Preparing financial information to submit yearly tax returns is a good time to also organize our personal finances. One important aspect of organizing is knowing what to save and what to shred. Many people carefully file everything they receive from their financial providers and end up saving way more than they need to.
If your file drawer is bulging with old statements, prospectuses, and utility bills from 2000, it’s time to do some cleaning.
Before you start shredding old financial statements and trade confirmations, make sure that you have documentation regarding your cost basis–or that your financial provider does. This Save, Shred or Recycle Worksheet details what you can safely get rid of, as well as the documents that you should keep–either in hard copy or electronic form. It also details the documents that are best filed in a safety-deposit box, fireproof box, or password-protected document.