Warranties and User Manuals
- Save active warranties; equally important is letting go of expired ones.
- Although the 100-page tomes covering operating details of shiny new gadgets are not financial documents, I've included them here because they go hand-in-hand with warranties and contribute to so much clutter. If you find yourself staring at a user manual for the cell phone you lost in a cab last month, trash it right now! And if you're comfortable Web surfing, get rid of all user manuals: Manufacturers have downloadable versions on their Web sites, and plenty of third-party sites amalgamate manuals from different companies (try UsersManualGuide.com and ManualNGuide.com).
Keep It or Not?
Get Rid Of...
- Some stuff should never, ever be tossed: birth certificate, marriage license, divorce decree, will, trust, estate planning documents, and death certificates. Make sure your family can access these important records if you die.
- I'd also suggest keeping a permanent file of all loans you have paid off (mortgage, car, school, and so on) because if you later find a mistake with how the data was reported to credit bureaus—or if an identity thief complicates your life—having those docs handy will save you much grief.
ATM slips more than a month old. Toss them after checking them against your monthly statement.
Be Sure to Save...
Receipts for big-ticket purchases that might be included in an insurance claim. And photograph the possessions; the more documentation you have, the easier the claims process will be.
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