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Clean Out Your Financial Records

With another spring cleaning season mostly behind us, maybe you cleaned out a few closets or even made some extra cash through a garage sale. But did you take the opportunity to clean out your financial records? Before your paper shredder goes to work, check this list from Iowa Jump$tart on how long to keep financial records. Then consider opting for electronic statements to reduce your paper load.

Keep these records until you've reconciled your statement:

  • Bank deposit slips
  • Credit card receipts
  • Monthly bills and credit card statements (keep statements and receipts you may need to prove tax deductions)

Keep these records for the calendar year:

  • Bank statements
  • Pay stubs (consider opting for direct deposit into your bank account)
  • Investment/broker statements, including 401(k) plans

Keep these records for seven years:

  • Tax returns and supporting documents
  • Bank statements needed to prove a deduction on a tax return

Keep these records forever:

  • Employer-defined benefit plan communications
  • IRA contributions
  • Brokerage statements (document gains/losses until sale)
  • Life insurance policies (most recent copy)
  • Loan documents (until paid and you have title)
  • Home improvement records/receipts (keep seven years after you sell)
  • Savings bonds (you can convert paper bonds to electronic)
  • Safe deposit box inventory

For more information on Iowa Jump$tart and to access other financial education resources, visit iowajumpstart.org.