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Old 07-28-2014, 03:55 PM   #1
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Bills, Receipts, Statements, etc

Do you keep them?
How long?
So I realized the other day that I might be silly holding onto years worth of Comcast bills, bank statements, etc. I have the most few recent bills/statement/rent receipt/etc stored in my "home manual" for easy access. I have been asked for these types of things often enough that I deem it important to keep handy. After a few months these types of things are moved into a deeper level of storage, currently an underbed storage bin.
But...wait a minute! My electric company, my internet/Comcast, my banking, is all easily accessible online. In fact, I log in to these accounts online multiple times a month anyway and could print out a statement/receipt at any time I please dating back to...what...7 years they keep those things available? I have slowly been going to the "paperless" options or "email my statement" options as well on anything that I can.
I received a letter in the mail from another place we receive constant mailings from also stating "you can now access your info on our website..." SWEET!

So is it safe to throw the past 3.5 years worth of these papers out now? I think besides rent receipts, yea? Let it all go fill up dumpster space instead? I think I am very excited by this discovery

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Old 07-28-2014, 07:21 PM   #2
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Re: Bills, Receipts, Statements, etc

I recycle all receipts as well. I have almost everything on automatic billpay online anyway, but when I do get a bill, I pay it that same day and then recycle the bill immediately. Probably should keep the receipt until payment clears but it's never been an issue so far....

I love not having all that paper clutter
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Old 07-28-2014, 07:26 PM   #3
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Re: Bills, Receipts, Statements, etc

Everything is paperless, everything is paid online. Receipts from stores are only kept long enough to make sure everything is in good working order. Receipts for electronics and tools are stapled to the manual and kept until I get rid of whatever the device is.

Tax returns are the only things I keep that are paper, and even those I've started scanning the documents that are over a few years old.
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Old 07-29-2014, 12:39 AM   #4
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Re: Bills, Receipts, Statements, etc

I would keep anything thing you can't afford to pay twice up to 6 months. I work for a cell phone company and just had a CX today realized a payment in JAN! hadn't cleared and they had actually been paying their bill late ever since then. Some happened to mention it to them and thats how they caught it. They had the receipt from their payment and it was credited to their acct.



I'm looking into a scanner for documents now but I think I should probably have a more reliable computer or external drive to save stuff to first.

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Old 07-29-2014, 03:33 AM   #5
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I keep things for 7 years. I heard of gal I worked for having to prove her living as someone got info & made false credit cards & stuff in her name but different state or like. if you watch identity theft with melissa mccarthy -I think something like that... but my person I knew. Didnt go after person she had to prove her living by bills for gas, city & rent/ mortgage......

I took accounting in college & fraud which enforced paper trails at the time.
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Old 07-29-2014, 05:42 AM   #6
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Re: Bills, Receipts, Statements, etc

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Originally Posted by abunchoflemons View Post
I keep things for 7 years. I heard of gal I worked for having to prove her living as someone got info & made false credit cards & stuff in her name but different state or like. if you watch identity theft with melissa mccarthy -I think something like that... but my person I knew. Didnt go after person she had to prove her living by bills for gas, city & rent/ mortgage......

I took accounting in college & fraud which enforced paper trails at the time.

So like...the ability to print it out from your online account isn't considered an adequate paper trail? I mean, my name is in a ton of systems, for varieties of services.
Getting my identity stolen, or even account numbers stolen is an increasing paranoia of mine. My mom and I were just joking, but it is true, that when she was my age you got your wallet and cash stolen or people made counterfeit money or IDs, but today you might end up with someone living exactly as you with all your personal information and access to all your credit, money, private info just from getting access to your social security number. The amount of things your social security number is used on now baffles me with the huge increase in crimes relating to your numbers.
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:59 AM   #7
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Re: Bills, Receipts, Statements, etc

When I worked at the bank our online system only went back 3 years. Anything over 3 years we had to pull manually so it might take a few days to a week to get you what you needed. We also charged a fee for doing this.

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Old 08-05-2014, 09:00 PM   #8
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Re: Bills, Receipts, Statements, etc

As an ID theft precaution, shred the old bills/receipts/statements. It seems like cyber-theft is probably the more pressing danger these days, but doesn't hurt to be cautious. We are all entitled to three free credit reports each year, one from each of the three major credit reporting companies, through the website annualcreditreport.com. I check all of them once a year to make sure nothing is amiss--you can spread them out so that you're checking one every 4 months. It's not a preventative, but at least a way to identify any problems before they go on too long.

I know I digress from the original topic but as several mentioned ID theft, thought this might be helpful.
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Old 08-07-2014, 07:21 AM   #9
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Re: Bills, Receipts, Statements, etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by BusyPAMommy View Post
As an ID theft precaution, shred the old bills/receipts/statements. It seems like cyber-theft is probably the more pressing danger these days, but doesn't hurt to be cautious. We are all entitled to three free credit reports each year, one from each of the three major credit reporting companies, through the website annualcreditreport.com. I check all of them once a year to make sure nothing is amiss--you can spread them out so that you're checking one every 4 months. It's not a preventative, but at least a way to identify any problems before they go on too long.

I know I digress from the original topic but as several mentioned ID theft, thought this might be helpful.
Would this be to check for new accounts opened under my name? We don't use credit, the mortgage is paid off, no credit cards, etc, so I haven't checked my credit report in at least 10 years. It was not totally accurate at that time (some of my former addresses were a little off, one of my former jobs was listed as being in a different town than than it really was but the other info was correct). It seemed sloppy, but not fishy, like whoever entered the info never bothered to make it sure it was right. Do I NEED to have it corrected? Especially if I never use credit again in my life? I was hoping my credit report would eventually just disappear altogether. It never occurred to me to check it for other activity under my name...

Last edited by Melinda29; 08-07-2014 at 07:26 AM.
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