask you if you happen to have a receipt a few months down the line?

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