Ring up separately for budgeting? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 02-19-2011, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wondering about the etiquette vs. benefit of asking retail clerks to ring things up separately to simplify your budgeting.

 

Because we run a small business, we sometimes have to do this with company vs. personal items, and I don't feel weird about that, but I struggle with whether or not it's OK to separate out items at Target or CVS into "Valentine's expenses" and "monkey's mom's allowance expenses," for example.

 

I usually don't do it--especially if there's anyone in line behind me--but then that means dividing up the items and tax at home with the receipts and calculator. I would only ever ask for 2 groups of things to be rung up--I definitely would not ask for a large shop to be divided up into 3 or 4 different receipts. But even 2 groups makes me feel like I'm being a pain in the butt. Even though I want to.

 

Am I being ridiculous or considerate? What do you all do? Especially, I'm thinking of those who do the envelope system or anyone who works retail.

 

Thanks mamas!

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#2 of 20 Old 02-19-2011, 09:25 AM
 
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I don't see why it would be a problem, especially if everything is sorted out for the cashier before she/he starts ringing things up.  Further, they don't need to know the reason.  Third, I would keep it to two ring-ups, like you intend, if the store is busy and there is a line.  It just takes longer to do more transactions (opening the register; counting change) than say one or two transactions.


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#3 of 20 Old 02-19-2011, 09:42 AM
 
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I almost always do two ring ups.  I'm lazy and don't want to mess with receipts anymore than necessary.  But I tend to go shopping when there is less likelihood of having a ton of people in line behind me.  When I grocery shop, I always have food groceries separated out from paper supples/misc.  Then when I get home, I'll sort out the misc items and determine which budget item they fall into. 

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#4 of 20 Old 02-19-2011, 10:05 AM
 
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As a customer standing behind you it would drive me crazy. It does take longer to ring in separate orders.  At least when I see 5 people in line I know it will be a wait but when its one and then have that person ring in a bunch of separate orders would be really frustrating, especially if I was in a hurry. 

 

I do get wanting to keep business and personal separate for tax and accounting reasons. With so many great on line and software budgeting tools (many of them free) I don't see how having separate receipts for your own personal budget is needed. I have a great excel based tool I set up for myself and have a pendaflex for filing the receipts.  


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#5 of 20 Old 02-19-2011, 12:09 PM
 
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I will sometimes do two orders if I need a separate receipt to be reimbursed. I wouldn't do it just for regular budgeting because it's a hassle to me. I've never had a cashier flinch at doing two orders or ask me why, though.

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#6 of 20 Old 02-19-2011, 10:30 PM
 
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I have to do 2 orders for work.  1 for supplies and one for food.  sometimes a 3rd if the client is buying something with their own money.  Its just the way it is. 


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#7 of 20 Old 02-20-2011, 11:37 AM
 
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I do it but I either keep it to two orders or do one order before I do my regular shopping. Also, I don't do it in the express lanes.


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#8 of 20 Old 02-20-2011, 06:42 PM
 
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I do it often. I mostly limit it to two separate orders. It makes things easier for me. I also don't if there is a line. I figure as the customer, I can didvide my purcases any way I like. Their job is to ring up my order no matter how many I have. I say this as a former cashier. I often had separate orders  because my SIL and I traded shopping and baby-sitting. Doing it this way let us do it kidless. It worked fabulous even when there were store sales w/coupons. They were often two big orders but I always gave them a heads up and told them why. They always thought that it was a great idea. 

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#9 of 20 Old 02-20-2011, 07:17 PM
 
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if you are paying for it all from the same account, you can just ask them to hit "subtotal" at various points in ringing it up (at least you can at the grocery store--i don't know about at CVS). We used to do that in college when we would go to the store for the whole apartment. First round was the joint dinner shopping, hit subtotal, then each person's personal groceries with a subtotal in between each one. It made it easy to reconcile once we got home.

