Keep, Scan, or Shred?

I think I am not the only one when I say that I never know what to do with financial documents, do I keep them, scan them, or shred them??  I don’t want to see my like a hoarder but these are very important documents and you just don’t want them to get in the wrong hands of the wrong person.  I came across a great blog called “2011 Spring Cleaning Week” and this was one of the topics to discuss so I thought I would share my thoughts and ideas on this topic of  “Keep, Scan, or Shred?”


….these documents listed below  in a safe place like a safety deposit box or somewhere you know that is safe and locked in a secure setting.  I would suggest also scanning these documents just in case something happens down the road…we are here just in case this happens.  Visit our Document Scanning section!

  • Any government issued official document – Social security cards, birth certificate, passports, etc.
  • Titles – Titles of ownership to your car, home, etc.
  • Insurance policies
  • Tax returns – keep these for seven years and keep the documentation that supports your tax return for seven years as well (like receipts for donations).
  • IRA contribution records – Keep these forever as they are proof of contributions.  Store these safely!!!
  • Any warranties or guarantees – Keep these for as long as the own the item warrantied/guaranteed.


this list of documents.  These are the ones you are probably unsure if you really need to keep them or not, so why not scan them and get rid of all the excess originals!

  • Brokerage statements – Keep a copy of statements for tax purposes (to prove cost basis and capital gains), you can shred the rest.
  • Big Ticket Purchase Receipts – For insurance purposes, keep a copy of the receipts from purchases you’d claim on an insurance claim should something happen. Keep receipts for purchases like televisions, jewelry, and other expensive items, shred the rest.
  • Home improvements – Keep records of any improvements to your home for tax basis purposes when you sell.
  • Pay stubs – You can scan these and keep them until you receive you W-2.
  • Medical bills – Scan and keep these in case you have a dispute or they support a tax deduction, otherwise shred.

Shred These Documents

You really don’t need to keep these at all and in most cases they are available online. We  agree with Jim’s blog and recommend that you sign up for paperless statements whenever possible and just review them online.

  • Bank and credit card statements – Review them for any erroneous charges or signs of fraud, then shred them.
  • Bills – Review for accuracy and then you can shred them.

So this task of organizing all your documents can just be another step in your spring cleaning process every year.

Now that you have all this information contact us to help you with your document scanning or document shredding needs.  We are here to take the hassle out of that tedious job!!