Financial Records Worth Keeping

I don’t think anyone will argue that organizing your financial records is important. And if you’re anything like me, you do a less than stellar job at it. So today’s post is all about identifying what records you should be keeping and for how long.

If you’re not on board with organizing yourself understand this; good records will help you:

  • Monitor your financial health
  • Identify sources of receipts
  • Keep track of deductible expenses
  • Prepare your tax returns
  • Support items reported on your tax returns
  • Quicken warranty related transactions

What’s Worth Keeping?

Keep until the warranty expires or you can no longer return or exchange:

  • Sales Receipts*
  • Warranties

Keep for 1 month:

  • ATM Printouts (Extremely helpful when balancing your checkbook.)

Keep for 1 year minimum :

  • Paycheck Stubs
  • Utility Bills
  • Cancelled Checks*
  • Credit Card Statements*
  • Bank Statements*
  • Quarterly Investment Statements*

Keep for 3 years:

  • Income Tax Returns (As a reminder, you can be audited by the IRS for up to three years after you filed a tax return.)
  • Medical Bills
  • Cancelled Insurance Policies
  • Records of Selling a Real Estate Property (for Capital Gains Tax)
  • Records of Selling a Stock (for Capital Gains Tax)
  • Annual Investment Statements
  • Any receipts, cancelled checks, documents that support income or a deduction on your last three years of tax returns

Keep for 7 years:

  • All Contracts and Leases
  • Insurance Documents
  • Stock Certificates
  • Property Records
  • Stock Records
  • Records of Pension
  • Records of Retirement Plans
  • Property Tax Records
  • Disputed Bills
  • Home Improvement Records
  • Mortgage Documents

Keep Forever:

  • IRA Contribution Records
  • Marriage Licenses
  • Birth Certificates
  • Wills
  • Diplomas
  • Adoption Papers
  • Death Certificates
  • Records of Paid Mortgages

* These items should be kept for 3 years if needed/used for tax purposes


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