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#10 of 20 Old 02-20-2011, 07:46 PM
 
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I think it would be fine, especially if it's just a few. They don't know if it's yours and a relatives, or yours versus work. 


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#11 of 20 Old 02-20-2011, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HollyBearsMom View Post

 With so many great on line and software budgeting tools (many of them free) I don't see how having separate receipts for your own personal budget is needed. I have a great excel based tool I set up for myself and have a pendaflex for filing the receipts.  



I just use an excel spreadsheet (for personal budget, anyway), so I'm curious what kind of tools are out there that would take care of this.

 

For example I went to CVS to buy Valentine's cards (one budget category) and make up (another budget category). I bought 3  V cards and 3 make up items. Having the 3 V cards rung up together with the tax added in would give me one receipt total, and the 3 make up items totalled and taxed on another receipt would just make it easy to add the 2 totals to my 2 budget categories.

 

Instead, having it all rung together means I go through the receipt and add up the cards and figure the tax for that, then add up the make up and figure the tax for that, then add the 2 totals into my 2 budget categories. It's not such a big deal....but, you know, if it's not an issue to have the clerk do it, that'd be nice.

 

And what really happened with the CVS purchase was that I was buying the make up out of my "allowance" money which I had already paid myself I(and had the cash in a separate envelope in my purse.) So in addition to divvying up my receipt for the budget, I had to "pay myself back" allowance money and figure out how much that was. It just would have been easier to ask her to ring the make up, pay with the cash from my allowance, and put the change back for my next allowance purchase. And then pay for the cards out my checking account and add that to the budget sheet.

 

But now I'm wondering if this way I've been doing it is really old school and there's something I'm missing!

 

Thanks for all the other comments!

 

Does the subtotal idea (which sounds very clever!) factor in the tax? That's part of the pain-in-the-rear factor for me.

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#12 of 20 Old 02-21-2011, 06:26 AM
 
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The one I use I developed myself on excel. I have tabs per category and fixed calculations that figures the tax for me. I basically adapted it from spreadsheets I found on the American Consumer Credit website and ones I found on and old Moms website that doesn't exist anymore. But since excel based financial planning is my job so it comes easlily to me. I would do a google search, there are tons out there you can file/save and adapt.

 

I keep a pendaflex next to the computer for the receipts.  I *try* to stay on top of them each week but it is a PIA when I let a few weeks go buy without entering them.....ugh!

 

My old computer came with a free trial of quicken which I LOVED! Really easy to use and very concise but I was too cheap to buy the program, LOL. I now have a Mac and am debating about buying the entry level version. I think it would make my life much easier for only fifty bucks.

 

 


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#13 of 20 Old 02-21-2011, 07:16 AM
 
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I do seperate ring ups on occassion - if it helps me keep my cash straight it's worth it. It doesn't take *that* much longer - I've never done more than two seperate purchases, though (excluding the WIC days). Honestly, I'm not worried about the people behind me. It has never taken more than a minute longer, I tell the checker in advanced and I've never seen rules posted anywhere about the amount of seperate purchases per customer, haha ;) Besides, Dh and I always go to the stores together, If anyone "behind us" said anything...which I've never encountered anyone so rude (and I always gave folks the "heads up" when we were doing our WIC shopping) we could just say we are not together, lol ;P

 

But yeah, as a kool-aid drinker of the 'envelope system' I find it crucial at times to do this...It's pretty much impossible for me to remember that once I have the right denominations available, that  I "owe" myself $3.29 out of the food fund - for the toiletries fund, etc.

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#14 of 20 Old 02-21-2011, 07:37 AM
 
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As a CVS cashier, I can tell you that multiple transactions is totally common.  In most cases it's actually couponers wanting to use the extra care bucks from their first transaction to purchase their second transaction.  But, there are LOTS of reasons for people to seperate transactions-to seperate work and business receipts, to have receipts to send in to their FSA for reimbursements, to seperate their budget catagories like the OP mentioned, to give change to different people, etc etc. 

