The constant stream of bills seems endless at times. Mountains of important papers can pile up in no time if they are not dealt with. Organizing bills, essential documents and miscellaneous papers can be a daunting task.
If you have ever been through an audit, made a major financial purchase, applied for a loan, etc., you realize the need to keep your important documents organized. Experts suggest that we keep bills and taxes for up to seven years and sometimes more.
Here is a simple way to keep bills easily accessible, ordered, and neat:
- Buy an expandable file with at least 13 different sections.
- Use a label writer to label each tab by payee or category.Label the front of your expandable file with the current year.
- File monthly bills and documents in file for a full calendar year.
- At the beginning of the next year, buy a new file and label tabs accordingly.
- Put your first year’s file in a banker’s box (available at Walmart or office supply stores) labeled “Past Bills”.
- Repeat this for 7 years (or more).
- At the end of the 7th year, simply shred the contents of your first year’s file, and re-label it to become your eighth year file.
- Each year, shred the old bills from seven years back and re-use the file for the current year.
Over the years, you will only buy 7 files and have a super simple way to keep documents organized.
Keep taxes in a 10 x 13 in. mailing envelope. These envelopes are useful for keeping tax documents and receipts together, are easily labeled and fit perfectly into a banker’s box.
- Write the tax year on the side of the envelope and file in a banker’s box labeled “Taxes”.
- After the required length of time, simply shred the contents of the envelope.
This makes finding documents and taxes a simple task requiring little effort when the need arises.