Being unorganized, especially when it comes to finances, can equal disaster.  With so many items to keep track of, financial records are notorious for being scattered.  It’s easy to tuck away bills, paycheck stubs, bank statements and other paperwork at random.  Now is the time to get your financial paperwork well organized.

Put all your financial records in one dedicated spot

Set aside a specific location in your home for financial documents and responsibilities.  This will help to ensure that bills are paid on time, bank statements are reconciled and important documents are properly filed.  After you’ve selected a designated space, choose a time to organize documents, pay bills and enter financial information each week.

Organize in a way that makes sense to you

Most people use a computer program to track bank accounts and everyday spending, but some opt to use paper and pencil. Use whatever system makes the most sense and allows you to maintain your finances with ease.

Protect the important stuff

Utilize a safety deposit box or a home safe for important documents such as copies of wills, tax returns or stock certificates.  Consult your attorney or financial advisor to securely store the signed copy of your will.

Get rid of the documents you don’t need anymore

Regular household bills and other papers can be shredded soon after they’ve been received. For tax purposes, other documents, such as those supporting the cost of investments and real estate, should be retained longer. Seven years is the general rule for tax returns (and documents that support the returns).  Fire up the shredder when it is time to discard of documents you no longer need.

If you’re not sure which financial records are needed for your taxes, give us a call.

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