Keeping Financial Records


B

BRH

I'd be interested in hearing how long some of you on this group keep
financial records. By that, I mean paper records such as brokerage,
bank, and mutual fund statements.

Unfortunately, I'm something of a pack-rat. In spite of keeping all my
records electronically in Quicken, I have these paper documents going
back for up to 5-7 years. My file cabinet's getting awfully full.

I'd like to thin the records out, and would like to know how long you
keep your records.

Thanks!
 
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J

John A. Weeks III

BRH <[email protected]> said:
I'd be interested in hearing how long some of you on this group keep
financial records. By that, I mean paper records such as brokerage,
bank, and mutual fund statements.
I keep stuff pretty much forever. I think a minimum of 7 years
would be good.

I was once in a position when a student loan was sold, and
the new lender claimed that I owed about $4000 more than
what my balance was. They had a computer crash where they
lost their data, and didn't have good backups. They just
guessed at my balance and didn't take into account any
early principal payments. I ended up having to produce
every cancelled check and statement from day one on that
loan in order to prove that I was right. And I was able
to do that. Saving $4000 is like the profit from 2 years
work back then, so it was a big deal to me.

-john-
 
B

bo peep

<<My file cabinet's getting awfully full>>

In these days of inexpensive, large capacity hard drives and cheap
scanners, you might want to consider scanning your documents and
storing them electronically. Once a year or so, you could burn
everything to a CD to keep forever, move everything to a backup folder,
and then just start over with a clean workspace.

I bought a scanner from Sam's Club several years ago for less than $100
which has far more capability than I will ever use. In addition, it can
be used for low volume, high quality photocopying.

If you have a *really* large volume of documents to scan, you can get
slightly more expensive scanners with sheet feeders.

John Cowart
 
B

BRH

bo said:
<<My file cabinet's getting awfully full>>

In these days of inexpensive, large capacity hard drives and cheap
scanners, you might want to consider scanning your documents and
storing them electronically. Once a year or so, you could burn
everything to a CD to keep forever, move everything to a backup folder,
and then just start over with a clean workspace.

I bought a scanner from Sam's Club several years ago for less than $100
which has far more capability than I will ever use. In addition, it can
be used for low volume, high quality photocopying.

If you have a *really* large volume of documents to scan, you can get
slightly more expensive scanners with sheet feeders.

John Cowart
Thanks for the suggestion. That's something that I should have already
thought of, as I already have all of the equipment needed!

One last question/clarification -- Do you just scan in financial
statements? How long do you keep paid utility bills, paid phone bills,
etc? Do you scan them, as well?

Thanks!

(Busy scanning bank statements.....)
 
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B

bo peep

<<One last question/clarification -- Do you just scan in financial
statements?>>

No, as I don't actually have financial statements. I track my info in
Quicken, which can portray the equivalent of a financial statement in
several ways. At the beginning of a new calendar year, I save the old
Quicken file and start a new one, with the year as part of the file
name.

<<How long do you keep paid utility bills, paid phone bills, etc?>>

I have everything paid automatically every month by my credit union, so
it is all on the monthly statements.

<<Do you scan them, as well?>>

I generally only scan things that I can't easily call up from the
internet, such as purchase receipts, letters, etc.

John Cowart
 

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