Record Keeping Suggestions

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2001
Record Keeping Suggestions
14
Fri, 12-09-2011 - 7:06pm

I'm still a newbie, and I have another question for you wise ones . . .

What do you do for record keeping?

I need a good and easy system.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2006
Wed, 12-14-2011 - 10:49pm
I thInk with your great sense of humor, you could get a tv show and be the Gail Vox Aucksley(probably spelled wrong?) of financial organization. Tune in on Saturday st 8 when Kate takes on a woman with tax returns older than her son - who got married last week.. You never know, everyone starts somewhere.. SJ
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2007
Wed, 12-14-2011 - 2:51pm
I've thought of it a few times (I even looked into being a professional organizer at one point). I honestly think that in a home situation, the solution is so easy that I likely wouldn't have to spend too much time on it. When I help friends, it usually only takes about 1 hour (of course, I only get them focussed and informed -- the rest is up to them). DD and I have spoken a few times about possibly doing a small business that would involve the psychological component to disorganization. I woud help them set up systems and DD (who has a degree in psychology) would tackle procrastination and/or the emotional aspect of recordkeeping. DD would need to take some additional classes to be certified, but we've played around with this idea. Not sure how well it would fly though....

Your Grandmother sounds great and I can only imagine how interesting the cards, letter and ration books were! Certainly, if we are talking about personal history, some things are important to keep. I once dated someone who is now a director in Hollywood and I still have his high-school love letters. Who knows, one day he might be the next Stephen Speilberg and my grandkids will find these letters interesting!

Kate


empty purse

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2007
Wed, 12-14-2011 - 2:45pm
Wow, my dental costs? Really?? Holy moly Marie, that might amount to quite a bit of money!

All kidding aside, I've helped people in the past and learned from experience to only help with coaching or advice on setting up a system. I no longer help people physically clean or set up the files. If people are handed a clean slate, if they aren't invested in the solution, they don't upkeep any future systems. It's usually these clients who are my repeat offenders!

Kate


empty purse

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2007
Wed, 12-14-2011 - 2:42pm
Hi Serenity,
All pension plans have a duty udner the law to maintain records about the pension plan and the individuals entitled to benefits from the plan. Regardless, you should still be keeping certain documents like your benefit statements and the most recent summary plan description (the plan's rules). In addiition to your work retirement, you should also keep any documents that pertain to an asset you own outside of your retirement fund (confirmations showing the purchase price) and these should be kept for as long as you own the asset, plus seven years. You should also be keeping your W-2 forms until you start drawing Social Security.

Newsletters and general mail-outs can usually be trashed.

Kate


empty purse

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2001
Tue, 12-13-2011 - 3:24pm

Wow Kate!!

Thanks for all the great advice.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2006
Mon, 12-12-2011 - 9:31pm
Kate, This is awesome information! Have you ever thought of a little second job where you go into people's homes and help them get organized? (or stay organized?) If you got your car snd didn't spend so much time on the bus, would that free up five - ten hours a month to try this? Would the extra income fill any possible car funding gap? My grandmother saved everything - and although a lot was really interesting there is no way to know whether we threw away more interesting stuff than we kept, because there was so much. But what made it down to me is so interesting - v mail from WW2, ration books from the depression, tantalizingly interesting letters. My mom's birthday was Aug 6 - her seventeenth birthday was when Hiroshima was bombed. She always talked about where she was that day, visiting relatives, snd how when she heard the news, she just wanted to go home. In her things I found a pennypostcard post marked Aug 6, 1945 - it was obviously sent before she heard the news, but it is eerie. I am going to have it framed with her high school graduation picture as a gift to one of my nephews. But she was not a saver - her paperwork was left in impeccable order - files labeled, everything filed. I am so grateful to her for that as there is a lot to deal with and at least this part is easy. She used to visit me for several weeks each winter, and she liked to keep busy although she wasn't too mobile. She shredded a ton of stuff for me - I miss her for a million reasons and that is a small one. I am a 'keeper' but I live in a small space and I like things neat, so that forces me to periodically sort and toss. I will employ some of your ideas on some snowy January days. Thanks SJ
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
Mon, 12-12-2011 - 3:02pm
OMG Kate, that was amazing. Can you come to my house and help analyze - NO I mean really! I would pay you - dental care for a year! I am just south across the border?
I honestly, for the first time in my life, am so overcome by paper that I have 2-3 years of papers in my file drawers, filed by bill neatly, and one year in a box on the floor - the box being just piles of papers in there this past year. I need to declutter it all!!
(MY 2012 January goal!)
#Marie
Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Mon, 12-12-2011 - 2:57pm

First of all, thank you Kate for so many good ideas!

Bumbling, I am somewhat like your DH.

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-15-2005
Sat, 12-10-2011 - 9:29pm
When I buy sometime like a camera, appliance, etc that has a warranty, I staple the receipt to the manual and put it in a file (small appliances, large appliance, kids stuff, electronics, etc). I periodically (try to shoot for annually) review the file and toss/recycle the paperwork for stuff we no longer have.

Other than that I shove all my receipts for a given month in a 8.5 x 5.5 envelope with the month on it...I keep them for a year. Then toss and reuse...so my Dec 2011 receipts are going in the old Dec 2010 envelope I just emptied.

I don't save many billing statements unless I need to verify something (like a rate change) on the next one. Most of them I either get online (and don't even have a paper copy) or I can access a copy online.

Jennifer


 


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2007
Sat, 12-10-2011 - 6:24pm

Hi again bumblingalong,

LOL, it sounds like your husband is just like Jackie Kennedy!!

Kate


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