Do you keep statements?

ellenjSeptember 25, 2006

I have just transferred checking accounts because our credit union started having too many fees, etc.

We have finally come to the world of online banking. I vow not to write more than a handful of real checks per year.

Here's what I usually do when I'm paying bills. After I pay the bill online, I write the date I paid it, the amount I sent and the confirmation number on the statement. I file the statements by vendor (t-mobile, visa, etc) in a file box.

Is there an easier way? I could scan all this stuff but thats a pain too.

I purge all these once a year.

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ellenj - There's lots of information in the thread here titled "Paperwork Reduction Weekend". Also one about scanning paperwork (sounds so redundant I wouldn't even try it). See my note about using Quicken in that thread. Lightbulb moment!


    Bookmark   September 26, 2006 at 9:19AM
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I keep paper statements for two months only. My on-line banking has checks available six months back.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2006 at 9:23AM
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this is absolutely the stuff that I wouldn't spend any time scanning. What a major, major pain!

I keep paper statements for a few months--usually, actually, a year, bcs that's when the card-file drawer I use starts to fill up, and I throw the old stuff out.

I have the file box, and until the volume of paper gets to be a probelm, i don't see any sense in making myself deal with it. Once it gets too full, I toss.

I seldom look back, but I have now and then (probably 3x in 12 years).

I'm due for a purge, so maybe I'll make a "one in, one out" rule. I'll keep 6 months worth, and every time I file a new statement in the front of the folder, I'll remove one to toss from the back of the folder. I've never needed to go further back in time than that.

ht won't add vewry much maintenance time to the chore; it can be almost part of the same motion.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2006 at 9:39AM
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My only paper statements are for 401K; the rest are online. I keep only the statements for the most recent quarter, plus the annual statement for the previous year (makes it easier for me to compare annual performance).

    Bookmark   September 26, 2006 at 12:08PM
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I keep two months of bank statements. 401K and financial accounts, I keep each months of the current year. Previous years, I keep quarterly statements.

When my DMIL died four years ago, we burned out a shredder shredding her checks, statements, etc - she had everything going back 40 years!

Tax time is a good time to shred a lot of paper that isn't needed any longer.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2006 at 12:13PM
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I get as many statements and bils online as possible. Where possible, I also get them to stop sending the paper version, but not everyone will do this. Right now I have 2 or 3 years worth, and one of these days I might purge them. But I've plenty of space on my hard drive, so I'm not too worried. When I save the files from online, I name them - something like FriendlyBank 2006 06 (year, then month). This makes it real easy to sort and find the one I want.

To clarify - I only keep bank and credit card statements, not utility bills and misc.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2006 at 3:02PM
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Keep your tax returns and W2 forms forever. Don't shred them. If you ever have a problem with IRS or Social Security, you'll need them. Spoken from experience.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 9:01AM
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I keep my tax records for 10 years even though you really only need 7. Peace of mind I guess. IRS said 7 is fine. Also experience. We got audited this year when HR Block screwed up our return.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 9:17AM
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If you get those annual form letters from Social Security, they provide a personalized list of all your earnings for your lifetime, as well as "estimated" benefits you could collect based on those earnings. If there are any earnings "missing", the best evidence is your W2 forms and tax returns. Review those Social security letters carefully, if the earnings look okay, then you can ditch the tax papers. For more information,or if you haven't received your annual letter , call Social Security at 1 800 772 1213 or their website

    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 12:01PM
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There's no reason to keep a bill. None.

You can print another copy online if you need it later.

You can see on your online bank statement that the bill was paid. Your handwritten note that you paid it isn't going to do you any good later.

CC bills get shredded because they always have the CC# on them. Cable bill, cingular bill, water bill... just trash.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 2:10PM
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I don't keep statements and bills. If I can, I get them online. Before I could get them online, I kept them one month - until the next statement came out.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 4:43PM
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