Mary Branscombe (marypcb) wrote,
Mary Branscombe

A bit more organised

Usually, I tuck all of my receipts into a folder. I don't come straight home and do this; I do it whenever my wallet feels full or when we empty the last suitcase after a trip or when I find a receipt in a pocket or a bag... I try organising them into envelopes by month, but finding the right envelope or labelling another one is always more work than tucking it in and sorting them all out later... later being late at night when I'm doing my expenses for the tax return. If only I had a way to organise the envelopes so I could easily see them. Something that divided them and held them in order. After a little planning I realised I'd re-invented the pigeonhole. Now, would Ikea have a box I could use or should I make one? Out of what: cardboard - easy to cut, not that robust - or wood - fiddly to get the cut pieces all square and the same length. What about that old 3 by 3 CD organiser, now that the CDs are all ripped? Result! Well, after we took the top off to make it fit on the shelf, and added a nail to keep the sides at right angles...

It only does 9 months at a time, but A that's better than nothing B I often run two months together as trips often start in one month and end in another C sorting out between two months is a lot easier than sorting out between 18 months, only 12 of which are in the tax year I'm working on (Oct-Sep, file in January and July) and D it feels easier to bundle up all the receipts in a month and put them in an envelope and double that up with the previous month when I need the next month's pigeonhole than to start a new envelope for every fifth receipt because I can't remember if I already have a September 08 envelope and pulling all the envelopes out and putting all the receipts into them is fiddly, dammit... If the month-moving gets tedious, I will make a 4x3 or a 4x4 unit somehow - and I make practice on one for himself... 

Do I need to order receipts by month at all? Yes. I thought I didn't because Excel has this handy date sort function, but if I have all the May receipts together it's easier to see that this is the restaurant bill and this is the credit card receipt for the same meal. And once I have given myself sufficient time to find any other receipts that are lurking in piles and pockets, I can very easily say "these are the 07-08 receipts" when I want to work on accounts. I can even pull out one month at a time, put them in the spreadsheet and put them back with a rubber band round them so I know they're done, thus dividing the work across the year; this isn't likely, but if I were ever to want or need to be VAT registered this would be critical. And it's nice to feel more organised!
Tags: house, money, work

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