Which Documents Do You Need To Keep?

The final article in our “Organize Your Financial Life” series is all about documents: cleaning out the ones you don’t need and organizing the important ones that you should keep. How do you know which is which? To start, some general guidance; any account (banking, credit card, bills, etc) that you currently receive a paper statement for and can log in online and review a statement or balance – you can shred those immediately. Just make sure you keep the login information for each account in a safe place. For other documents that aren’t easily available online, or that you’ll probably need in the future (tax returns and back-up documentation, loan documents, receipts for warranty purposes or expensive items, etc), you need to create a filing system that works for you. They need to be kept in a safe place for specific periods of time (varies). You can scan a lot of these to your computer or cloud storage like Dropbox (don’t forget to back it up) but original documents like birth certificates, adoption papers, marriage license, divorce decree, insurance policies, estate documents, etc should be kept forever; ideally in a fire and waterproof safe or in a bank safe deposit box. For more details on the timing and how best to keep your documents, read the full article here.

Still have questions about what to save and how? Just login and ask a coach.