Posted in clutter, family, Organizing, Uncategorized

Are You Facing A Paper Avalanche?

Paper work. Paper avalanche. Paper chase. Whatever you call it I know papers they are the downfall of many of you.  What to do what do you need to keep?

Most financial papers fit in to one of 3 categories

  • Keep indefinitely
  • Keep for 7 years
  • Keep for a year or less

Keep For A Calendar Year Or Less

ATM receipts and deposit slips –  when you receive your bank statements you can shred them.

Charge slips (unless it is for a major purchase), for minor purchases once you are satisfied with the purchase. Shred the receipt when your credit card statement.

If you do not have a home office you don’t need to keep your utility bills, monthly  mortgage statements or quarterly investment reports.

Keep your pay stubs, credit card statements and investment reports until you receive the W-2 or year-end summaries. Once you have those you don’t need the monthly statements.

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Photo by Mari-Helin-Tuominen

Keep Seven Years

Year end credit-card summaries, along with your W-2s and 1099s.

If you itemize your tax return you need to keep all documents you utilized to determine your deductions. These additional documents you should retain include: canceled checks and receipts for all deductible business expenses (such as those for entertainment, home-office equipment, and professional dues), retirement-account contributions, charitable donations, child-care bills, out-of-pocket medical expenses, alimony, and mortgage-interest and property-tax payments.

After 7 years you should scan the actual tax returns or the year-end summaries of your investment accounts as they can come in very handy for future financial planning.  Then you can store them on a flash drive or a CD in a safe place.1024px-Usb-thumb-drive

Infinitely:

Keep receipts for major purchases and receipts that show how much you’ve paid for home improvements as long at your own your home. This will satisfy three things: Insurance claims, potential buyers and when you sell your home to reduce possible capital gains.

Keep beneficiary designation confirmation and purchase price slips that show beneficiary designations and the purchase price of stocks, mutual funds, and any other investments you hold.

It goes without saying that you need to keep your will, birth and marriage certificates, insurance policies, property deeds, and other permanent records in a safe but accessible place near your other financial documents, so you and your heirs will always be able to get to them quickly, if they need to.

Invest in a fireproof safe or a safe deposit box for your forever documents.

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I  suggest scanning and digitizing your important personal documents as a back up copy. More info on this by News Leavitt Just remember a digital copy is not the same as a paper copy but it is much easier to obtain a replacement copy of you have a photo copy.

Also, invest in a shredder.  In today’s world you really don’t want personal information floating around out there.  You can find them for not much money.

For more information  how long to keep your documents check here for more info from bankrate.com.  They have a very detailed list.

Now that you know what to keep and what to shred, I have a post on how to deal your paper as it come in the door.  If you would like to read it here is the link  Did you get Stacked?

I hope this helps you let go of your papers.  I love your comments.

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#organize, #clutter, #paperwork, #documents #taxtime

 

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Author:

I am from Oklahoma. Now living the dream in Arizona. I'm a sassy, creative and outspoken southern gal. I believe that if you can read you can go anywhere. One of my favorite sayings is "If you knew you could not fail what would you do?" I enjoy helping other people. My friends know that I’m the queen of useless trivial knowledge and I will not hesitate to use it.

18 thoughts on “Are You Facing A Paper Avalanche?

  1. I hadn’t thought to scan documents…that would save me so much space. And now I can finally let go of those utility bills I’ve been holding on to for years! I just never knew if they were safe to get rid of, as well as paystubs from a job I worked years ago, lol. Will free up so much space! Thank you so much for this blog post. This has been an ongoing dilemma for me and now I finally have to some direction on how to resolve it. ❤

    Like

  2. I know what to keep and how long to keep it…I just sort of ignore the problem until my dining room table is completely covered, and the piano bench disappears, and the living room coffee table looks like a snow capped mountain…..sigh I keep promising myself that I will discard then organize what is left…yet I keep putting it off thinking it will all just disappear. I know I have to do it soon though as I am now missing a dog and the husband. They were there a few moments ago before the stack of bills on top of the china cupboard fell off. sigh

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 🙂 I’m slowly getting used to scanning papers.
    Of course I keep way too many papers in piles. But today I was good went through some of them and sorted quite a bit out. All the papers I don’t need any longer I put in the shredder. Feels safer than simply putting them into the trash can.
    Have a very HAPPY day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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