Basic Record-Keeping Question


B

BRH

Since the and of the year is coming up, I thought that this would be a
good time to post this question.

I tend to be a pack-rat -- keeping all monthly statements from all bank
accounts, credit card bills, mutual fund accounts, IRA accounts, etc.
As a result, my file cabinet is starting to overflow with paper.

Although I have a flatbed scanner, I find scanning each monthly
statement, and setting up a back-up strategy, etc to be tedious. I'm
wondering for how long it would be advisable to keep each month's
statement. Note that I do keep my tax returns and supporting documents
for at least 7 years, and I also use Quicken to track all of my finances.

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Thanks!
 
Ad

Advertisements

J

joetaxpayer

BRH said:
Since the and of the year is coming up, I thought that this would be a
good time to post this question.

I tend to be a pack-rat -- keeping all monthly statements from all bank
accounts, credit card bills, mutual fund accounts, IRA accounts, etc. As
a result, my file cabinet is starting to overflow with paper.

Although I have a flatbed scanner, I find scanning each monthly
statement, and setting up a back-up strategy, etc to be tedious. I'm
wondering for how long it would be advisable to keep each month's
statement. Note that I do keep my tax returns and supporting documents
for at least 7 years, and I also use Quicken to track all of my finances.

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Thanks!
I understand that the IRS statute of limitations is three year for
errors, seven for fraudulent underreporting of income. So the seven on
the taxes should be ok. And that would make seven on the bank statements
good as well.
But, both stock transactions and real estate would require you keep the
paper trail back to its origin. So, the rental property I own since 1987
prompts me to just keep the taxes back that far, otherwise, I'd imagine
a nasty audit would ask questions I couldn't answer. (I don't know this
for a fact, but it would stand to reason. The cost basis, depreciation,
and expenses carried forward would require that trail)

I've never found much use for the CC statements beyond 2 years, as the
warranty on most things would run out by then, I usually staple the
receipt to the inside cover of the manual, and file that.

JOE
 
Ad

Advertisements

A

Andy

BRH said:
Although I have a flatbed scanner, I find scanning each monthly
statement, and setting up a back-up strategy, etc to be tedious. I'm
wondering for how long it would be advisable to keep each month's
statement. Note that I do keep my tax returns and supporting documents
for at least 7 years, and I also use Quicken to track all of my finances.
Although scanning documents can be tedious when you are doing it, it
also eliminates tedium in the future. For example, if you scanned your
financial records its painless to just keep them forever, which would
eliminate the tasks of researching how long to keep them and then going
through your files from time to time throw out old records.

Actually, you don't even have to scan many financial records these days
to store them in electronic format since more and more financial
institutions are making their statements available online as PDF files.
Bank of American not only offers PDFs of statements, they will also
give you your checks as PDFs. I suspect in less than 3 years all banks
will offer (and probably push you towards) getting your statements
electronically.

Keeping financial records in digital form allows you to easily keep an
off-site backup, which makes life a lot easier in the event of a fire,
hurricane, flood, water leak, etc. Just burn a DVD of your records
every once in a while and stick in your safe deposit box, or rented
storage unit, or send it to a family member or something.

Keeping a backup of scanned documents is really simple in these days of
relatively cheap external hard drives, and if you have digital photos
and/or an MP3 collection, you need to be backing files up anyways.

I have a sheetfed scanner, which is faster to use than a flatbed
scanner, and then a NSLU2 network attached storage device with two hard
drives. I have an icon on my desktop that copies all the new or
changed files from the main netword hard drives to the 2nd hard drive
so I always have a backup copy. Once a month or so I copy my records
(and photos and MP3s) onto a 3rd external hard drive that I keep
offsite at a storage unit.

Andy
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Similar Threads

Record-Keeping Question 10
Record Keeping - a few questions 1
record keeping 3
Australia Record Keeping 0
financial record keeping 12
Keeping Financial Records 4
impact of not keeping record 0
How important is record-keeping? 8

Top