Mothering Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,827 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am agonizing over creating a filing system because papers are in piles all over our house (including birth certificates, etc!) Its a nightmare.<br><br>
But its so hard to figure out what I need to keep.<br><br>
For example-why would I need to keep a year worth of electric bills?<br><br>
-why would I need to keep bank statments?<br><br>
I am not understanding why I would ever need to have these in my possession????!?! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
Can anyone tell me what the bare minimum of files is? I dont want that much paper in my home!<br><br>
Jenny<br><br>
PS-files that "make sense" to me are like: recepies, household projects I want to do, homeschooling ideas, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,473 Posts
I used to keep them but quit. I do look at them carefully when they come in to be sure they are accurate. Then I toss them. I can have any backed statement reprinted if I ever really needed one. The only things I keep are cc statements, bank statements, paycheck stubs, mortgage info, taxes, receipts for major purchases/repairs, and financial planning info. It all fits in one little black filing box. Once that gets full, I purge or put older stuff into storage in the attic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,633 Posts
I keep things so that I can notice trends and adjust things as needed. For instance, because I keep our insurance bills, I notice right away when there si a price increase and then I can call to see if it was an error in billing (sometimes it is just a mistake) or if there was a reason for the rate hike and what that reason is. I take note of spending trends and try to adjust for those.<br><br>
Sometimes I wonder where all our money goes but then I can lok at my filed bills and see that the price of everything has skyrocketed and then I don't feel so bad.<br><br>
For me, it's more for peace of mind and to help my accounting and budgeting since I make my budgets using at least a years worth of records and I review them yearly as that is about how long it takes for prices to change enough to warrant a revamping of the budget.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,827 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>gool0005</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8999193"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I keep things so that I can notice trends and adjust things as needed. For instance, because I keep our insurance bills, I notice right away when there si a price increase and then I can call to see if it was an error in billing (sometimes it is just a mistake) or if there was a reason for the rate hike and what that reason is. I take note of spending trends and try to adjust for those.<br><br>
Sometimes I wonder where all our money goes but then I can lok at my filed bills and see that the price of everything has skyrocketed and then I don't feel so bad.<br><br>
For me, it's more for peace of mind and to help my accounting and budgeting since I make my budgets using at least a years worth of records and I review them yearly as that is about how long it takes for prices to change enough to warrant a revamping of the budget.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
<br>
So then, do you have a set date or month every year when you sit down and adjust your budget and add/subtract stuff?<br><br>
Jenny
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,883 Posts
Many companies keep a record online. I don't receive any bills in the mail anymore, and when I pay my bills online, there is always a place to click that shows old bills. I love being able to look at old bills if necessary, but not having to store them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,221 Posts
Handy reference chart from Bankrate.com:<br><br><a href="http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/mtg/20000518h.asp" target="_blank">http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/mtg/20000518h.asp</a>
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,640 Posts
In MN this last tax year they made a new deduction that said if you had your phone bills from three yrs ago you could deduct some percentage or something. I had JUST cleaned out my filing box. Boy was I ticked. I am now keeping my things for at least three years.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,192 Posts
Throw out bills and bank statements! If you need them for any period of time back, they are online or available from the company/bank. You can keep track of price changes/adjustments by paying the bills online through your checking account (not at the website of each company). It really works well - I've been doing it for almost 6 years and the paper we don't have in this house as a result would total a STAGGERING amount.<br><br>
Ambrose, I bet the phone co. would have your bills. Just get them to send you hard copies of what you need.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,473 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>SneakyPie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9008970"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Throw out bills and bank statements! If you need them for any period of time back, they are online or available from the company/bank. You can keep track of price changes/adjustments by paying the bills online through your checking account (not at the website of each company). It really works well - I've been doing it for almost 6 years and the paper we don't have in this house as a result would total a STAGGERING amount.<br><br>
Ambrose, I bet the phone co. would have your bills. Just get them to send you hard copies of what you need.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
Yep and yep! I also keep track of spending trends over the years but without the paper. I can track details of my accounts on each company's website. I also pay all of my bills automatically with my cc every month. As much as I hate cc companies, mine gives me an annual summary of how much went to each different company. This is all online. So easy. I they do not get a dime of my money in interest or fees because I have my cc bill paid automatically each month from my bank account<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,261 Posts
