Purchase Receipts Calculator for Easy Personal Expense Tracking

Purchase Receipts Calculator Sign

This calculator will help you to tabulate and categorize your personal expenses from your purchase receipts.

After entering your receipts you can then print out a report that includes the time and financial opportunity costs of each expenditure, plus the total opportunity costs for each spending category and sub-category. Knowing these opportunity costs will help you to gain control over your spending.

Finally, the calculator's printed report will provide you with an organized and easy way to enter your personal expenses into your preferred personal finance software.

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Purchase Receipts Calculator

Tabulate and categorize your personal expenses from your purchase receipts, and become fully aware of the opportunity costs your spending is creating.

Special Instructions

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Selected Data Record:

A Data Record is a set of calculator entries that are stored in your web browser's Local Storage. If a Data Record is currently selected in the "Data" tab, this line will list the name you gave to that data record. If no data record is selected, or you have no entries stored for this calculator, the line will display "None".

DataData recordData recordSelected data record: None
Opportunity Cost Variables

Opportunity Cost Variables:

The calculator uses the variables in this section to calculate the opportunity costs (required work time, lost interest earnings, etc.) of each expenditure and for each spending sub-category.

Since these fields apply to all receipts entered, you only need to complete this section once each receipt session.

Current age:

Current age:

Enter your current age.

Retire age:

Retire age:

Enter the age you plan or hope to retire at. The calculator will calculate the number of years till you retire and use that for calculating the opportunity costs of your spending (will appear on printed report).

Wage/hrHourly wageReal hourly wageReal hourly wage:

Real hourly wage:

Enter your after-tax, after work-related-expense hourly wage. Clicking the link will open the Real Hourly Wage calculator in a new window. The calculator will use this to calculate the amount of time you are spending at work in order to earn the income needed for each expenditure (included in printed report).

ROI:Invest return:Annual return on investments:Expected annual return on investments:

Expected annual return on investments:

Enter the annual interest rate you expect to earn on your investments. Enter as a percentage, but without the percent sign (for .06 or 6%, enter 6). The calculator uses this figure for calculating the financial opportunity costs of your spending (shown on printed worksheet).

Sales tax %:Sales tax percent:Sales tax percentage:Sales tax percentage:

Sales tax percentage:

Enter your local sales tax percentage (usually printed on receipts). Enter as a percentage, but without the percent sign (for .07375 or 7.375%, enter 7.375). The calculator will use this figure to help you assign sales tax to the sub-categories that you are charged sales tax on.

Receipt Variables

Receipt Variables:

Complete this section for each individual receipt you enter. All receipts typically have a date, a payee (who you paid the money to), a source from which the purchase was made (cash, debit card, credit card, etc.), a reference number (check number, etc.), and the total amount of the receipt.

Once you complete this section, use the section below this one to allocate (split and assign) the expenditures listed on the receipt to their appropriate spending sub-categories.

Date:Date:Date of purchase:Date of purchase:

Date of purchase:

If you would like to be able to sort the receipt list by date, enter the date printed on the receipt in a YYYY-MM-DD format (August 5, 2014 would be entered as 2014-08-05).

Paid to:Money paid to:Who money was paid to:Who money was paid to:

Who money was paid to:

Enter the name of the business the receipt is from. To keep the printed report from getting too wide or tall, try to enter a name that is just long enough to recognize what store is being referred to.

Pmt methodPayment methodMethod of paymentMethod of payment:

Method of payment:

Select what method of payment was used to make this purchase. This is important for when you go to enter the receipts from the report into whatever personal finance software you happen to use.

Ref:Reference:Reference number/name:Reference number or name:

Reference number or name:

Optional: Enter a reference number or name that points to the document or account used to make purchase. This could be a check number, the last for digits of the debt or credit card that was used, or the type of card used (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, etc.).

Total amt:Receipt total:Total receipt amount:Total receipt amount:

Receipt total amount:

Enter the grand total listed on the receipt. In order for the Purchase Receipts Calculator to work properly, this amount must be entered before allocating portions to sub-categories.

Receipt Allocation

Receipt Allocation:

For each item or group of similar items on the receipt, select a category and sub-category, indicate taxable or non-taxable, and then enter a memo and the amount (tap the "Amount" link to add up more than one amount) to allocate to the sub-category.

Once you are satisfied with the allocation, tap the "+" button (may also appear as "Add" or "Add Allocation"). This will add the allocation to the drop-down menu and recalculate the remainder (left to allocate).

Start with taxable items first and enter non-taxable items last.

To edit an allocation, select it from the menu, make the changes, and tap the "S" button (may also appear as "Save" or "Save Changes").

