I always keep my receipts.
Unless they’re restaurant receipts because you can’t really take food you’ve eaten back. But sometimes out of laziness, I chunk those food receipts along with other receipts in my “loose paper” box along with insurance stuff, passport stuff, medical stuff, bill statements, etc. I always keep my receipts. This is a habit learned from my mother, the packrat. And it is not a bad habit. There was a time when I tried to defy the habit, having never used my receipts to return things I had planned on keeping no matter what. But as soon as I did I needed the receipt — the one I threw away. So I keep them. At least until they’ve expired.
To further my minimalistic efforts, I recently decided to go through my “loose paper” box and chunk or organize it. Most of the stuff was just thrown in, some in branded folders, others in actual binders from a previous organization effort. But the receipts were a wild heap, some dated as far back as 2009, the last time I threw out receipts.
As I was going through the receipts I could remember when I bought this and that, where I was when I bought the items, and sometimes who I was with when I bought the items. And then I realized how much our capitalist society attaches sentimentality to material things, thus making material things more valuable than they’re actually worth.
More than half of the receipts I had were of things I have gotten rid of in the past 3 years that depreciated within months, things I ended up selling way less than what I bought them for. My mom has always been very savvy with her money. When I grew up she was super frugal and always shopped at yard sales.
I read an article about three years ago when I was wanting to buy a car. It stated the smartest thing you could do is not buy a new car. Buy used. If you think about it, that advice is supremely awesome. How many times have I had friends get in car accidents right after buying mint condition cars — many times. I started applying this to other situations, like buying DVDs or CDs online. I bought them used. I bought my bike used and I love her (her name’s Stella Blackcherry, by the way). My first Mac computer I bought on Craigslist.
Most things are just better used, except condoms. Don’t do that.
I also plan on adopting, too. Dogs, cats, babies, a husband. :] — with receipts.