Valuable investment: a filing cabinet

April 1, 2009

Or somewhere reliable to put papers, anyway.

That breadmaker I was so pleased with gave up the ghost a few weeks ago, and started producing pale dense bricks instead of bread. Kathy produced the receipt, and armed with the evidence we were able to return it for a new one.

(Briscoes were very good about it, and they were having a even bigger breadmaker sale at the time than when I made the original purchase, so I got a much better model with the credit + $30).

If we had not had the receipt, I think it would have been much harder to return successfully, since we couldn’t have proved we bought it at Briscoes, or that it was still within the guarantee period.

My parents, from whom I learned so many frugal habits, had a filing cabinet. I think Dad might have borrowed a surplus one from work. I have a very cheap filing cabinet I got from the Warehouse some years ago. I store my statements and bills and other business correspondence in it. It has one file called “useful receipts.” We still have plenty of transaction records that aren’t electronic, and while we could scan them, it’s easier to jam them in a file than scan and annotate them.

A filing cabinet, even a small one, might be overkill in your household, but I think there’s a lot of value in having something as simple as a box in a safe place, as long as you have the habit of putting paper  in there. Purge it once a year, and you’re good.



  1. What with the transhemispheric shift and both of us having worked as contractors at various points, we have two crammed filing cabinets that neither of us could function without. The only problems are of taxonomy: do, for instance, file Becca’s immunisations certificate under ‘Rebecca’ or ‘Medical’?

  2. We have two concertina files – the ones that can be carried like a briefcase. These are GREAT! One houses all receipts – filed in alpha order under brand name, and the other houses important information relating to mortgages, rental properties etc. Has been a life saver in more than one situation being able to back something up with a receipt or warranty. The other thing we do is use a ring binder and file the monthly power phone household bills in this, which is great for checking back on what youve spend in previous years etc for comparision.

  3. i highly recommend getting second hand filing cabinets, you can pick them up from the salvation army, which means you are saving money, reusing and the money goes to those who need it most.

    We have one large cabinet at home it’s awesome

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