To delete an allocation, select it from the menu and tap the "-" button (may also appear as "Delete").

Once you have allocated all items on receipt (remainder = $0.00), tap the "Add Receipt" button to save it to the list that will appear in the next section.


Spending category:

Select a category to display the list of sub-categories available to choose from. To help you to think of your life as a business (in pursuit of happiness profits, not monetary profits) I have created these 5 main categories of spending:

  • Administration: Expenses essential to running the household, such as legal, accounting, tax preparation, communications, office supply, etc..
  • Entertainment: Non-essential expenses incurred for the sake of reducing boredom, increasing status, attempting to buy the affections of another, keeping up with the Jones', feeding unhealthly habits, etc.
  • Personnel: Expenses related to caring, feeding, clothing, and educating you and the members of your household.
  • Residential: Expenses related to housing the members of your household.
  • Transportation: Expenses related to transporting members of your household.

Spending sub-category:

Select a sub-category to assign one or more receipt items to. If you can't find a sub-category to assign the expenditure to, choose "Other" and use the "Memo" field to indicate the type of purchase.


Amounts column:

Enter a single amount in "Amounts" column. Or, in cases where a receipt has more than one item in a sub-account, expand the description in this row to enter the amounts in the separate fields and the Purchase Receipts Calculator will automatically sum the entries and display the result in the "Amounts" field.


Tax column:

If you want to assign sales tax to the responsible sub-categories, be sure to enter the taxable expenditures first and with a check in the "T" box. Leave the non-taxable amounts for the last entries.

Note that if all items on the receipt are taxable, leave the "T" boxes unchecked for all entries.

The sales tax calculation is used only to help you allocate sales taxes to the sub-categories they belong to, meaning they are not listed separately on the spending report.


Memo column:

Optional: Enter a memo you would like to have appear on the report. Again, to keep from stretching the height and width of the report, keep the memo as brief as possible.


Total column:

This is the calculated total of the amounts entered in adjacent column, along with the sales tax if the sales tax (T) check box is checked.

Remainder:Remainder:Receipt remainder:Receipt remainder:

Receipt remainder:

This is the difference between the total of the receipt and the combined total of the sub-category amounts.

This amount must equal "$0.00" before you will be able to add the receipt to the list.

If the remainder is not equal to "$0.00" you will need to increase or decrease the allocations to your sub-category amounts until it does.

Entered Receipts

Entered Receipts:

After tapping the Add Receipt button the receipt will be added to a list below. This version has no option for editing an entered receipt, so you need to make a change to an entered receipt you will need to delete it and enter the receipt again.

Once you have a list you can then sort the list by a specific column by tapping the column title. This sort order will be used to sort the report as well.

You can view and print your spending report at any time by tapping the Create Spending Report button that will appear beneath the report.

To clear out all receipts and spending sub-categories so you can start fresh while preserving your opportunity cost variables, click the Delete All button beneath the list.

If you would like to save the current entries to the secure online database, tap or click on the Data tab, select "New Data Record", give the data record a name, then tap or click the Save button. To save changes to previously saved entries, simply tap the Save button. Please select and "Clear" any data records you no longer need.

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Help and Tools


The importance of keeping track of your expenditures, and an easy method of doing so.

The Importance of Keeping Track of Expenses

Living within a budget is a critical part of maximizing the happiness profits earned by you and your family. But the only way you can "live within" a budget is by having a realistic budget to begin with.

In my experience the biggest reason most people fail at budgeting is because their budgets are based on overly optimistic spending forecasts instead of on historical facts. And after several failed attempts to live within these unrealistic budgets, most people just simply give up trying.

So if you truly want to maximize the emotional returns on the money you earn, the first step is to build a detailed and accurate record of your past spending. Once you have historical facts from which to base your budget on, the odds of successfully living within your means increases dramatically.

Keeping Track of Expenses the Hard Way

Most personal finance "experts" will tell you that the key to tracking your spending is to carry a notebook around with you and write down every penny you spend.

Well, that advice might have worked 20-30 years ago, but in today's hectic, fast-paced world, thinking you will stop to write down every expense as they occur is just not a realistic solution for keeping track of expenses.

After all, not only do you have multiple sources from which to spend money (cash, checking, savings, debit card, credit cards, money market account, etc.), but you can also spend money in multiple environments (online, offline, etc.). Plus, where we used to live our lives in 6-hour blocks of time, we now live our lives in 2-hour blocks of time.

Add all of these time pressures and financial complexities together and it's no wonder why so many people give up trying to keep track of their spending.

An Easy System for Personal Expense Tracking

Did you ever stop to consider that someone is already keeping track of your spending?

It's true.

