ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Manage Your Receipts Online

Updated on August 15, 2010

If you are keeping track of your credit card purchases by saving receipts and comparing them to the total bill at the end of the month then I applaud you for practicing good financial management. That being said, I am writing this article to suggest a simpler, more efficient, and more "technological" way to keep track of all those receipts. Using any cell phone that can take pictures and send email (including the iPhone, Android phones, Blackberry, etc.), you can simply upload pictures of your receipts to a safe, secure photo storage host known as Picasa (which is run by Google). I am going to tell you why you would want to do this, and then show you how.

Why Store Receipts Online?

If you're like I was a few weeks ago, then you probably have an actual file folder (not an electronic folder!) stuffed into a file cabinet somewhere that is bursting full of receipts for every credit card purchase you have made within the last several statements. I keep these receipts so that when my credit card bill comes, I can verify that I actually did spend $30 on gas at Exon, three weeks ago (something I'd never remember if I didn't save the receipt). Doing this is a great practice financially because if anything mysterious shows up, you can instantly verify that it is, or isn't, someone who has stolen your card.

But I realized recently that that practice is getting old. I have way too many receipts, it's hard to find what I need when I need it, and eventually the receipts fade. So I have thought of a much better solution. I have begun storing my receipts online by taking a picture of them and uploading them to a photo hosting site known as Picasa. When I do this, the receipts are automatically organized by date, and finding them when I'm checking my statement (also online) is very easy. Plus, thanks to my GPS-enabled Android smartphone, all of my photos are geo-tagged. This means that when I take the image, the location of where I took it is embedded in the picture. When I am browsing my photos online and don't recognize where the receipt is from, I can instantly see a map of where the gas station, etc. was located.

The Online Photo Host

In order to start using this method, you're first going to need a photo hosting solution. I am using Picasa by Google, and absolutely love it because of its geo-tagging features, organizing by date, and integration with my phone. Sign up for free at **Make sure that you use the same username and password for your Google account as you did when you set up your Android phone (if this applies). This will allow for seamless syncing later.

Once you sign up, you get 1 GB free of photo hosting. This should be plenty for pictures of receipts, but if you plan to use it for other photos, you may need to upgrade in the future. The first thing you need to do is create an album called "Receipts" or something similar. Do this by clicking "Upload."

Next, click "create a new album."

Then, name the album, and change the privacy to Private. This is very important, or everyone on the internet will be able to see your receipts and personal information.

When you're finished, click "continue" and then, click "cancel" because you don't want to upload any photos.

Photographing Receipts

Now, you have set up the album. The next step is to begin photographing receipts whenever you are out. This is probably the hardest part, because it involves remembering to do it each time you get a receipt. But if you make a habit of photographing the receipt each time, before you leave the restaurant or gas station, it will eventually become a habit. Make sure that when you take the photo, the numbers are clearly shown. If it is a long receipt, the only important part is the total and the area where it says how much was charged to the card. On some phones, like most Android phones and the iPhone, there are intricate options for taking photos. I have found that the Macro Focus feature works best to clearly show the numbers.

If you want to keep the receipt in case you need to return an item, that is advisable, but for verifying your credit card bill, everything else will be done online, so feel free to put that receipt away.

A receipt, clearly showing the numbers for easy reading later
A receipt, clearly showing the numbers for easy reading later

Uploading The Photos

Once you take the photo, there are several ways that you can upload it to the album you created in Picasa. Once you upload it, you can delete it from your phone.

  • On Android phones, view the picture in the gallery and click "More." Then click "Share" and choose "Picasa." Select the Receipts album, add an optional caption such as "date night dinner" and then click "upload." They will be uploaded to the album that you can view online. Make sure to enable the GPS before taking pictures if you want them to be geo-tagged.
  • On the iPhone and all others, you have to email the pictures to your album. It's simple once you set this feature up within Picasa. Before you take the photos, follow this guide:¬†¬†that shows you how to create a private email for uploading.

Reviewing the Photos

When your credit card statement comes, simply log in to your Picasa web albums using your Google account name and password. Then, browse to the Receipts album and there are all your photos, nicely organized by date.

This is a great way to manage your finances using services that are free, simple, and accessible anywhere. I am aware of several applications for smartphones that do exactly this, but I like how the features of Picasa and Android phones allow me to tie everything together. Plus, since Google runs Picasa, I am almost certain that the service won't be shut down, rendering my receipts missing.

Tags: financial management, receipt tagging, photos of receipts, uploading pictures of receipts, using smartphone take pictures of receipts, money management with smartphone, phone to track receipts, receipts and data, phone, android, iphone, blackberry, financial


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)