Daily Dupaco

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Would you like a receipt with that?

In my quest to keep our home as clutter-free as possible, I tend to be a bit of a receipt minimalist.

When fast-food restaurant employees ask if I'd like a receipt, I generally decline. The same goes for the gas pump; if I have a choice, I skip the receipt.

My husband is the opposite. He requests a receipt for everything - even for those $2 purchases. He tells me things like, "You never know when we might need that receipt."

His rescued receipts, however, typically turn up crumpled in pockets, on a dresser, in the laundry, on the kitchen counter, you get the idea.

Turns out, we're both approaching the whole receipt thing the wrong way.

Carrie Culbertson, a share draft and card service specialist at Dupaco Community Credit Union's Hillcrest branch in Dubuque, says cardholders should always take a receipt for debit and credit card purchases. The benefits of taking it, she says, far outweigh the inconvenience of carrying around a little extra paper.

"We would advise you to keep it and then use it for the intended purpose - use it to reconcile your checkbook register or your statement," she says. "If there is a discrepancy, you can go back to the merchant and you have proof of what you paid for and what posted to your account."

Culbertson recommends keeping receipts together - not scattered around the house - in a safe place. If bills are paid by the computer, consider storing the receipts there, too.

Once purchases have been reconciled with credit card statements or online banking accounts, shred them and get rid of them.

That sounds like a compromise my husband and I can both live with.

By Emily Kittle

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