April 10, 2015

Financial Records

How does one learn how to become an adult? From those around us I guess? Well here I am finding myself as an adult. For once I am the one who has my birth certificate and am in charge of that and not my mom. All of a sudden these kinds of records and financials and papers galore all start piling up. I had this cute little accordion folder that held them all that is now going to burst should I put even one more paper into it.

No worries, I have a new organizational strategy that I am working on and will share with everyone when complete. But first I thought I would discuss after my research and personal experience how long you may want to keep these documents for.

**consult with someone not me before you take these words for gospel, this is just my opinion**

Tax Records
You should keep your income tax returns and supporting documentation (receipts and worksheets) for three years. That is how long the IRS has to audit you. Apparently it is six years if you have broken tons of rules, but would you really keep any of your documentation anyway if you were breaking all those rules?

Thank gosh for computer storage by the way. I can't imagine doing all these spreadsheets on papers and having to store them all.

I keep them for a while. You never know and since thankfully myself and my husband are pretty healthy we don't have many. Except for my new little knee injury...

Home Purchase, Sale, and Improvements
As long as you have that home I say and long enough to do your next tax return and three years after that maybe (for the tax records)? See where this is becoming a math problem? But then some people randomly say seven years after you sold a home...

Misc...(Stocks, Bonds, Investments, Credit Card stuffs, Retirement stuffs, paycheck stubs)
My husband says forever since it is all computerized. He tells me to let my OCD go and not worry about that. So I have no idea.

Warranties and Manuals
Until they expire or whatever the manual is for breaks/I no longer have it.

Insurance Policies
As long as it is current.

Jewelry and other Items of Value's Information
This kind of goes along with insurance, because as long as you have something expensive, you should keep information on it. If you ever come to selling these items, having proof of authenticity will be helpful. Keep it all!

What else am I forgetting that we keep?


  1. It's maybe simpler than that even: dontvfirfet that copies of a lot of these records will also be retained by the tax office, insurance co etc. You just have to be able to remember who it is you need to ask :)

  2. FYI, for insurance policies, if you live in Massachusetts, you need to have documentation that you were insured for the entirety of the prior year for your taxes

  3. Technically you need to keep all tax papers for 7 years after the filing date.


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