 

I will suggest that if you have a LOT of stuff for each transaction, perhaps doing it at a less busy time would irritate less of your fellow customers.  But usually, most folks just have a few items in each of two seperate transactions, it really doesn't take that much longer than ringing them all up together.

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#15 of 20 Old 02-22-2011, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post

As a CVS cashier, I can tell you that multiple transactions is totally common. 

 

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#16 of 20 Old 02-23-2011, 10:15 PM
 
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I also work in retail & multiple transactions are quite common where I work, too.  I wouldn't worry about it. 

If you wanted to be really nice, you could mention something to the person behind you, "I have more than 1 transaction today, so it might be a little longer than usual." Then they can choose to stay or go to another line.  But, really, even that isn't really necessary!


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#17 of 20 Old 02-24-2011, 04:00 AM
 
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My Target receipts are already separated by category.  The computer does that for you without worrying what order your items are in.  There may be other places that do this, as well.  (Meijer, maybe?)

 

Elsewhere, I just put the items in the order that I want them rung up and put a divider asking for subtotals at the divider.

 

If I'm buying groceries, I pay only cash for groceries, so if I have groceries and other items, I do two different transactions.  It doesn't bother me if people do it when I'm waiting behind them unless it's out of control... like 6 different transactions or something.  I'd rather have someone do that than to be behind someone with a million coupons.

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#18 of 20 Old 02-24-2011, 05:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blumooned View Post

I also work in retail & multiple transactions are quite common where I work, too.  I wouldn't worry about it. 

If you wanted to be really nice, you could mention something to the person behind you, "I have more than 1 transaction today, so it might be a little longer than usual." Then they can choose to stay or go to another line.  But, really, even that isn't really necessary!



Perfect! Thanks, blumooned. Probably I would say something to someone behind me. And, again, if there started to be a big line, I just wouldn't (couldn't) do it. But it's great to know that this is a rather common phenomenon....I've been wanting to do this for a long time and just feeling like it was some crazy frugal/lazy thing that only I struggled with.

 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post

My Target receipts are already separated by category.  The computer does that for you without worrying what order your items are in.  There may be other places that do this, as well.  (Meijer, maybe?)



Yes, my Target separates, too, but it's not always useful. For example, last time I was there I was buying new-mama gifts for several friends (among other things). Some of those gift items were together in Target's "Baby" category, but other items, like Mother's Milk tea were in the "Grocery" category. For my purposes, all those items needed to go in the "Gift" category.

 

Conversely, I also bought a baby gate (Target's "Baby" category), but that was for our new puppy and needed to be counted in my "Pets" category. In that situation, it just would have been so much easier to have the baby gifts, the Mother's Milk tea, the baby cards, the baby wrapping paper, and all that rung up separately so I could just grab that totalled number and put in the "Gifts" category on my excel spreadsheet. It'd be easy enough to pull the puppy's baby gate out from the Vapo-Rub and laundry detergent and whatever other stuff I bought (mostly in my "Grocery" category), but a dozen or so gift items all spread through the receipt definitely takes some time to flag and calculate.

 

Thanks, mamas!

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#19 of 20 Old 02-27-2011, 06:34 AM
 
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When I'm fostering, I almost always have two transactions (unless I'm shopping at Trader Joe's.) I need to do the WIC transaction separately from my regular grocery shopping. It's never been a problem.

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#20 of 20 Old 02-27-2011, 06:54 AM
 
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I can't remember if the "sub-total" includes tax. It's been 15 years since we did it in college, and most of the items were food, and therefore non-taxed in the state we were in. I can't remember if the taxes were subtotaled or if we just divided them up evenly figuring it wasn't worth the hassle over the tiny amount it would have changed the 8 portions of the bill. We subtotaled meat separately as well, because 2 of us were vegetarians, and didn't want to have to pay for the meat, so our calculations were kind of crazy anyway.

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