Thursday, January 28, 2016

Winter paperwork clean out

Well, a new year has rolled around; the date on those bills and checks and paperwork that are coming in now all end in a "6" instead of a "5".  So it's time for taking care of the annual routine of "out with the old, and in with the new".

And so it's also time for a little "thank you" to a long-ago version of me, a version who decided to keep my financial records in one of these accordion folders.  Because that version of me who figured out how to keep papers, she totally enabled and gifted the version of me who wants to get rid of papers, too.

Okay, we're supposed to keep financial records for 7 years.  I err a tad on the safe side, but just a tad.  This past weekend, I pulled out my "2007" folder.  I moved the tax forms and the home repair receipts into a more permanent folder.  Then I pulled out all other papers and put them in my "to shred pile".  From there, with the help of a glittery silver permanent marker, I had my new paperwork folder ready to go.  Zzzzip -- just that fast and brainless.

I'll keep the 2016 folder on a nearby shelf, next to the desk where I pay bills.  Until taxes are done, I'll keep the 2015 folder nearby, too.  But all my other accordion folders -- the ones dated 2008 to 2014 -- those are tucked away on the floor of the closet in my sewing room, out of sight  and out of the way unless I really need to get them.

The categories I created, lo those many years ago, for dividing up the folder aren't perfect.  But they're good enough that it's not worth it to me to change them.  Here's the names on those 12 pockets:

  • ATM & bank statements
  • Auto
  • Charity
  • Credit Card statements
  • Insurance Bills
  • Insurance Policies
  • Medical stuff
  • Mortgage/House (even though we don't have a mortgage anymore)
  • Pay stubs and reimbursement
  • Pets & Kids (this category always makes me chuckle)
  • Tax stuff
  • Utilities & Phone

Thank you, long-ago me!

1 comment:

  1. I love it when long-ago me does smart stuff. This is a pretty good one! For my part, I have manila folders labeled for all tax stuff (our $ stuff is less complicated for now) through 2021. When I run out of folders, I know I can recycle the stuff from the oldest ones.

    I will keep your system in mind if our money ever gets more complicated.