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Spring Cleaning


As soon as I finish my taxes I also do some spring cleaning of my paperwork clutter and finances. Here are some tips to get your financial house in shape:

  1. Organize financial papers: Do not leave financial documents around that contain information that could be used to steal your identity. Shred paperwork you no longer need. Save important papers in a secure place and if possible, digitally (scan and save on external drive/usb, etc.) and secure with a password.

  2. Bills, paystubs, bank and investment statements should be kept for one year and then just keep the year end summaries and shred the rest.

  3. Keep invoices and all bills for major repairs, improvements and construction on your home. This is vital to have when and if you ever sell your home for increased cost basis.

  4. Tax returns and all supporting documentation should be kept for at least 7 years. A good rule is to scan your older tax returns and keep them forever.

  5. Run your credit report to see if there are any unusual transactions. Annualcreditreport.com allows one free report per agency per year.

  6. Automate adding to investments and savings.

  7. Adjust tax withholdings on your income (paycheck, IRA’s, etc.) if you owed too much tax or received a large refund.

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