Keeping Receipts

I hate keeping receipts.  I never keep any, even for tax related purposes… unless they’re HUGE receipts, then I’ll make a scan of it into a PDF file and store it away just in case.  I have no idea if the IRS will honor a scanned receipt.  I hope so, though I doubt I’ll ever get audited because my claims are usually on the conservative side.  *knock on wood*

This year at work, our healthcare plans changed & most employees had to pick a new plan.  The plans offered were nowhere near as good as the plans most employees were already on.   The gist of it was that the previous great plans most employees were on were costing the hospital too much money and employees weren’t fully taking advantage of the plan.  I guess I shouldn’t complain, because even now the current plan is still somewhat decent based on what I’ve heard from family & friends.

With these elections, it actually prompted me to re-evaluate all benefit options available to me.  In such, I signed up for a Flexible Spending Account.  I didn’t have one before simply because I didn’t fully understand what they were.  Considering what my family spends a year in the pharmaceutical category, it would have saved us a lot of money if I had signed up for one sooner.  Ah well, hindsight is 20/20.

Now that I have this account, I used the debit card for the first time Friday to get two prescriptions filled.  It was pretty simple, they just swiped the card and that was it.  It almost felt like I was getting it for free, so I couldn’t help but smile a bit.

However, one disclaimer on the plan is that I must keep all receipts.  I guess for tax-related purposes?  I don’t know, I’m sure I’ll figure it out when the time comes, so the least I can do in the meantime is be prepared.  I wasn’t about to start a folder in my filing cabinet for all of these receipts.  ”There’s got to be a better way”, I thought… a digital way.  So, I thought, wouldn’t it be nice if I could take a picture of the receipt with my iPhone, and file that away in case I needed it later?  Then I also thought, “Well, I’d want it to use Dropbox too”, because then I could automatically have the receipts synchronized across all of my computers & handheld devices.  I wonder then… does such an app exist for the iPhone?  Surely, I can’t be the only iPhone user out there who wants such a thing.

A quick search through the App Store revealed JotNot Scanner Pro.  It was like someone literally read my mind.  This app does everything I wanted to do in terms of collecting and storing receipts.  It works great.  I’m already looking through all of the receipts I have scattered on desks and dressers around the house to see if they’re worth keeping.  I’ve probably scanned about 5 so far.  The app uses your iPhone’s camera to take a picture of the receipt, but it does it so much better than the default camera app would do.  Once you take the picture, you then edit the picture to keep only what you want & discard the rest.  The cropping interface is fantastic.  You just drag the 4 corners of the crop box to the edges of the object you took the picture of.  Once you’re happy, you click Process and the app optimizes the picture based on the preset you choose.  For example, there’s a Receipt preset, and the app basically transforms the picture into a 2D black & white image that is much more readable than just a picture would be.  If you have a long receipt, you can take more than one picture, and they’re all included as pages in the document.  The default format created is PDF & I’m not sure if you can change that… haven’t played around with it enough.

As if that wasn’t good enough, JotNot Pro will also upload these scans to Dropbox, as well as other common cloud file services.  Like I said, it’s like the developers were reading my mind.  That’s absolutely perfect for what I wanted.

At the time of this writing, it’s going for $.99, which is a steal.  Considering how cheap I am, I avoid paying for apps if at all possible, but I had no problem clicking the purchase button for this one.  It’s definitely going to make my life easier.  I rated it 5 stars in the App Store… highly recommended!