Money Poll #18: Credit Card Receipts

If you’ve read this site in the past, then you know that I’m pretty anal when it comes to keeping track of our finances. I use Quicken, and I balance it down to the penny. I’ve never adjusted the balance to fix a discrepancy. If things don’t add up, I find the problem. No matter how long it takes. Thus, I can account for pretty much all the money that’s passed through our household since January 1, 1997.

In spite of the above, I’ve never been one to save credit card receipts and check them against our monthly statements. I know that there are people out there who do this, but I’ve never been able to force myself to do it. That’s not to say that I don’t keep track of charges that come across our credit cards, because I do. But this usually involves just skimming through our bills in search of merchants and/or amounts that I don’t recognize as opposed to formally cross-referencing receipts and charges. In the end, it just isn’t worth the time to me.

And that brings us this week’s poll question.

As an added bonus, I’d like to hear details from those of you that do save your receipts — have you ever found any discrepancies, and have they been big enough to make it worth your time? Please leave a comment and let us know.


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8 Responses to “Money Poll #18: Credit Card Receipts”

  1. Anonymous

    I try to reconcile all of our receipts, but it just hasn’t been getting done. I’ve got at least a 6 month backlog. I did find a discrepancy ONCE from a fast food restaurant (in the several years I’ve been trying to do this). They charged my credit card for someone else’s order. I think the difference was about $12. I had to go to the restaurant to get it fixed, but they just reversed the charge and let me order lunch for free for my time (so in essence got two free lunches). So I would say it has not been worth my time, though I’m still having a hard time convincing myself if doesn’t need to be done! That’s how I found this webpage – trying to find out what other people do.

  2. Anonymous

    I almost never keep receipts unless it’s a major purchase. I do occasionally skim my statements to make sure there isn’t anything fishy. I wish I did this more often, though, since I charge most things on cards. I would say probably the most important ones to check are receipts with a space for tips. Some people could easily write in a larger tip if you left that spot blank.

  3. Anonymous

    I always keep my cc receipts and dc receipts and check them against my statements. I’ve found a $10 discrepancy on my charge card used at a restaurant (the manager fired the waitress for that one) and a $1 discrepancy on my debit card I used at a pizza joint. I once found I was being charged for something I hadn’t ordered, and had that corrected by the cc company. After I check the receipts with the statements, they go to the shredder unless I need to hold onto certain ones for warranty service or such.

  4. Anonymous

    I also have been a Quicken user since I started my First Real Job Out of College in 1994, and have balanced my bank accounts and credit cards to the penny. I save the paper receipts in my wallet, and maybe once a week I enter them into Quicken.

  5. Anonymous

    I check them monthly and have been rewarded a few times by finding discrepanices – usually overcharges from restaurants but there was also an instance of a charge made that didn’t belong to me. It was pretty easy to prove the charge wasn’t mine as I have not been to the country where it occurred. I also noticed that a charge made in May for a vacation snorkel excursion still has not come through. I’m happy to hang onto the extra dollars until they catch up on their bookkeeping. 🙂

  6. Anonymous

    I keep the receipts around, but do not reconcile them physically unless there is a discrepancy with what I recorded in my finance software and in what I see in my statement. I do not download my transactions automatically; I manually enter everything in there. Usually, I just record things wrong, but there have been a few times when I’ve been charged the wrong amount and had to dispute it.

  7. Anonymous

    I save charge card receipts for a different reason…tax write-offs. Anything I can come up with a plausible excuse to add to my Schedule C deductions gets the receipt saved…and if the spending’s connection to one of the businesses isn’t obvious from context, I write a note about it too. (Charges for travel to and expenses in Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Virginia, San Juan PR, or Tokyo are obviously for a client meeting, whereas charges for Michigan, Louisiana, Sydney, London, or Frankfurt could be either business or personal, and I’m unlikely to remember which it was seven years after the fact…just for example.)

    But I reconcile my statements from memory. Honestly, there aren’t enough personal transactions of variable size to cause a problem with that.

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