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Managing Your Clutter:  Which Financial Papers Should You Keep, and for How Long?
By Megan Knepka on February 14, 2017

The following is a list of common financial documents that may be cluttering your home, and how long you should hold onto each:

The following is a list of common financial documents that may be cluttering your home, and how long you should hold onto each:

  • Credit card receipts should be kept until you are able to check them against a credit card statement for discrepancies.
  • Credit card statements and paid utility bills: keep for a year.
  • Pay stubs should be kept for a year and disposed of once you check them against your W-2 form.
  • Purchase receipts: The length for different types of receipts varies. Grocery and clothing receipts should be kept until the food is eaten and the clothes are worn, but big-ticket item receipts should be kept for the life of the product. In addition, any receipt for a product with a warranty or guarantee should be kept for the life of the contract.
  • Savings/Retirement Plan Statements: quarterly statements should be kept until they can be checked against annual statements, which should be kept for a longer period of time. Similarly, for loans, leases, and installment plans, quarterly documents should be kept to check against the annual, the annual statement should be kept until paid in full, and the paid in full receipt should be kept indefinitely.
  • Insurance policies should be kept until their renewal.
  • Medical bills should be kept for about ten years after a treatment.
  • W-2 Forms and tax records should be kept forever. 
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