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Six Steps to Setting Up a Filing System

You may never need to go back to find out how much you paid for your first mortgage 15 years ago, but what if you did? Organizing your account statements, receipts, and tax returns can give you peace of mind knowing you'll be able to find what you need when you need it.

Here are six steps to help you organize your financial records:

Step 1: Gather all your important records, such as insurance policies, real estate records, tax returns, and loan information.

Step 2: Create a filing system that works for you. To file paperwork, you might use:

* Monthly folders (January to December)
* Category names (for example, pay stubs, utility bills, insurance, medical)
* Time frames (immediate attention, short-term storage, long-term storage) to file by action date
* Tax-related headings (deductions, business expenses, interest, medical) to file tax records separately
* Color-coded files to find records quickly

Step 3: Decide what to keep and where. Divide it into:

* At your fingertips
* In your wallet
* At home in a permanent file
* In a safe deposit box

Step 4: Discard unneeded items but shred papers that contain personal information.

Step 5: File all financial records in the appropriate places, such as in your file folders, short-term storage, long-term storage, safe deposit box, wallet, and so forth.

Step 6: Establish a regular schedule to review, file, toss, or shred your financial papers.

Talk to the professionals at Metrum Community Credit Union about how to organize your financial records. We can help you set up direct deposit and automated savings vehicles, offer personal and secured loans, establish a spending plan, and more.