What Documents Should I Shred And What Should I Keep?

How do I know what papers to keep?

Here’s a guide of which financial documents to keep and for how long.Receipts.

Home Improvement Records.

Medical Bills.

Paycheck Stubs.

Utility Bills.

Credit Card Statements.

Investment and Real Estate Records.

Bank Statements.More items…•.

Where should you keep important documents?

Where to Keep Your Important PapersWallet. You are, obviously, very limited in what you can keep in such a small space. … Safe Deposit Box. You can rent a safe deposit at your bank or credit union for a small annual fee. … Home Box. … Attorney. … Out-of-Area Friend or Relative. … Online or Digital Storage.

Should I keep old checkbooks?

The length of time you need to keep a canceled check, or its carbon copy, depends on the purpose of the payment. You can destroy most check carbons once the check has cleared and you’ve reconciled your bank statement. Keep check copies for any tax-related items for seven years after you file the tax return.

Can someone steal your credit card information from a receipt?

Vendors who don’t follow federal laws make it possible for criminals to steal a credit card number from a receipt. If too much information is printed on a receipt, identity thieves and fraudsters may be able to get a credit card number from a receipt.

How long should you keep your old bills?

Chart: What records to keep, how long to keep themDocumentHow long to keep itCredit card statementsOne monthPay stubsOne yearBank statementsKeep monthly statements for one year. Keep annual statements related to your taxes for at least seven years.Utility and phone billsOne month5 more rows•Mar 15, 2010

How long should you keep your bank statements?

one yearKey Takeaways. Most bank statements should be kept accessible in hard copy or electronic form for one year, after which they can be shredded. Anything tax-related such as proof of charitable donations should be kept for at least three years.

Do I really need to shred old bank statements?

Although you should keep copies of bank and credit card statements for record-keeping purposes, you only need to do so for one year. 2 You should shred anything older than that, as well as canceled checks, voided checks, and any online purchase orders that contain your bank account or billing information.

How can you destroy a document at home without a shredder?

Add a half gallon of bleach to the trash can. Bleach breaks down paper and destroys ink, so it’s great for rendering your documents unreadable. However, be careful while handling bleach — don’t let it touch your skin, and work in a well-ventilated area. Next, add five gallons of water to the trash can.

Should I shred old utility bills?

Most experts suggest that you can shred many other documents sooner than seven years. After paying credit card or utility bills, shred them immediately. Also, shred sales receipts, unless related to warranties, taxes, or insurance.

Where can I shred papers for free?

Support Local Charities: Most shredding events benefit local charities and nonprofits. Instead of paying a small fee or requesting to have your papers shredded free, you might be asked to make a small donation to a local organization.

Should you shred mail with your name and address?

Your name, address, phone number and bank account information are in those statements, along with your habits, purchases and banking history. Even if the account is closed, shred it anyway.

How long should I keep old checkbooks?

12 monthsSome people recommend keeping checkbook registers for at least 12 months in case “issues” (questions about payment) arise and because some checks may take a while to clear.