Keeping old paperwork around in addition to being tedious and overwhelming may also be unnecessary. While human nature may compel us to hang onto mountains of receipts and all kinds of paperwork, the reality is many of these items shouldn’t be retained for more than 12 months. We’d be far better served to determine a source for confidential document destruction and get rid of the risk old documents represent.
6 things that can be purged annually:
- Bills: monthly bills, if undisputed, can be bound for the shredder right after they are paid.
- ATM receipts: there’s no need to keep ATM receipts once they show up online or on your bank statement.
- Monthly bank statements: once reconciled, monthly bank statements should be retained only if they reflect items you intend to deduct from your taxes.
- Credit cards bills: do a line item review to ensure accuracy and pitch credit card bills in the shred pile unless they contain a tax deduction or warranty related item.
- Insurance policies: once the new insurance policy arrives, there’s no reason to hang on to your previous statement.
- Pay stubs: purge pay stubs after you’ve completed your annual tax return.
For other data and information security best practices, contact the experts at DataShield—serving Nebraska and Iowa’s paper shredding, records management, electronic recycling, and data destruction needs for years.