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Drowning in paper

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
So how long do I need to keep all this junk? I have paystubs going all the way back to 2000. Do I really need to keep these? DH has kept every utility bill since the late 80's..... and don't get me started on the credit card receipts....

What to do? Can I shred it all and just keep a copy of finished taxes and supporting documents?
post #2 of 4
Keep tax returns for 10 years and bills and paystubs for 1 year. After that you can shred it all. The past bills you keep to prove payment if there is ever a problem. And paystubs for a year just incase you ever need back ones for anything.

But 5 years ago, you aren't going to need those. Receipts you only need for warrenties, if it was for a piece of clothing the kids have already outgrown and you have passed it on you don't need the receipt! I save them only for big items, furniture, electronics and appliances. DVDs also just for inventory purposes because we move often.
post #3 of 4
tax record should be kept 7 years and thats it. Shred anything 1998 and back.

Bills- I keep them 1 year.
paystubs- get rid of them and keep the most current one since it has year to date info anyway. W-2's are kept w your taxes so you can always check there.
bank statements- a majority of banks have this info online, shred all the others.
credit card statements- shred after 1 month
I recommend getting rid of papers as soon as possible since they are legal documents that can be used in other ways other than for you to prove it. Besides places of employment are required to keep them anyway to back up the w-2 they issued for 7 years.
post #4 of 4
Also anything related to your house -- even receipts for landscaping and other imporvemnts you make, keep until you sell the house. All those expeses go into your cost basis for figuring capital gains tax.
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