Record Keeping

### What to throw out and when:

1. Airline tickets and boarding passes: after appear on frequent-flier account, unless you need them for tax purposes.
2. ATM cash receipts: after appear on bank statement.
3. Credit card statements and receipts: Toss receipts after appear on statement, except big-ticket items or tax deductible expenses. Keep statements for three years (in case IRS asks).
4. Paycheck stubs: toss after receive W2 and check for errors.

### What to keep and for how long:

1. Tax stuff: keep copies of completed tax forms and W2 forms for at least six years (I have heard even longer). After three years you can get rid of supporting documents (receipts, canceled checks, etc)
2. IRA contribution slips: never throw out receipts for deductible and nondeductible IRA contributions. (you’ll need them to figure out taxes when you retire)
3. Bank statements: in general, keep for three years. Toss canceled checks unless back up deductions. Go through your checks each ear and keep those related to your taxes, business expenses, home improvements, and mortgage payments. Shred those that have no long-term importance.
4. Receipts for big-ticket items: as long as you own the item — for warranty, resale, or insurance purposes. (Go through your bills once a year.
In most cases, when the canceled check from a paid bill has been returned, you can shred the bill.) Keep the important receipts in special file.
5. Home-improvement records: as long as you own the house
6. Investment information: as long as you own the investment, and for six years after you sell it. You need purchase/sales slips from your brokerage or mutual fund to prove whether you have capital gains or losses at tax time.
7. Keep the quarterly statements from your 401(k) or other plans until you receive the annual summary; if everything matches up, then shred the quarterlies. Keep the annual summaries until you retire or close the account.