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Discover India Hicks

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Discover India Hicks

SAVE it or SHRED it?

I was recently asked by a friend of mine what we do with old bills. I can't take credit for Dave's 3-ringer binder system but it's very effective in keeping paper organized. Unfortunately I don't have time right now to go into detail on how this system works but I think with any organizational project it's important to weed out the bad before you do anything good. The same principle applies when packing to move - don't waste time packing stuff that you know doesn't have a place in the new house. Toss (or donate) beforehand.

With that being said, any good organizational project requires time to figure out if you really need it. So the big question is; what do you save and what do you shred?

Keep for 1 month:

Credit card receipts

Sales receipts for minor purchases

Withdrawal and deposit slips - Toss after you have checked them against your monthly statement

Keep for 1 year:

Paycheck stubs

Monthly bank, credit card, mutual fund, brokerage and retirement account statements

Keep for 7 years:


W-2's, 1099s and other tax return items (Checks to back-up tax returns)

Year end credit card statements, brokerage and mutual fund summaries

Keep indefinitely:
Receipts for major purchases

Real estate and residence records

Wills and trusts

Keep in safe deposit box:

Birth and death certificates

Marriage licenses

Insurance policies

Divorce papers

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