Okay, when I started this last few posts I said I’d tell you how organizing all your paper clutter on the computer will save you money. So here goes.
If you are a true S.H.E (Sidetracked Home Executive) like me then you know how easy it is to not get things put exactly where they should be when you first lay your hands on it. While the whole idea of the Princess Plan is to avoid such situations life still happens and I am realistic about it.
However, once you file that information electronically it’s there, it doesn’t matter if you print it out and lay the printout down somewhere, or sister Susie spills her juice on the print out you can always print it again. So you have not lost the instructions to an intricate knitting pattern forever and ever amen. You don’t have to go buy a new copy, you just print it.
Many a warranty goes unclaimed because people either don’t know where the warranty paperwork is, don’t know when they purchased the item, what the warranty covers, or don’t know how long the warranty is for. A prime example of this recently for us was a photo printer we had purchased for the business. It got fried by lightening and because we could immediately lay our hands on an electronic warranty copy we had we found that lightening damage was covered and that our warranty had less than a month left on it. It also told us where we had purchased it and our purchase price.
We were able to bundle up our fried printer, take it back to the original purchase store present them with all the information they needed for the exchange and left with a much newer and upgraded model for free.
Recalls, sometimes require proof you purchased an item between certain dates. If you have your receipts scanned and properly electronically filed this is not a problem. You print out the copy and get your recall repair or replacement.
Same goes for refunds/rebates.
Avoiding duplications. I have previously touched on this. On some things like embossing folders the amount may seem small, but on larger items it can add up quickly. Take cartridges for Cricut machines. There are numerous ones that have similar names, like Art Deco and Art Nouveau. Both deal with art deco type die cuts, but they are truly two different cartridges, so if you aren’t careful you could pick up a duplicate without realizing it. Considering those run from $20-200 that can get costly quickly.
I cannot tell you how many times in the past I have started a card or scrapbook project to discover that I don’t have enough cardstock of a particular color. An up to date inventory of such things saves me from either not being able to do a project, or worse needing to do one in a hurry and having to make an emergency run 20 or miles away to a craft store to get the materials needed. That 40 mile round trip costs 1-3 gallons of gas depending on what vehicle I am driving and that can add up quickly in the dollars and cents column.
It has also kept me from buying more of a certain color when I already have numerous sheets of said color.
Home owners insurance is another HUGE consideration. Many homeowners, like myself, opt for having full replacement value insurance. However, the insurance company is NOT going to take your word that you had 300 different Cricut cartridges, two different Cricut machines and a Cameo, plus x amount of dies, 100 embossing folders you are going to need some documentation of said items to gain that full replacement value.
Having an inventory, preferably with photos, serial numbers and such will not only give you the proof that you did in fact own those items, but also when you purchased them.
Not to mention it will help you remember what all you did own and make filing the claim much simpler.
Of course this only works if you do as I have previously suggested and you have kept a complete back-up of your files off property.
While I pray none of us ever suffer such loss it is better to have safely stored electronic files off property, just in case. It’s kind of like carrying an umbrella and it not raining, but the minute you leave that bumbershoot at home you are going to drown like a rat!
One other thing I would suggest you file with all this paperwork. Up to date photos of the entire household, room by room, section by section. So even if you haven’t entered you had 25 different containers of glitter and 300 ink pads you will have a photos of those items to show the insurance company as proof you did have them.
Another good point about taking these photos is to help all of us show more self restraint when in craft stores.
“Huh?” you say. Have you ever noticed that when you are taking photos of something you don’t notice that bit of trash on the floor, or the dust on the mirror or what have you until you take the photo and are looking at it?
Well taking a photo of each room also lets you see when you are maybe getting too much of a good thing. Take those 300 ink pads—seriously? Do you really need to buy another one? Are you turning into an inky hoarder? Photos are very good to give us all a reality check and when they do, we save money.
Taxes, if you file using deductions how many times have you either been not able to find a receipt to where you donated to charity, purchased a car tag or something similar and ended up not claiming the deduction? Do you really want to give Uncle Sam any more than you legally have to?
I was recently asked if the IRS will take the electronic files. I cannot say for certain, I was told yes by one IRS representative, but anyone who has called them before will know that you don’t always get the same answer when you call.
It would make sense that they would because no one gets their checks back from a bank any more, the banks destroy the originals, if they ever existed in this day and age of electronic checks and debit cards. Reservations and payments of various accounts are all computer generated. I know I do a pdf of every payment I make on a bill and file that “receipt” electronically.
However, if you have doubt about taxes, then still scan them in, just in case of a fire, tornado, hurricane etc and neatly file those scraps of paper in one small file. It will make your tax filing simpler next year if your receipts are all scanned into one file labeled “taxes” then looking through stacks and stacks of paper clutter.
These are but a few of the ways using our computers, tablets, cell phones can save us money. I bet once you start thinking about it you will come up with more and more ways that being organized with your computer in your craft room/home office will save you a ton of money.
One reminder, once you have scanned everything and made triple certain you have a good quality copy of each and every receipt, statement, photo etc. be certain you shred or burn any paperwork you are doing away with. Don’t give identity thieves any help in ruining your life what so ever.
Jan who prefers to burn rather than shred in OK