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Paperwork! Cha-Ching (Banking and Investments, Part 2)

We are building your filing system by dividing paperwork into broader categories. Our goal is still a filing system that allows you to find things and file things easily. Each of the major categories will have its own set of subcategories. Remember that this system is for file storage so don’t file documents if you need to take action on them or if you’re waiting for more information. These items go in your Action Items folder or your Working & Waiting folder.

By now you’ve accumulated enough in a hanging file folder to merit greater division, even though you may still have lots of 6–8-inch stacks to sort through. We’ve tackled Money, Medical, Auto, and Insurance – now let’s create a working Banking & Investments category with subfolders.

· Money

· Medical

· Auto

· Insurance

· Banking & Investments

· Misc.

You will need a folder for every Bank or Investment Account for which you have documents. If you’ve got a paper sorter, stapler, paper clips, and binder clips – gather them.

Each banking institution or investment broker has sent a paper or electronic document marking the start date of your accounts. Dividing your documents by financial institution and/or account type is a good first step. I recommend dividing into hanging folders instead of file folders and use a sticky note to create temporary tabs.

Banking Account Types:

· Savings accounts.

· Checking accounts.

· Money market accounts.

· Certificates of deposit (CDs)

· Retirement accounts

Investment Account Types:

· Brokerage Account

· 401k Account

· IRA Account

· 529 Account

· Crowdfunding

Create an originating document folder for each account. If you have electronic access to financial institutions write your username and password on at least one of the folders. If you have multiple checking accounts with multiple banks, you will want to label folders by the institution and the account type. If you’ve had accounts with ABC Bank for many years, locating the original account opening documents will be harder because of the volume of mail you’ve received over the years. That’s okay. Label an empty folder as a space holder.

Keep the current year statements in a folder with the originating account documents. File statements as supporting tax documents away with your taxes each year.

Next time, we’ll take a look at what you’ve got left – the Miscellaneous file. Feel free to got back through the blog posts if you need a refresher for Memorabilia, Action Items, or the Working & Waiting folder.

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