Although the temperatures are still low, spring has arrived and it is a good time to rid your home of the clutter and paperwork you have accumulated over the past year.
However, when it comes to reviewing your financial records, it is important to know what to keep, what to discard, and when.
Better Business Bureau serving Snake River Region offers advice on how to safely clear your clutter. Spring-cleaning is a great time to reorganize and clear out. It is important to understand what you can get rid of and BBB Shred Day offers a safe way to dispose of sensitive information.
BBB suggests the following record keeping and removal tips:
- Canceled checks: All canceled checks and related receipts or documents for a home buy or sale, renovations, or other improvements to a property you own should be kept indefinitely. The same holds true for non-deductible contributions to a retirement account. Checks that support your tax returns must be kept for a minimum of seven years. All other checks may be discarded after a year.
- Deposit, ATM, credit card and debit card receipts: Save them until the transaction appears on your statement and you have verified that the information is correct.
- Credit card and bank account statements: Save those with no tax or other long-term significance for about a year, but save the rest for up to seven years. If you get a detailed annual statement, keep that and discard the corresponding monthly statements. Also, be sure to mark closed deposit accounts as such.
- Credit card contracts and other loan agreements: Keep for as long as the account is active; they may be needed in the event you have a dispute with your lender over the terms of your contract.
- Stocks, bonds and other investment documentation: Retain these while you own the investment and then seven years after that.
To avoid becoming a victim of identity theft, shred any document that has a Social Security number, bank account number or personal and financial information. BBB offers its FREE shred day events in Boise and Pocatello. Shredding is done by CINTAS and Western Recycling.
On Saturday, April 20, 2013, the shred day event will be at the Idaho Transportation Department, 3311 W. State St., Boise, and Potelco Credit Union, 1873 Bend Rd., Pocatello.
For more information, as well as a list of approved shred materials, visit http://snake-river.bbb.org/secure-your-id/.