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/notes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notes">:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,062 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>transformed</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9002379"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">So then, do you have a set date or month every year when you sit down and adjust your budget and add/subtract stuff?</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I do a mini-review of our budget monthly, on the 2nd or 3rd of the month (just to check how well we stayed within our budget in the last month and if we need to make any changes for the next month). I do a bigger review and purge old documents at tax time each year.<br><br>
I do like to look at old utility bills to check trends, and I sometimes need to check old bank statements or credit card statements. But most of our bills and statements are kept online for a while, so I don't have to keep much actual paper around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
770 Posts
My dp handles all things financial here, but I do know that we have a 'this year' statement drawer with receipts/ bills for everything. Then there are the previous 2 years worth of everything for tax stuff. Then deep storage goes back 7 years - after it 7 it gets chucked.<br><br>
Companies screw up. Since I've been with him we've had to go back and dig out a receipt or bill a few times to avoid costly clerical errors, had I been running things we would have had to eat the $ mistake. The look on peoples faces when you bring out a 4 y/o original bill from somewhere is priceless <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,640 Posts
But going to each website is a pain in the arse, and not ALL businesses have the records online- heck one of my old electric companys didn't even have a web SITE!!!<br><br>
And those of you who keep the stuff in documents like xcel--- would one of you be willing to share a basic file with me? I cannot for the life of me figure out to make xcel work properly for me (code wise)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,633 Posts
we go back and look through things yearly at about tax time. We do like to keep paper copies because, and this just recently happened to us, we had our CC# stolen and it was the CC company that called to ask us if we had made huge purchases at Coach and a few other stores we dont' frequent, or even shop with at all <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> . They immediately cancelled that account and we no longer have access to any of that history online. We have a fresh new start with a new number but no online history to track. It's always nice to keep a back up. I also find it MUCH easier, for me at least, to do the budget away from the computer. I like to sit down with paper and pencil and hash things out.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,793 Posts
We keep very little once it has cleared the bank. Except if it has to do with Medical because of tax time and because all the fights we have with our Medical Insurance company. I think its very rare for you not to be able to get past statements from the utility/bank. Either online or by calling their customer service department.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,999 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Ambrose</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9023162"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">But going to each website is a pain in the arse, and not ALL businesses have the records online- heck one of my old electric companys didn't even have a web SITE!!!<br><br>
And those of you who keep the stuff in documents like xcel--- would one of you be willing to share a basic file with me? I cannot for the life of me figure out to make xcel work properly for me (code wise)</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
<a href="http://www.officedepot.com/renderStaticPage.do;jsessionid=0000gWGql49fCQLDELX5mLISbw3:11st68p2b?context=/content&file=/BusinessTools/tools/fambud_m.jsp" target="_blank">http://www.officedepot.com/renderSta...s/fambud_m.jsp</a>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,136 Posts
Some bills may show the trends themselves if you just look on the current bill without having to have old ones on hand... my light bill has a box at the top that shows the amt of the bill and amt of usage at the same time last year.<br><br>
Right now I keep all of the old bank statements and bills but I've been debating on throwing them out too. I just don't like having the extra clutter... but what if I needed them??!!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,192 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Ambrose</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9023162"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">But going to each website is a pain in the arse, and not ALL businesses have the records online- heck one of my old electric companys didn't even have a web SITE!!!</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
That's why I pay all the bills online through my bank, NOT through company websites. When it's through my bank it's all in one place. I hate how company websites change all the time, etc - w/my bank it's pretty consistent.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,640 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Demeter9</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9035218"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><a href="http://www.officedepot.com/renderStaticPage.do;jsessionid=0000gWGql49fCQLDELX5mLISbw3:11st68p2b?context=/content&file=/BusinessTools/tools/fambud_m.jsp" target="_blank">http://www.officedepot.com/renderSta...s/fambud_m.jsp</a></div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/bow2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bow2">
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top