Is your filing cabinet bursting at the seams? Looking to shred but are afraid you might need it later? Here are some general rules of thumb for what can stay and what can go (NOTE: If you are unsure, check with an accountant for specifics to your situation):
- Permanently keep any records related to IRA contributions, annual summaries of retirement accounts, copies of bank records relating to mortgage & housing, taxes & business expenses, copies of bills/receipts for large purchases for proof of value.
- Keep copies of taxes and any related statements such as W-2's, student loan interest deduction receipts or other receipts for 7 years.
- Keep pay stubs for 1 year (if it matches your W-2 then shred.)
For your convenience, many credit card companies, utilities and banks have copies of your statements available for viewing and printing online so you do not need to keep a hard copy on file. Check with your provider for specifics. And remember, when disposing of any documents containing personal information including (but not limited to) social security number, address and personal data be sure to shred the document to help protect your identity.
For the month of January, I am going to focus on 10 minute tricks you can perform from the comfort of your couch to help combine your hibernation with organization.