Getting your financial records organized is one of the best gifts you can give your family. By setting up a workable system, and telling family members about it, you’ll ensure they know how to pick up the pieces should there be a crisis or death.
Getting organized doesn’t mean finding a place for everything. It means knowing what to keep, how how long to keep it, where to store documents, and when to shred outdated statements.
Consider these tips to get started:
1. Eliminate waste: Toss items you don’t need, such as receipts for small purchases or groceries, or records on autos you no longer need. To prevent identity theft, shred documents with Social Security numbers or account numbers. Consider software organization tools, or going paperless, to help keep things safe. Sign up for online statements for places like your credit union and brokerage accounts to simplify things.
2. File it: Set up a simple filing system that anyone can follow. Separate active from inactive files, and make sure to label them all.
3. Protect it: Get a safe deposit box for anything that would be difficult to replace if destroyed, such as birth and marriage certificates, titles, household inventory, investment certificates and military records.
4. Establish a routine: Open and sort mail daily. Arrange bills so you can pay them about the same time each month. Every year or so go through your files again to weed out unnecessary ones.
For more information on organizing finances, budgets or retirement plans, Liberty Savings is here to help! We offer free seminars and online education that has helped many members become more comfortable and financial savvy. And of course, always feel free to ask any of us for more information about any financial questions you may have.