How long should this stuff be kept for? - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 7 Old 12-15-2008, 02:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Utility bills? (phone, internet, hydro, etc)
Credit card statements?

Bank statements are 7 years, I think? Although I can look up statements online... I should check and see how far back that goes. If it's online, do I still need to keep the paper version, or can I get rid of it?

I know anything used for income tax should be kept for 7 years...

I'm going to switch to e-bills as much as possible but what about all the paper ones I already have?
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#2 of 7 Old 12-15-2008, 09:54 AM
 
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You know, I'm always asking myself the same exact thing! I would really like to know too because my dh saves EVERYTHING!! Every bill we've paid since like 2 yrs ago. That becomes crazy when I open the file cabinet to look for something or file some thing and all this crap is there. I want to shred it all and then I think "What if I need it in the future?" But that has never happened yet!

So I will be::
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#3 of 7 Old 12-15-2008, 11:18 AM
 
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I’m probably the last person to give advice in this area. Up until two months ago, I have kept every bill and piece of financial paperwork that DH and I generated in the last 8.5 years of our marriage. I also had all our insurance statements from the last 5 years we’ve been insured. Everything was neatly organized in folders, but it took up an entire drawer in my file cabinet. I finally decided that this was stupid to keep everything - I’ve never looked at anything outside of the current year. So I got rid of everything but the most recent two years of documents and all our tax files. I also threw out bank statements, because these are all available on line. I strongly suggest having a filing system for whatever you decide to keep, it will make your life easier in the long run. Good luck!
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#4 of 7 Old 12-15-2008, 03:43 PM
 
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I am probably the other last person to ask about this!!! DH and I don't keep much of anything! We have one small file box...and, it is only half full. We only keep income tax related papers on hand (we have a folder for each year). All of our banking and investment documents are online (we don't even receive paper versions). Most of our bills are paid online, too. I recycle the utility bill and all other receipts, once the payment has cleared. Big ticket receipts, like for an auto or electronics, are kept with related information. For example, paperwork related to an automobile purchase is kept with licensing, registration, and maintenance paperwork (we have a folder for each car).

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#5 of 7 Old 12-15-2008, 05:42 PM
 
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Most utility bills can be shredded as soon as you get the next month's bill, showing that you paid last month. EXCEPTION, we save our energy bills (electric, gas) because we live in an old drafty house and I think when we sell it, people may want to see them. (SURE wish I had taken a look at them before we bought the place.)

bank statements, no idea, would love to hear some opinions on this
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#6 of 7 Old 12-15-2008, 06:20 PM
 
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:

good question! DH would save every paper if I let him. and anything he agrees to get rid of has to be shredded, of course. Even papers without important info!

You'd think with so many companies offering paper-less statements that you really wouldn't need to keep everything, yk?

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#7 of 7 Old 12-16-2008, 02:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slsurface View Post
I’m probably the last person to give advice in this area. Up until two months ago, I have kept every bill and piece of financial paperwork that DH and I generated in the last 8.5 years of our marriage.
Uh, yeah, that would pretty much describe us too
This Sunday is our 8th anniversary, and, well, I think we have just about all the paperwork from those 8 years too! It is all organized, and filed, but I think I really don't need to keep ALL of it

Thanks for the advice, everyone. I am going to go through our filing boxes over the holidays and pare it down significantly. Right now there are 3 boxes, and I can probably get it down to 1. DH is self-employed and has lots of business expenses to claim on income tax, so even "just" keeping the income tax-related stuff is still a lot of stuff. But hydro bills from several years ago... probably don't need those, lol.
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