Quick Answer: How Long Should You Keep Household Bills?

Is it safe to throw away bank statements?

You may be ready to throw them out, but you’re not sure how.

Is it safe to throw away old bank statements, or do you need to shred them first.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, you should shred documents containing sensitive information, including bank statements, to protect yourself from identity theft..

Should you keep old mortgage papers?

As a rule of thumb, you should keep all of the contract papers detailing your home purchase and original loan for the life of the loan. … Any improvements you’ve made on your house, as well as expenses when selling it, are added to the original purchase price.

How do you destroy documents without shredding?

Pulping is a fairly labor-intensive, but highly effective way to get rid of old sensitive documents. For this method, you’ll need bleach and a tall, bleach-resistant trash can. Add a half gallon of bleach to the trash can. Bleach breaks down paper and destroys ink, so it’s great for rendering your documents unreadable.

Why is shredding not a good idea?

Paper shredders increase security risks. You shred your documents to prevent identity theft and maintain the confidentiality of your information. But your paper shredding machine doesn’t offer the most secure method for completely destroying confidential information.

How long should you keep bills before shredding?

Utility bills: How long should you keep bills before shredding? If you’re claiming a home office deduction, you should keep utility bills for three years. Otherwise, keep them for one year, then shred them.

How long should you keep bills and bank statements?

Chart: What records to keep, how long to keep themDocumentHow long to keep itCredit card statementsOne monthPay stubsOne yearBank statementsKeep monthly statements for one year. Keep annual statements related to your taxes for at least seven years.Utility and phone billsOne month5 more rows•Mar 15, 2010

Should I shred old utility bills?

Most experts suggest that you can shred many other documents sooner than seven years. After paying credit card or utility bills, shred them immediately. … After one year, shred bank statements, pay stubs, and medical bills (unless you have an unresolved insurance dispute).

What papers to save and what to throw away?

When to Keep and When to Throw Away Financial DocumentsReceipts. Receipts for anything you might itemize on your tax return should be kept for three years with your tax records.Home Improvement Records. … Medical Bills. … Paycheck Stubs. … Utility Bills. … Credit Card Statements. … Investment and Real Estate Records. … Bank Statements.More items…•

Is it safe to throw away utility bills?

Keep electric, gas, phone and other utility bills for one year before discarding. The exception is if you claim a deduction on your taxes for a home office; in that case, keep those bills for three years.

How many years of paperwork should I keep?

Documents to Keep Until a Specific Time or Event Credit card and bank statements: Five years if you need them for tax purposes, otherwise one year.

Is there any reason to keep old utility bills?

There is no set time frame that you are required to keep bills once they have been paid. You can elect to receive a digital copy of bills, as opposed to the paper versions. … If there is a dispute that a bill has been paid, the transaction is usually able to be traced using your bank or credit card statement.

How many years of medical records should you keep?

seven yearsFederal law mandates that a provider keep and retain each record for a minimum of seven years from the date of last service to the patient.

Should I keep old insurance policies?

Experts generally agree if you have renewed a “claims made” insurance policy, you can get rid of the ones preceding it. Because these policies only protect against claims made during the life of the policy, there’s no reason to keep them after they have expired. Most U.S. insurance companies write this type of policy.

Do I need to keep old refinance paperwork?

Each time you refinance you only need to keep the closing summary that documents your costs and the paid-in-full letter from the old mortgage. … Keep all of the latest refinancing documents.

What should you not shred?

Be sure to lock up any important documents that you don’t shred, including birth and death certificates, adoption papers, marriage and divorce papers, citizenship papers, Social Security cards, tax-related documents, deeds and titles, and financial statements.

Should you shred everything with your name and address?

You should shred anything that has personal information like your name, address, phone number, social security number, or bank account information. … After one year, shred bank statements, pay stubs, and medical bills (unless you have an unresolved insurance dispute).

What papers should I keep and for how long?

Keep forever. Records such as birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, Social Security cards, and military discharge papers should be kept indefinitely.

How long should you keep mortgage bills?

three yearsHomeowners should keep these statements for at least three years. Although the information on these statements is a part of public record, it is always more convenient to keep a carefully-filed paper copy so you can find the information at a moment’s notice.

How long do you keep car insurance statements?

Insurance policies: Keep your most recent policy. Tax records, including receipts: Keep for seven years after filing the tax return.

What to do after house is paid off?

What to do with your money after you pay off the mortgageIncrease your retirement savings. … Put the kids through school. … Move one step closer to retirement. … Change your work life. … Reinvest in your home. … Downsize. … Buy a vacation property. … Borrow against your home to invest more aggressively.More items…

What records need to be kept for 7 years?

Accounting Services Records should be retained for a minimum of seven years. Accountants, being a conservative bunch, will often recommend that you keep financial statements, check registers, profit and loss statements, budgets, general ledgers, cash books and audit reports permanently.