Receipts or Napkins, What’s The Difference?

So if you are anything like me, that little piece of paper they give you at the end of a transaction is either a napkin when you spill coffee in your car or the new lining in your purse. Either way, it serves a multitude of purposes except tracking your expenses.

When I met my husband I use to laugh at him because he would fold the receipt into a tiny piece of paper and place it in his wallet. As our relationship progressed, I would see him sit every Sunday and pull out each little, itty, bitty, piece of paper and log it into an excel sheet. Fast-forward 4 years and he still does the same thing, except now he expects me to do it too (HA-HA).

I am a perfectionist for 90% of the things in my life, but tracking my expenses is not one of them. In fact, most of my receipts have a lipstick smudge on them or a piece of gum. Others were used to check to see if a pen was working or substituted as a napkin in emergencies. Regardless of my justified use for these miniature pieces of guilt, I mean paper, my husband never bought into them and would get so frustrated with my inability to track my receipts. Especially when it came down to leaving tip because it would always reflect much later on our statement. Yep, many nights were spent explaining that I lost the receipt in the abyss of my purse (hey stuff does get lost in there).

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Alas, in order to keep Mr. Accounting happy I decided to download several receipt tracking apps. I was hoping that these apps would help me be responsible (semi responsible at least) and track my receipts without creating paper villages at the bottom of my purse. I decided to test out four apps, ReceiptBox, IQBoxy, Foreceipt, and Receipt Hog. Below are my reviews, both pros and cons, and ultimately which one I have decided to use in order to keep me from looking like I robbed a paper factory.

ReceiptBox:

Out of all the apps, ReceiptBox is by far the easiest to use. You don’t need an accounting degree to figure it out. Its simple, tracks your expenses well, and puts them into this nifty pie chart so you know how much you are spending on each category. You can customize categories and export it as a CSV file; this helps at the end of the month when you are reconciling your expenses. Oh, and did I mention it is completely free! No payments, no nada. All you have to do is deal with a small add at the top, which I hardly noticed.

The cons on ReceiptBox are that you have to manually enter each transaction. You can’t take a picture of your receipt, nothing self populates, everything is done the old fashion way (I know can you believe them, you actually have to use your brain for 2 seconds, the audacity!)

Here are the links to download it:

ReceiptBox for Apple Devices

ReceiptBox for Android Devices

IQBoxy

By far my favorite receipt tracking app. It has a super cool dashboard that lets you see where your spending is. You can snap a photo of your receipt and it populates everything from merchant to tax. It lets you search your receipts by place, date and tags. It has a tab for reports that you can share and download for monthly reconciliation. Lets not forget the way the app looks, its clean, organized, and very user friendly.

The cons, well it’s certainly not free. You can download it from the app store for free, and this gives you access to the PRIME trial, but once that trial is over, you can bet your bottom dollar (see what I did there?) that they are going to start charging you. Its $9.99 a month for PRIME and $19.99 a month for PRIME+.

Here are the links to download it:

IQBoxy for Apple Devices

IQBoxy for Android Devices

Foreceipt

Very similar to IQBoxy in that you can snap a picture of your receipt and it uploads to the app. It will try and find the merchant and upload as much information from the receipt as possible. Also, if you know your monthly budget and you input it in the app, every time you spend it deducts it from your overall budget. There are a lot of cool features in this app that can connect to other platforms you use, for example Gmail and Google Drive. This makes it a breeze to download the reports for monthly reconciliation.

Out of all the apps, this one was my least favorite. The dashboard is not very user friendly and logging in receipts can take forever. Most of the time they don’t get the merchant right or the app doesn’t pickup your tip. It’s also not free. You can only log in 7 receipts at a time and you get a total of 50 receipts before you have to upgrade the app. There was a lot of time manually inputting merchants and tips on this app, which defeated the whole purpose of taking the picture. Foreceipt is $0.99 a month or $9.99 a year.

Here is the link to download it:

Foreceipt for Apple Devices

Receipt Hog

Last but certainly not least is Receipt Hog. This was a pretty fun app, though I don’t think I would use it to track expenses. Its an app that gives you “coins” based on the receipts you upload and with those coins you can use them with a number of their partners. Think of it like Ebates but for receipts. It doesn’t process the receipt right away; it takes it time to locate the merchant and the amount. I would venture to say that it takes awhile because the app is cross referencing it to see if there is any type of coin reward that can be given for it. It’s certainly a cool concept but not really an expense management tool.

Here are the links to download it:

Receipt Hog for Android Devices

Receipt Hog for Apple Devices

All in all, I think I’m going to put my lazy brain to work and use ReceiptBox. Though I have to put in everything by hand (the horror), it is the quickest and easiest app to use. I may not have a picture of the receipt but I can put notes, tags, which card I paid it with, etc., so it works just the same. I’m also a sucker for pie charts and this one is really simple and easy to understand. Oh and its free, my bank account likes free.

I hope this post helps you realize that you are not alone in this mile long receipt world (I’m looking at you CVS), there are others, and there is hope to organize your life (well at least your receipts, I ain’t Tony Robins).

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Note: the opinions listed above are my own, and I was not provided any free services or financial compensation from ReceiptBox, IQBoxy, Foreceipt, or Receipt Hog for my post.

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