Nearly every time you spend money the person or business receiving the money keeps a record of what you purchased and when you purchased it. And you, as the consumer, have the right to insist they provide you with a copy of that record ... otherwise known as a receipt (sales slip).

In other words, instead of always stopping to write down what you are spending, all you need to do is always insist on getting receipt, and then accumulate all of your receipts until you have time to enter them into your spending journal.

Of course, if you misplace or throw away those receipts, insisting on getting a receipt for your purchases won't do you any good.

How to Track Expenses Using Purchase Receipts

I have been using the receipt system to successfully track my own spending for years. In fact, the Purchase Receipts Calculator on this page is actually a tool I built for my own use several years ago. If you've given up on keeping track of your spending, I strongly encourage to give this system a try. Here are the basic steps to using the receipt system.

  1. Never, ever leave a spending event without a detailed receipt. In most cases the receipts you get will have the date, a breakdown of what you purchased, and the last four digits of your spending source if purchased with plastic. If the receipt you are handed fails to include these important bits of information, you will need to manually add them at that very moment.
  2. Don't allow a clerk to put your receipts in a bag. One of the things I learned early on in my use of the receipt system, is that shopping bags are like the Bermuda Triangle for receipts. I would see the receipt get put into the bag with my own eyes, yet later discover that the receipt had gone missing.
  3. Designate a spot in your purse or wallet to place all receipts. Take my word for it, if you put your receipts in different locations on different occasions (pocket, purse, glove compartment, etc.) you will end up losing track of valuable records of your spending.
  4. Designate a high-visibility spot on your desk for accumulating receipts. Periodically transfer the receipts from your wallet or purse to a designated, highly visible spot in the area you do your bill paying and money management.
  5. Designate a block of time each week for recording receipts. Think of a time each week that you almost always have a block of discretionary time, and designate that time to transfer the important information on your receipts to your preferred personal finance software. Early Sunday mornings have always worked the best for me.

Why Use the Purchase Receipts Calculator?

By now you are probably wondering why you would want to enter your receipts into the Purchase Receipts Calculator, only to have to then enter the same information into your personal finance software. Here are a few reasons I use the Purchase Receipts Calculator before entering the information into my own personal finance software.

  1. To Stay Fully Aware of the Opportunity Costs of My Spending. On the printed spending report, every itemized expenditure lists the calculated time and financial opportunity costs they created. Just seeing how much you are giving up in return for what you are getting can help to make a significant increase in the emotional returns you are getting from the money you earn.
  2. Allocate Sales Tax to Responsible Spending Categories. One of the most time consuming tasks in the receipt system is the process of separating taxable purchases from non-taxable purchases. In other words, if I have a receipt that includes items from more than one spending sub-category, and I want to allocate sales tax to the responsible expenditures, I need to first separate the taxable from non-taxable, and then multiply each categorized taxable amount by the sales tax percentage. The Purchase Receipts Calculator does all of the calculating for me. So even if you choose not to enter all of your receipts into the Purchase Receipts Calculator, you might still find it useful for those receipts that cover multiple taxable and non-taxable expense sub-categories.
  3. Detailed Hard Copy of Spending Record. If something happens that causes me to lose the data stored in both my personal finance software and my back-up copy, I will still have a written record to rebuild my data from. Plus, one thing I don't like about personal finance software is that it stores your information in the background of your life (out of site out of mind). My printed spending and opportunity cost reports sit prominently on my desk (foreground) where I can't help but notice them.

If you notice a spending sub-category that you think should be added to the Purchase Receipts Calculator, please let me know using the feedback form located beneath the calculator.

Adjust Calculator Width:

Move the slider to left and right to adjust the calculator width. Note that the Help and Tools panel will be hidden when the calculator is too wide to fit both on the screen. Moving the slider to the left will bring the instructions and tools panel back into view.

Also note that some calculators will reformat to accommodate the screen size as you make the calculator wider or narrower. If the calculator is narrow, columns of entry rows will be converted to a vertical entry form, whereas a wider calculator will display columns of entry rows, and the entry fields will be smaller in size ... since they will not need to be "thumb friendly".

Show/Hide Popup Keypads:

Select Show or Hide to show or hide the popup keypad icons located next to numeric entry fields. These are generally only needed for mobile devices that don't have decimal points in their numeric keypads. So if you are on a desktop, you may find the calculator to be more user-friendly and less cluttered without them.

Stick/Unstick Tools:

Select Stick or Unstick to stick or unstick the help and tools panel. Selecting "Stick" will keep the panel in view while scrolling the calculator vertically. If you find that annoying, select "Unstick" to keep the panel in a stationary position.

If the tools panel becomes "Unstuck" on its own, try clicking "Unstick" and then "Stick" to re-stick the panel.