In this digital age it becomes more and more difficult to keep track of our spending. It is so easy simply to run a debit or credit card through a reader and tuck the receipt in our pockets to be thrown away later. Recently it has become common for the person behind the counter to ask us if we even want a copy of the receipt. When asked if we want the receipt, the answer must be YES!
We need that receipt for several reasons:
- Always ask for a receipt and write on it what you purchased.
- Carefully review your receipt when you receive it for accuracy.
- Put the receipt in a specific place at home so you can match it to your monthly statement.
- Match each receipt with your statement.
- Enter the purchase in your family budget.
There have been occasions when a dishonest clerk has run a different amount on a card when the card bearer doesn’t request a copy of the receipt. Then the clerk just puts the difference in their pocket, so at the end of the day, the till amount and the receipt printouts match and you are out the difference. You probably won’t ever find the “mistake” because they do it in small amounts that you wouldn’t normally recognize on your statement. For example, if you go to McDonalds and spend $24.75 for a meal for your family and the clerk asks you if you want a copy of the receipt and you say no, that clerk might run your card for $25.75 and pocket the extra dollar. When you get your statement at the end of the month and look it over, you will probably not notice the extra dollar. The $25.75 sounds reasonable.
So the next time you run your debit or credit card through the reader and the clerk asks you if you want a copy of your receipt, answer with a spirited YES, thank you and feel comfortable taking your family out for dinner.
Lyman Rose is the author of five books including "Winning the War Against Debt" and coauthor of "The Debt Stacker" software. He is the owner of Creative Promotions.