It’s true that when you have an organized home, your
financial situation usually benefits from it. So this year when you are doing
your Spring cleaning, make sure you put emphasis on getting your paperwork
organized as well.
Where do you keep your important papers? If your answer is
“in a drawer in the kitchen,” you’re missing the boat. A file cabinet is
essential to good record-keeping. Keep a pretty box on top to catch all your paperwork
until you have time to file them. The only files you should keep in this file
cabinet are those relevant to this year.
Go through your files and clean out anything that’s out of date. It’s helpful to get an accordion-style box to keep necessary old files in the attic or basement.
Here’s a short list of files that should be maintained for more than one year:
• Warranties - Keep warranties on file until they are no longer valid. You can replace a part on appliances and other items under warranty much cheaper than you can without it.
• Tax Returns and Receipts - Consult your tax advisor to see how many years files need to be maintained.
• Legal documents such as wills, marriage licenses and birth certificates - You never know when you may need proof and those are usually times you need quick access to your files.
• Mortgage Information - Keep this on hand in case there are
questions you need to answer in the future.
Forming the habit of being organized may take a while but it will pay off big in the future. You’ll be glad you took the time now.
This article was written by Reagan Payseur. It was published in Founders FCU Springtimers Newletter (April 2013).