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  1. #1
    jgenie is online now Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Default Paperwork help please

    I'm working on clearing out the mountains of paperwork I have been holding. I've been using the Freedom Filer system and it has helped quite a bit but I still have questions. I have a huge pile ready to shred but want to double check before I start shredding.

    - investment / retirement statements - I throw out the quarterly statements once I receive the yearly statement. How long should I hold on to the yearly statements?

    - bank statements not needed for taxes - I've been keeping all of our bank statements indefinitely. Do I really need them? How many years should I keep?

    - credit card statements not needed for taxes - I've been keeping two years on file - isn't really ok to shred the older statements?

    - digital copies - any tips on organizing digital copies of paperwork? I'm thinking I'm going to name things using YEARMONTH- CREDIT CARD A
    YEARMONTH - DS1 INSURANCE


    Have you run across paperwork you've been keeping but recently started ditching? Any items you were pitching that you realized you should be keeping?

    TIA!!!
    for Carmen

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default

    All of that is available easily online. I would keep none of it. Check the investment statements so you know where your money is and no mix ups or mistakes and then shred. No way on earth I'd keep credit card statements when you can get them going way back - unless maybe you have some larger cash donations to charity, then keep that page but in tax deduction file. Honestly, saving hard copies of banking records is pre-internet/online banking and no need. I'd go to online statements as well.


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  3. #3
    NCGrandma is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Default

    Moving to online statements has been very liberating to me. I used to have the same mental conversations about "should I keep or shred?" but no more. Now about the only paper I keep are the acknowledgment letters for tax-deductible contributions (which go in my tax folder for that year) and similar occasional things.

    For most regular statements, I receive them online (bank, credit card, investment, retirement accounts etc) so I never even see the paper and can look back at previous statements. There are a couple of bills that I receive in digital form but cannot check the account online, so I save these to my computer -- I have separate subdirectories for each account, and then I name the individual PDFs with year-month (e.g., 2017-08). I back up the computer fairly often, rotating among several external storage devices.

    For annual tax statements from bank, brokerage, etc, even though I can receive them electronically, I do print out a copy that goes in my tax folder, as well as saving the digital copy as above. This just makes it easier when I do my taxes (using HR Block, formerly TaxCut).

    This reminds me, though, that I do have a bunch of filed/boxed paper left from before I switched to digital -- I definitely need to shred that! Also, I realize that there are still a few account/bill "stragglers" that I need to switch from paper to digital.



    Sent from my iPad using Baby Bargains

  4. #4
    azzeps is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    I think there's really very little you should keep a hard copy of, unless you're planning on getting a mortgage, in which case it might save you time and printing costs to have bank statements, for example, already printed. Most everything can be found on-line. The only things I keep are for taxes.
    DD - 3/2008
    DS - 7/2011

  5. #5
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    Tell that to my husband. We have tons of binders full of paperwork and old statements. I hope to get rid of most of it soon. See my shredding thread 🙄

  6. #6
    abh5e8 is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    We just got a new mortgage, and they kept asking for the most recent statements during the process. They also accepted electronic copies, so I don't see a mortgage as a reason to keep a lot of paper statements.

    Sent from my MotoG3 using Tapatalk
    loving my dh and our littles (dd ~ 11 yrs, ds ~ 9 yrs, ds ~ 7 yrs, dd ~ 5 yrs and baby brother ~ 20 mo)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Default

    Go paperless! There's no need to keep all the bunch of paper anymore since you can get everything online.

  8. #8
    abh5e8 is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    So in a "paperless" family, what do you keep hard copies of?

    I know I need seven years of taxes, the final statement on each loan when it's paid off and personal idd stuff. But what else should I keep?

    Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
    loving my dh and our littles (dd ~ 11 yrs, ds ~ 9 yrs, ds ~ 7 yrs, dd ~ 5 yrs and baby brother ~ 20 mo)

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