Monday, March 21, 2011

Dealing With Financial Clutter

For me,  March 1 marked the official end of tax season.  Since I filed our household's Individual Income Tax Return early, and I didn't have to file for an extension (which is a topic for another day), I can now close out Tax Year 2010 and focus on 2011.

How is the best way to start doing that?

My system is pretty straight-forward and easy to use.  I have a 2-drawer filing cabinet that fits under my desk.  I have hanging files with tabs that are in alphabetical order: ie bank statements, credit card receipts, medical bills, utilities, etc. 

Whenever I get a bill paid, I file the receipt in the proper hanging file.  Same goes for credit card statements, dental and medical bills, life insurance statements, and other "stuff" that needs a home during the year.  That way, I have it right where I need it.  This is my "Active" filing cabinet.

Then I have a larger filing cabinet where I store 2 years worth of tax years.  This is my "Historical" filing cabinet.  Since it is now tax year 2011, I cleaned out my 2-drawer filing cabinet and have those files in a box by my desk.  I am going to go into my larger filing cabinet and take out Tax Year 2008 and put that into a Bankers Box.  I'll label it with the proper tax year and store it.  That way, I'll have Tax Years 2009 and 2010 in my larger filing cabinet. 

I keep my records for 10 years.  I know, I am probably anal, but that is what I do.  I have storage space set aside in my house, so it doesn't take up alot of room.  I keep 5 years in my pantry/laundry/storage room and 5 years in the basement. 

If you want more information on how long to keep records, and what type of records you should be keeping, check out this informative article:

That is my goal for this week: To get all of my records in order, purge what I don't need (this is where a top-notch shredder really pays for itself) and keep what is important, rearrange my filing cabinets so that the proper tax years are where they need to be, put the older, historical files in Bankers Boxes, and put those in their proper place.

How do you organize you financial records??



  1. I like your goal tracker bar on the side of your page. We're doing Ramsey's Tottal Money Makeover right now (just finished his class). We have a long way to go still paying off OLD medical bills. But, each month I see progress so that's good. I just hope the summer doesn't get us.

  2. Umm, isn't APRIL 15 the end of the tax season. (and its the 18th this year). Im so confused

  3. Oh yeah, Anna...I am getting WAAAAAY Ahead of myself!!! It's Corporate Taxes that are due on March 15....Ooops...SORRY!!!!!! I'd better go and change that on my post!!!

  4. I shove them all in the side of the canned goods cupboard so my hubby knows where they are when tax time comes...

  5. McVal, you are a genius...a GENIUS! That's what I should do....LOL LOL ;)

  6. I like the progress bars on the side, too. We got rid of about 30% of our debt last year, but I dare not say how much is left. 8^( LOL.