1,500+ receipts now shredded… Oy. I swear, every season I tell myself I’m gonna do them more frequently but I never do! So I end up having to shred like a bazillion receipts which not only takes me forever (1.5 hours), but cramps up my hands at the same time, haha… It’s not fun.
Do you know what’s MORE not fun than that, though? Getting your identity stolen. Or your credit cards/banking accounts hacked – BLEH. I’d gladly shred for a few hours here and there to make sure my $hit is safe, for sure. Though it would be a lot smarter if I just found some large industrial one out there I can use (for free) instead, huh? I think my poor little machine is a bit stressed out right now, haha… and the same with the wife ;) I put her through quite the annoying noise w/ all that squealing for two hours – she nearly strangled me!
We’re all good now, but man – don’t let those things add up over time like that, okay? Not only will it irritate you by the time you’re in the mood to get down and dirty, but you’ll get even MORE tempted to just throw them all out in a plastic bag and be done with it. DON’T FALL FOR THIS! There are all kinds of nasty people out there, and they’ll do whatever it takes to get their grubby little hands on your priceless pieces of paper gold – be careful out there. And get into a good habit of shredding every handful of months, okay? (Says the guy that waits 3 years and then decides to bitch about it ;)).
Just make sure you’ve held on to them long enough where they’re no longer needed anymore. I keep them all for at least 1 year, and then I shred the rest. So I always have a few piled up just in case I ever need them for some reason (the most recent year’s worth). Though it’s different for tax records/payment stubs/etc. – I keep all those for 7 years, and I wanna say that’s about the industry average.
Everyone has their own methods with this stuff, but I like to keep all my receipts in this wooden tower thing (one box for each year), and then a nice sturdy file cabinet to keep all the other records & tax doc. Having a main place to put EVERYTHING in makes a huge difference. When everything was spread out back in the day I was all kinds of disorganized. Now, I just open up the respective drawer and everything I need is right there in front of me! And I make sure it’s right near where I take off my pants every night too (ow ow!) so I don’t have an excuse to NOT pull them out from my pockets and plop them in their rightfully-designated home each time (some people like the box method too). If you make it super easy on yourself, everything goes pretty smoothly ;) And I take it one-step further and make sure all receipts are always in my right jeans pocket too so I can literally go throw the motions every night without even thinking about it. Works nicely.
So that’s my tip of the day, and I’m stickin’ to it. Y’all have any better methods of keeping track of this stuff? Anyone gone totally digital and loving it? I can’t get myself to go down that path just yet as I’m afraid the internet will blow up one day and we’ll lose our entire lives, haha.. so some things will always be in paper for me ;) Whatever works, though!
(Shredder monster by siddharthav)
Bonus tip: Find a good "balance transfer" offer to help pay off debt faster!
If you’ve been making payment after payment (on time) and still haven't been able to get your debt under control, snatching up a good balance transfer credit card offer may be the ticket to try. That’s where in order to gain your business - credit card companies will let you transfer your existing debt to a new card and let you pay ZERO PERCENT interest on it. Saving you tons every month!
What's the catch? Usually balance transfer cards charge a fee (around 3% of your debt balance) to let you transfer your balance to their 0% interest offer. But we've found a great credit card that will let you do a balance transfer absolutely free. Click here to learn more and see if you qualify!
PS: If you don't trust yourself with another credit card, ignore this! This strategy is to help you get out of debt quicker, not risk adding more to it.