Financial documents can be a hassle to keep track of and organize. If this is a problem for you, here are some suggestions.
Find a good space for your documents.
Wherever you regularly find bills and receipts piling up is often one of the best places to set up a home financial center. This can be anywhere in your house where these things accumulate, even the corner of a kitchen countertop. If this is unfeasible, try finding a space in a nearby cabinet. The best system is the one you’ll use, so it’s better to use the space your already comfortable with than trying to develop a new habit.
Know what to keep and what to throw away
You can normally get rid of grocery receipts, ATM receipts that you’ve reconciled and receipts for non-tax-deductible items. Keep any receipts for tax deductible items, along with medical expenses, past tax returns and charitable contribution records. Insurance policies, investment records, mortgage information and property bills, and warranties should also be kept. Get rid of all junk mail.
Look through your papers
Sort your papers into categories (such as bills, insurance policies, bank statements, etc.) and make a separate folder for each account, type of receipt, insurance policies and other such documents. If the papers don’t fit into any folder or category, check to see if they can be tossed.
Take time to maintain your files
Regularly open and sort your mail. Keep a trash can nearby for junk. Record due dates for bills and file them in that order. Make sure whatever you decide to keep is in its proper folder.
These tips can help save you time when organizing your financial documents. For more information on which financial documents you need to save for tax planning and for how long, contact our office in Joplin, MO. One of our Certified Public Accountants would be happy to talk to you.