Cut Financial Clutter
Below are six tips to help you cut financial clutter. 1. Prepare an inventory. First, make a list of all your financial accounts. Then gather all your financial paperwork in one place and organize it into three piles: One to keep hard copies of, one to keep digital copies of, and another to get rid of completely. 2. Shred, shred, shred. Much of the paperwork you’ve been hanging on to for years can be thrown away. Tax returns can usually be disposed of after three years, though in some cases (like if you’re self-employed) you’ll want to keep them for a longer period. Credit card statements can typically be shredded once you’ve confirmed there are no erroneous charges; most receipts can be pitched right away, unless they’re for a large purchase or an item you plan to deduct from your taxes. Loan documents can be shredded once you’ve paid off the debt. 3. Get a scanner. Invest in an affordable scanner and make digital copies of records you want to retain but don’t need originals of, like health records, old tax returns, and Social Security statements. 4. When possible, consolidate accounts. Having numerous financial accounts is a major source of clutter. Do you really need multiple savings accounts at different institutions? Do you have several different 401(k)s from old employers? Do you own half a dozen credit cards but only use one or two? When possible, streamline and consolidate. Not only will this make things easier to manage, but you’ll reduce the risk of forgetting accounts and eliminate extra fees. 5. Automate your finances. Reduce the amount of clutter coming in by signing up for online bank account and investment statements. However, because some banks may only allow you to access the past several months of statements, you may want to download the records and save them elsewhere. When possible, automate bill payment and paycheck deposits. 6. Get an online vault and home safe. Personal computers can be compromised or stolen, so you may want to add an extra layer of protection by storing your financial information in a secure online vault. A fireproof home safe is a good place to store items you need to maintain original copies of. Marriage and death certificates, deeds to your home, car titles, Social Security cards, and copies of your will are all items commonly stored in home safes.
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This newsletter was prepared by Integrated Concepts Group, Inc. The opinions expressed in this newsletter are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. It is suggested that you consult your financial professional, attorney, or tax advisor with regard to your individual situation. The views
expressed are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by PlanMember Securities Corporation. Material presented is believed to be from a reliable sources and PSEC makes no representation as to it accuracy or completeness.