Confused about keeping papers

vegangirlOctober 10, 2007

I read on Flylady's website and others about keeping bank deposit receipts until you reconcile your bank statement. I called my bank and spoke with a lady in bookkeeping. I asked her how long I should keep a deposit receipt. There was a long pause and she replied "I have every one I ever got! Don't ever throw any of them away!"

Now I don't know what to do! And I'm not sure about throwing away paid bill receipts, etc. either. I don't want to be paranoid, neither do I want to toss something I'm going to need later.


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holy toledo, don't do it just because SHE does. She may work in a bank; that doesn't mean she knows anything about this.

Keep it until you don't need to prove it anymore.

For a bank deposit, that means, keep it until it's clear that the bank has entered your deposit into THEIR books. After that, you don't need it.

For paid-bill receipts, keep it until you don't need to prove you bought it.

This brings up several subsets.

--might you return it? Keep it until you're sure you won't (I let receipts for recent purchases float in my wallet for a couple of days; it if looks like I might return something, I then tape the receipt to the item itself, so's it's ready to go, and I clean all the other stuff out now and then.

--might you need to register a warranty? Keep it until you've done so

--if it's a major appliance, you might need to prove the purchase date? Staple the receipt (or a photocopy of it if it's a therma receipt, bcs those fade) to the inside of the owner's manual cover

--for recurring bills or accounts (utilities, credit cards, etc.), keep your records until the company's records show they've received and credited your payment--a month or two.

For income-tax related expenses, file it with that year's tax returns.

The question to ask the bank is now "how long should I keep these" but "how likely is it that, after you have properly recorded my deposit to my account, you will completely lose the information about that deposit?"

    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 9:57AM
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Thanks, Talley Sue! That makes so much sense to me. I appreciate the really detailed advice because I seem to need it.

I think I'll call the bank again and ask the first question and see what that person says. Then ask the second question if necessary :-)

    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 1:27PM
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oops, typo that changed the meaning:

The question to ask the bank is NOT "how long should I keep these"

    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 2:04PM
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I know some of this has been covered earlier, but I'm still having some questions about papers to keep and papers to toss. 1). How long do you keep paperwork relating to college expenses? 2). How about previous rental agreements for apartments, U-Hauls, etc.? 3). Tax returns? 4). Bank statements? (With paperwork, I just have such a nagging feeling that as soon as I dispose of it...someone will ask for me to prove something!!!)

Also, what all do you shred? I currently do anything bank or credit card related or anything which would have medical info or SS#s, but how about account numbers pertaining to utilities or insurance or even just stuff with your mailing address and name on it? How savvy are those identify thieves anyway????

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 11:36AM
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I'm not an expert on most of this stuff, but I have to chime in whenever anyone asks about school loan info. When you pay off school loans, get a letter stating that it is paid off and keep that forever. DH paid off his school loans and got a letter like this and stuck it in a file. About 15 years later, the loans from this company were sold to another company and the new company sent a bill for the whole loan amount. If he had not been able to pull out that letter, I'm not sure what he could have done to prove he's paid it off.

I don't see why you would have to keep rental agreements that have expired (and you have moved out of). UHauls, once it's cleared your credit card, I don't see why you would need that either.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 8:29AM
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One thing you should keep FOREVER is your W2 forms from your tax returns. They are the only proof of wages for your Social Security and Medicare Benefits. Even if Social Security or the IRS may lose your records, if you have the W2 Tax Withholding Forms, they can reconstruct your wage record.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 9:00AM
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