A bank statement will help out if you are looking for essential tools for reaching your financial goals. However, there are tons of financial documents being that are mailed out. It is important to keep track of the statements and bills that you receive because you could miss a deadline.
It is also important to clear out what is not necessary to avoid a hoard of paperwork. To help you decide how long to keep bank statements and other important documents, we have compiled a guide with all the information you might need.
You should keep your bill payments for at least one month, unless you need them for tax purposes.
How To Keep or Dispose of Bank Statements Properly
It is important know how to properly keep or dispose of your bank statements. This is to protect your personal and financial information printed on the statements. Here are four options for storing these documents:
When you store documents online, you are able to view these documents from any device as long as you are connected to the internet. This makes it super convenient for you, but there is a chance that the server gets hacked or goes down.
Companies monitor the servers storing your information and put up firewalls and encrypt data to keep you protected.
If you like keeping hard copies for easy access, this is also an option. You are able to look at it whenever you need without internet access. This is also risky because once you lose it, it’s gone. If you choose to go this option, place the paper copies in a fireproof box or file cabinet and choose a container that locks so you can keep your papers hidden.
Safes and Lockboxes
Keep your important paper documents in secure, waterproof and fireproof storage containers. Protect these documents because replacing them can be time-consuming and costly. Also consider putting the following documents in too:
- Birth, marriage and death certificates
- College transcripts and diplomas
- Divorce decrees
- Insurance policies
- Mortgage loan agreements
- Pension and retirement documents
- Social Security cards
- Stock agreements
- Tax returns
If you want to keep it on your own storage, you can store copies of your documents on your computer or an external hard drive. This can be done by scanning or taking pictures of your paper documents to convert them into digital files.
If you choose to store your files digitally, remember to put a password on the hard drive so that only you know how to access it.
Discarding Documents: How Long You Should Keep Bills Before Shredding
When it’s time for you to get rid of documents, make sure they are gone for good. Shred the documents rather than throwing it in a trash can because identity thieves might get access to your sensitive information.
Instead of hoarding every single bank statement or important document, you should know which documents you need to keep and when you can throw something away. You never know when you might need the document again.
You should consider your accessibility and security when deciding how to store your documents. Check out HMB’s in-depth list on Best Bank Promotions!