Skip to site content
The Show

Clear the Clutter

Money-Guy 02-26-2010

Today’s show is on an issue that we all face, yet not many people know how to handle. It’s happened to every one of us. You start a folder to house all of your “important documents”, then maybe your folder turns into a binder, the binder turns into a drawer, the drawer becomes a filing cabinet, and next thing you know, you’re up to your ears in “important documents”. Which ones should you keep? How long should you keep them? What can you finally throw away?

There was a great article in Consumer Reports’ Money Adviser magazine titled “Conquer the paper piles”. This article did a great job of explaining what documents we should keep, what we can throw away, and how long we need to wait before we throw them away. I go through each of these in the show, but here is a quick recap and breakdown:

Keep for a Year or Less

  • Bank records
  • Credit-card bills
  • Current-year tax records
  • Insurance policies
  • Investment statements
  • Pay stubs
  • Receipts

Keep for a Limited Time

  • Household furnishings paperwork
  • Investment purchase confirmations
  • Loan documents
  • Savings bonds
  • Vehicle records

Hold These for Seven Years

  • Personal federal and state tax returns and their supporting records

Do Not Toss

  • Defined-benefit plan documents
  • Estate-planning documents
  • Life-insurance policies
  • Safe-deposit box inventory

While some of these may seem fairly obvious, I go through the ‘ins and outs’ of each in the show and explain the reasoning of why some documents are more important or need to be kept around longer than others.

I also start the show off by giving you a few tips on how to save some money on your utilities and make your life a little easier. A website that I frequently use is ConnectUtilities. This website is great for comparing service providers and finding the best deals available in your area. A service that I think is amazing for simplifing your life is PayTrust. While usually I make every effort to save you guys money, I think that this service is well worth the cost!

Enjoy the Show?



Where You Can Watch and Listen:

Subscribe on these platforms or wherever you listen to podcasts for new episodes every Friday, live streams every Tuesday at 10am CT, and new highlight clips throughout the week.

Related Content

Free Resources

Financial Order of Operations®: Maximize Your Army of Dollar Bills!

Here are the 9 steps you’ve been waiting for Building wealth is simple when you know what to do and…

View Resource

Tax Guide 2023

Updated for 2023! Ever wonder what the highly trained professionals use to tax plan? Wonder no more! We’ve assembled the…

View Resource

Financial Order of Operations®: Maximize Your Army of Dollar Bills!

Here are the 9 steps you’ve been waiting for Building wealth is simple when you know what to do and…

View Resource


Is a High Yield Savings Account Still the Best Place to Keep an Emergency Fund?

, ,

Read More

Are We Financial Misers for Investing 60% of Income in Your Mid-20s?

, ,

Read More

Is Cash Now Trash Again? Federal Reserve Signals Intent to Lower Rates

, ,

Read More

Financial FAQs

Courses & Tools

How about more sense and more money?

Check for blindspots and shift into the financial fast-lane. Join a community of like minded Financial Mutants as we accelerate our wealth building process and have fun while doing it.

Millionaire Mission (Brian’s Book)

Buy Now

Know Your Number Course

Buy Now

The Money Guy Net Worth Tool

Buy Now

Recent Episodes

It's like finding some change in the couch cushions.

Watch or listen every week to learn and apply financial strategies to grow your wealth and live your best life.

REACT WorstHousingAdvice B

Financial Advisors React to the Worst Housing Advice on TikTok

Watch Now
401k Sucks

What Should I Do If My 401(k) Sucks?

Watch Now
Financial Planning

Financial Planning 101 (By Age) – The Complete Guide to Financial Success

Watch Now