How To Protect Your Receipts

There’s a slight problem with many receipts these days–they’re printed on thermal paper, and over time they fade. Some readers were discussing this in the Kodak warranty thread from earlier this week, and I thought it might be useful to highlight it here for other readers.

Gizmosmonster started the topic by stating the problem prettly clearly:

Keeping receipts is not as easy as it sounds.

So many receipts are now printed on thermal paper. Thermal paper reacts to heat. Case in point- we have a folder of nearly blank receipts for electronics purchases over the last year after my husband rested a big mug of coffee on it while sorting through tax documents. I have also noticed that they fade as they age, even when carefully filed away.

Are there any solutions to this?

I keep all my receipts in a folder in a filing cabinet, and I’ve noticed the same fading issue. Here’s what other readers suggested to Gizmosmonster:

“Photocopy them when new, staple to the original, perhaps with an initial on the receipt before photocopying to ensure that they’re the ‘same’ – it won’t work for EVERYTHING but it’s better than nothing.” – Eilonwynn

“Scan a month’s worth, zip the file, and email it to yourself. Also, burn a copy each month and store it with your receipts.

[Regarding an already faded receipt,] I’m willing to bet if you hit it with a certain light, that you could still read them. Anyone have any suggestions?” -GitEmSteveDave

“Photocopy, and staple both the original and copy to the inside cover of the manual. If the original still fades, you have the copy right there.” – JoeTaxpayer

“Photo copy them when you get ‘em. Scan them to your computer too (or instead of copying). That way if you should need them, you can print one (or even email it).
And always keep records of your credit card statements (download the pdf versions of your statements besides downloading the activity to import into your financial software).” – nybiker

As for me, I have a smartphone and a free Evernote account, and I tend to use it for quick captures of signs, merchandise to research later, and sometimes receipts. If you’re better organized than I am, you might find a way to work Evernote into your system as a quick off-site backup for receipts.