Your Financial Documents: Shred or Save?
The amount of paper entering your home from mail or receipts can become overwhelming. Declutter – and keep your identity secure – by shredding your financial documents. Grab a box and start going through that filing cabinet but be careful because some documents have a longer shelf live than others. The following documents are safe to shred right away:
- Paid utility and billing statements
- ATM receipts
- Sales receipts
An electronic statement option for your credit card or checking account will prevent the hassle of keeping track of paper copies. If holding financial documents over time makes you fearful of misplacing them, scan them electronically to a computer then shred the paper copy. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), these documents are safe to shred after one year:
- Pay Stubs
- Credit Card statements
- Medical bills (unless in dispute)
There are many documents you can throw away after a certain amount of time, however, these documents should be kept forever:
- Birth certificate
- Social Security card
- Legal will
- Insurance documents
Note: The FTC recommends keeping tax-related records for seven years. The IRS normally has three years to complete an audit, but in some cases, seven is possible.
Keep your financial documents in a secure place until you can discard them safely. Shredding is one of the safest ways to discard documents, and you can do just that with us for free at designated events. Please contact a Cinfed financial coach with any questions.