Receipts

Ephemera

One of my daily pleasures is doing the crossword puzzle in the New York Times. In yesterday’s puzzle, the clue for 9-down was “Things meant to be used and then thrown away.” I knew the answer right away: ephemera. I use this word frequently with my clients because I want to help them decide which paper items they should save and which they should let go. Dictionary.com further defines ephemera as “items designed to be useful or important for only a short time, especially…

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Ditching Some Tax Paperwork

Let’s assume that you dutifully filed your 2013 taxes in recent months.  You’ve got to hold on to your supporting paperwork for three years, since that is how long the federal government has if they decide to audit you.   (If that number surprises you, see my earlier post entitled “How Long Should I Keep My Personal Tax Records?”)  Most states — including my state, New York — also only have three years to audit you.   (You can check your state here.)…

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Reducing the Pain of Tax Time

Now that April 15 is safely behind us, it’s time to start thinking about how to make tax time easier next year.  I know you’d rather not think about taxes again for another 10 months, but taking a few small steps throughout the year will alleviate much of the pain. The key to simplifying tax time is to keep track of your tax-related income and expenses throughout the year.  Throwing everything into a shoe box and then trying to make…

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Receipts, receipts, receipts!

The last time I wrote about receipts was last year in “Making Sense of Receipts.”  In that post, I talked about how to track and analyze your spending, as this was what my clients were saying was the reason why they were accumulating receipts. Since then, I have continued to encounter stacks and stacks of receipts at my clients’ homes, some of them years old.  These clients haven’t claimed they were saving them for tracking.  They were saving them because they…

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Making Sense of Receipts

What do you do with your receipts after you bring them home?    Several of my clients save them — piles and piles of them — so that they can analyze their spending patterns and better understand where their money goes. That’s a worthwhile endeavor.  Unfortunately, saving them in piles does not shed any light on your spending patterns.  It just creates clutter and causes you stress.  It also makes it difficult to find an important receipt when you need it.

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