Organizing Your Financial Records

stack of files

We all know the panic that sets in when you are asked for your daughter’s birth certificate at kindergarten registration, or you need to find your credit card information after our wallet is stolen. Knowing where to find and how to categorize important personal and financial documents will keep your mind at ease and your space uncluttered.

After weeding through the box or bag of bills, documents, and financial statements and keeping only those that are necessary, categorize them in a system that is most relevant to you. A way to have easy access to your important paperwork is to keep them filed in a crate, box or metal filing cabinet with hanging folders for the main categories and subcategories within each folder

Here are Some Ideas for Filing to get you Started:

Category Subcategory
Auto Vehicle titles, maintenance record, receipts
Banking Monthly statement, account and pin numbers
Bills Current bills due, last month’s paid bills
Contracts Employment contracts, other legal contracts
Credit Cards A list of all credit cards, account numbers and numbers for lost or stolen cards.
Education Diplomas, certificates, report cards, test scores and transcripts for all in household
Emergency Folder All essential information on banking, insurance policies, and phone numbers of attorneys and accountants in case an emergency happens to the primary financial executor of the home.
Employment Employee handbook and benefits brochure, pay advice, evaluations, resume, job history, and references
Financial Management Written financial plan, budget
Health Family health records, vaccine records, Names and numbers of family doctors
Home Mortgage documents
Home Repair List of receipts and records for any home repairs or lawn services
Insurance All insurance policies you currently have (auto, life, home, medical, etc.) along with phone number of agents/companies
Investments All investment statements for IRA, 401K, pension plan, etc.
Loans Previous and current loans (auto, home equity loan, student loans, etc.) and lender information
Pets Vet info, copy of license and vaccines
Personal Birth and death certificates, social security cards, passports, etc. These should be copied and filed, with originals in a fireproof safe.
Tax Records W-2’s, charitable donations, and all other documentation for current tax year along with last the three – seven years of tax returns.
Utilities Latest monthly statement for phones, cable, internet, water, garbage, sewage, etc.
Warranties Warranty agreement for appliances, electronics, etc.
Will Living will, estate planning, and beneficiary information

With a little time, and a small financial investment in filing organizing system you can keep your mind at ease and your kitchen counter free of clutter.

What filing system works best for you?

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