Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tips On Tuesday: Keep Your Receipts

Since NOT following this tip has caused a significant degree of stress in my house TWICE over the last couple of months, I thought I would pass on this tidbit!

In the past few weeks, I have been desperate to locate a number of receipts for purchases that we have made over the last couple of years. Interestingly, it is for two totally different reasons and yet having receipts would resolve both problems and have saved us a significant amount of money in both cases.

I actually have a TON of receipts from the past few years, the key is 1) keeping the right ones and 2) keeping those where I can find them, and where they are grouped with other pertinent information.

The first situation where I needed to find several receipts was when our garage was broken into. Several of my husbands power tools were stolen, and then found at the pawn shops very near our house (how is that for brilliant?!).  The problem was, that despite the fact that we could actually put our hands on OUR tools, because could not locate a receipt AND having a serial number off the tool ..we could not prove that they were ours.  So, we have watched all our tools disappear from the shelves, knowing that someone benefitted from our lack of organization!

To fix this, I would suggest two things for when you buy anything in your home that has a higher price value, that you would want/need to replace if stolen or lost....1) staple the receipt to the booklet that comes with the item.  It is easier to keep up with a booklet (I keep all my booklets/instruction books/etc in a file folder in my file cabinet) than a receipt, and that way it all together.  2) immediately write the serial number on the receipt and/or booklet...even with the receipt, we could not have gotten that stuff back if we didnt have that identifying number also.

Any home owners insurance company would suggest this as well. In the even that your things are stolen, you will be able to get them back (if they are found) or have them replaced for insurance purposes MUCH easier. 

I have found that it doesnt take but a few minutes to go through the house and inventory my tv's, computers, large power tools, appliances, etc.  I may not have the receipts for those, but having that number will help if needed.

The second reason we needed that all-important receipt, makes me feel like an idiot. I apparently hadnt learned as of 2 years ago the importance of the receipt for the validity of a warranty. We have a tv that we have purchased about 2 years ago, along with the extended warranty the store offered (I know, another lesson learned). Now that the tv has broken, and we need to use that extended warranty ...that $150 purchase is null and void because we didnt keep/attach the receipt for its purchase.  That was a $150 piece of paper!

It also true of manufacture's warranties ...a receipt is necessary to claim.

Again, attaching the receipt to the booklet would have solved this one.

A little organization now, can save a lot of headaches later!

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