The information in this post is provided by our partner Accel Financial Counseling. Accel’s counseling services and educational programs are available free to all Consumers members.
It’s never too late to get your financial records organized. Here are some tips to help you sort through all your documents.
Keep a home file in a fire-safe box to maximize the efficiency of your financial records. Items should include:
Information on credit cards, debit cards, checking accounts, savings accounts, and copies of contracts
Copies of insurance policies
Information on home mortgages, land, and other property
Information on motor vehicles and driver’s licenses
Copies of birth, marriage, death, divorce, and citizenship papers
Copy of will, last instructions, and safe deposit box keys
Tax records for the last six years
Records of pension plans, education, health records, and employment
Current household inventory. List everything you own, how much it cost, and approximately how old it is. Add pictures of major items in each room and keep receipts.
Copies of all warranties and guarantees
Keep a safe deposit box for financial records that are difficult, costly, or impossible to replace. Items should include:
Birth, death, marriage, divorce, adoption, and citizenship papers
Deeds to property
Titles to motor vehicles
Stock and bond certificates
U.S. savings bonds
Military discharge and veteran papers
Patents and copyrights
Important disks or CDs
Negatives or the actual pictures of your home inventory
Getting rid of financial clutter from your life will help to keep your financial path clear. Don’t forget to revisit your filing system from time to time.
As a member of Consumers Credit Union, you can take advantage of the Accel program, a free financial education and counseling program. Accel counselors are available Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. (EST), Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. To use this new service, simply call 1-877-33ACCEL (332-2235) or visit them on the web at www.accelservices.org.