Reasons You Should Keep Your Receipt

By Vivian El-Salawy on March 19, 2016

We hear this question all the time.  “Would you like your receipt?”  Whether it’s at the register for your latest grocery trip or on a screen at a gas pump.  Majority of the time, we honestly ignore it.  It’s a waste of paper that will eventually end up somewhere towards the bottom of our cars.

But with the advancement of technology, paper is becoming less and less of an excuse and there are so many new uses for receipts that are overlooked on a daily basis.  Here are some reasons you should keep your receipt:


Image via Ebay

This is obviously the main reason we have receipts.  At core, it’s a proof of purchase, however we only consider keeping it if we purchase an item we think we may need to return (even if in return all we get is store credit).  Sometimes, it’s the only reason we tend to know where we keep our receipt.

Saving Money

Image via iDevAffiliate

Coupons.  Who says you need to be an extreme coupon-ing soccer mom in order to save money?  Often times, stores and restaurants will have loads of deals that can save you tons of money for future purchases, however a majority of the time these offers are overlooked.  Keep a little box and cut out offers and deals from your receipts.  Buy one, get one free couldn’t be any easier.

Making Money

Image via AdWeek 

Alright, reimbursements and saving money are two that most of us are familiar with.  But how are we supposed to make money with receipts?  With the development of technology and media, there are many applications for phones and tablets that help you earn money with the proof of your purchases.  A recent, popular app is called “Ibotta”, where with just a photograph of your receipt and the scanning of your product, you can get money back for general products such as “milk” or specific products of a certain brand such as “Dove soap”.  Participating stores include Walgreens, CVS, Wal-Mart, Publix, and many more.  Search either via type of product (what’s hot, grocery, apparel, electronics, etc.) or insert your shopping list and see what comes up.  Unlock and collect rebates that go directly into your PayPal account or towards gift cards of your choice!


Image via GoFridge

Receipts will save your butt in terms of warranties, specifically on particularly valuable electronics.  While certain companies keep record of your purchased warranties on products, sometimes warranties are free but with proof of purchase.  While you may not care so much when your product is brand new and shiny, the second your laptop crashes during finals week or your camera drops in the middle of taking senior photos, you will really be wishing you had warranty.

Tax Deductions

Image via Flickr

What are taxes?  What are tax deductions?  Better yet, how in the world are receipts going to help you with tax deductions?  With the advancement of technology, many are turning to the Internet to file their taxes.  In fact, many banks now allow you to check your spending online and keep a record of most of the financial information you may need in terms of deposits, withdrawals, and so forth.  However, whether cash or card, receipts give you a more accurate record of your spendings and keep track of what exactly your money was spent on in addition to where.  With the use of online banking and tax filing, it may seem as though receipts are no longer necessary.  Just wait until you get an audit.  Just wait.

In Case Your Apartment Explodes

Image via LifeRoome

This sounds crazy and far-stretched, but when it comes to instances with insurance such as when an apartment floods due to a broken pipe, often times your insurance will cover the replacement cost of everything that is water damaged.  Having said that, if you keep receipts for your items, the claims would process much easier.  Same often goes for car accidents and other circumstances with insurance claims.

Legal Reasons

Image via HNGN

There are a variety of civil and criminal legal reasons to keep your receipt.  Civil issues are typically affiliated with items.  Individuals may be accountable for transactions, times, dates, locations, taxes, and more.  Meanwhile, criminal reasons typically have to do with the establishment of an alibi.  Now, hopefully this will not be applicable to many of you, however receipts can be useful if somebody is being sued for misappropriation of funds, embezzlement, and other instances regarding money.  In terms of an alibi, receipts have been used for individuals that are prosecuted for a criminal offense as well.  A popular example would be Stephen Avery from Netflix’s Making a Murder, who had a receipt for Burger King when he was supposedly raping a woman.

Being Creative!

Image via Pinterest 

So, maybe you’re not into this legal shmegal jumble of information.  If you’re an artsy person, there are plenty of neat things you can do with receipts.  Sometimes, I like to use mine as bookmarks for textbooks, and if I’m ever bored, I manipulate the items/numbers for a comedic spin.  Better yet – if you’re crafty enough, you can recycle your receipt paper in order to create new paper too!

Vivian El-Salawy is a senior at Florida State University. She is currently pursuing a degree in Editing, Writing, and Media with minors in Slavic (Russian) Studies and Communications. Alongside writing for FSView & Florida Flambeau, WVFS Tallahassee 89.7 FM, and the Good Life Community magazine, she is a member of the World-Renowned Marching Chiefs and Seminole Sound.

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