Shoeboxed, the Netflix for receipts, gets smart tracking tools
Got a bunch of receipts you keep having to squish inside one of those envelope holders? Try Shoeboxed instead--it'll let you send those suckers in to be meticulously categorized.
Josh LowensohnFormer Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Shoeboxed is one of the more inventive and useful services I've seen lately. It lets you organize some of the payments you make with cash (not credit cards) by sending in the huge wad of crumpled receipts you end up with from retail stores. Those receipts will automatically be scanned and plugged in to a financial tracking tool for you to manage with the site's tools, or to export to something like Quicken.
The site launched in July of last year, and this morning it is unveiling two new useful features. The first is a new analytics engine that will break down your spending habits with svelte-looking charts and graphs. What makes this particularly useful is that it can track both your on and offline purchases, which is shown in one of the new graphs.
Mint.com, which also does this (sans the paper receipt scanning) can be incredibly useful in this regard, but it goes the extra mile by tapping in to your credit card and bank account information to itemize these purchases for you. Shoeboxed's solution is slightly more low tech, with a special e-mail address you can CC to get your payment confirmation sent from online retailers. It will automatically figure in those payments and add them into your total spending.
Also new today is an envelope-tracking system that will keep a history of all your sent and received receipt envelopes alongside a live status indicator that gives you the heads-up on when a new envelope has been sent out. If you're a user of Netflix or any other shipper of goods this tends to be more important, but in Shoeboxed's case it's a nice touch if you want to make sure someone didn't steal the envelope full of financial goodness from your mailbox.
Shoeboxed has a free service where you plug in all the information. The plans that will scan your receipts and actually send them back start at $10 a month, all the way up to the $60 express plan, which guarantees same-day scanning and processing.