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Thread: How do you organize digitally scanned receipts for record of home renovations/etc?

  1. #1
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    How do you organize digitally scanned receipts for record of home renovations/etc?

    I have hundreds of Menards, Home Depot, and other paper receipts for my house renovations and other projects that I want to keep digitally. What sort of software could I use to organize these receipts once I scan them into my Windows PC? I don't particularly want to use my iPhone or iPad unless there is something outstanding that only runs on iOS.

    The home renovation receipts in particular I need to keep to prove to the IRS the value of my house to avoid capital gains tax at sale time. As a single person I only get a $250,000 exemption and I only paid $150,000, but I put at least $125,000 into renovations and upgrades in the past five years. There is a pretty good chance I will be close to $250,000 in appreciation 20 to 30 years from now.

  2. #2
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    Brian,
    I use "Neat". There is an app and also a physical device to scan if you think you need it( but most scanning can be done with you phone taking a picture). I have used it for years and would be lost without it. I scan virtually every receipt that I think could possibly be important in the future. Manuals, warranties, repair cost, contracts, expenses, and on and on. It really is very useful. Look at it https://www.neat.com/?gclid=CjwKCAjw...RoCPtAQAvD_BwE

    There can be a cost depending on how much you use it.....but it is worth it to me to be able to save a receipt/document on the spot without fear of losing it or forgetting to do it later.

    Jim

  3. #3
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    Neat looks like a great option, but I can't justify spending $156 a year on the service. In five years I would spend more on Neat than I spent on my current PC setup including the paid software I own. I would also probably blow through the 1,200 receipt limit in the first year getting everything entered in initially. I have a two foot stack of stuff to scan in.

  4. #4
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    I use an app called "Wave". It is actually a businss accounting app, but works well for tracking remodeling expenses. You can either scan the receipt to your PC and email it to the app, or take a picture on your phone and it will upload to the app. Once the app has it, you can set up categories to site your situation. It is free.

    www.waveapps.com


  5. #5
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    I understand.. it is a convenience factor and as such it has it's cost. It is just very user friendly and works great in producing reports, etc for any business expenses you might have also.

    Jim

  6. #6
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    I haven't incurred a business expense in years. Most IT training is now online, but my employer can't afford to have me take any training these days. The last time I went out of town for training was a dozen years ago and the last in person class was almost as long ago. A vendor did pay for a trip to Houston in 2015 and I had to expense parking overnight at the airport. That was my last business expense.

    I'll have to look at Wave. I could just scan all the receipts as PDFs and file them in folders on my PC by expense type, but that doesn't make it easy to find something if I need it.

    What I am finding is most of the PC software and phone apps are designed for the business person who travels or otherwise has a lot of business expenses to be reimbursed. It isn't really for organizing home receipts. I would also like to find a product for tracking my home inventory in case of an insurance loss, but I haven't found anything I like there yet. Allstate had a free service, but they discontinued it shortly after I found it a few years ago.
    Last edited by Brian Elfert; 05-24-2020 at 2:08 PM.

  7. #7
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    Understood....I'm retired but do sell some items through my website HJTWoods.com. When I buy a tool(big or small) , make a stop at Lowe's or Home Depot to pick up something needed, or go by the lumberyard it makes it easy to use Neat to keep track of all of these in one place. Then I can search to find a particular receipt afterwards when necessary. Can also do expense reports qtrly or annually for tax purposes.

    Jim
    Last edited by Jim Tobias; 05-24-2020 at 2:44 PM. Reason: sp

  8. #8
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    I track the expenses in Quicken but don't keep actual receipts, just the numbers tagged with the project they were associated with. 50 years worth of receipts from the home depot would make me insane; if some auditor didn't believe my numbers and wanted to sort through such a mess for the few thousand dollar deduction it might add up to, good luck to them. (I do have a folder with the big (over $10K) bills) At this point it will be my heirs problem to deal with an audit anyway. My numbers are pretty reasonable and really shouldn't trigger an audit.

  9. #9
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    I have to keep my Home Depot, Menards, and other receipts in one format or another until I sell my house. I would prefer to digitize them to avoid keeping huge piles of paper. Those receipts represent over $30,000 in work done to my house. If I have to pay capital gains when I sell my house that could be close to $10,000 in tax I otherwise wouldn't have to pay.

  10. #10
    I do everything possible by debit card. For years I've just let the bank keep track. Of EVERYthing. I just download the entire checking account history (the dates I need) into Excel. I've learned just enough of excel to know how organize columns to where I can organize the whole account history by customer name. I don't even keep track of expenses in quickbooks any more. Receipts and invoices get filed and stored away every year, never to be seen again (so far )

    The bank also generates a year end itemized spending report, but I prefer Excel...
    ========================================
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    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  11. #11
    If you have a gmail account, google's cloud service (Google Drive) has a really neat phone app that lets you do one-click "scanning" of a picture (taken with your smartphone) to PDF, which then gets uploaded to Drive. Makes it super easy to store receipts.

  12. #12
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    Microsoft Excel can do this.
    You can set up a budget spreadsheet with various fields for plumbing, trim, roofing, whatever. Just like you would do with any budget.
    Scan your receipts put them in a folder.
    Add a column for receipts.
    click in the appropriate cell
    go to “insert” a pic
    select the receipt.
    select....

    never mind the directions, watch this...
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=L31JlW...ature=emb_logo

    I made an inventory of all my tools with data about purchase cost, year, stuff like that for insurance. I added a pic of each to my spreadsheet.
    Comments made here are my own and, according to my children, do not reflect the opinions of any other person... anywhere, anytime.

  13. #13
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    Excel would be the cheapest I guess since I already own it, but I think most of the world would be vaccinated for COVID-19 by the time I put in a line entry for each receipt I have and attached a scan of the receipt.
    This might make the most sense even though it will take days of time to enter all my receipts.

    I have a personal gSuite account so I could certainly go that route. I assume I can make folders in Google Drive since I have barely used Google Drive at all.

  14. #14
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    Brian, I think you're an IT pro so you know about proprietary file formats and abandonware. The archival version of pdf would seem pretty future proof, not sure how to index it.

  15. #15
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    How about adding tags to each file?

    I am organizing a gazillion photos and tagging each with year, namers, event, etc. Makes it easy to find pictures.

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