How long should I keep my bank statements and records?
No matter how hard I try to stay organized, files just keep piling up. One of the simplest ways to keep it from getting out of hand is not keeping files forever.
The IRS has a great list of how long you should keep documents and files on hand. This list is fairly extensive and somewhat vague. When looking at things like bank statements, it says to keep files for “1 years to permanent”. How then do you determine how long to actually keep your files.
The best rules of thumb that I have heard is 7-10 years across the board for anything financial related. Keep your tax records for 7-10 and your bank statements for that same period.
Here is the IRS info for keeping tax records:
|1||Owe additional tax and
(2), (3), and (4) do not
apply to you
|2||Do not report income that
you should and it is more
than 25% of the gross
income shown on your
|3||File a fraudulent return||No limit|
|4||Do not file a return||No limit|
|5||File a claim for credit or
refund after you filed
|The later of 3 years or 2 years after tax was paid.|
|6||File a claim for a loss from
Electronic Bank Statement Record Keeping
Another great method of staying organized is switching to electronic record keeping. Investing in a good scanner will allow you to quickly convert a long paper trail into a simple digital folder.
The Downside to Electronic Record Keeping
When you start having digital copies of your files, like taxes and bank records, it is best to keep the hard copy for a period of time. This period of time will allow you to establish a good system of making back up copies of all your electronic / digital files and make sure that the scanner is working properly.
On site and Off site backups
If you start using digital storage, then you need to make sure that you do back ups A LOT! Weekly backups are good for most people, while some may need daily. This can be automated with on either your internal hard-drive or an external hard-drive. You should also make sure to have a CD or DVD back up copy that you keep separate from your computer. If you have a safe, that is both theft and fire resistant, place your backup in the safe each week.
Naturally this is a good practice for all of your files, not just financial. Your personal photos, letters and other records should be backed up regularly.
Low Fixed Interest Credit Cards
How to find Low Fixed Interest Credit Cards
The top credit card providers are Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover but there are other as well. They offer cards through banks and companies that creatively offer incentives. Searching a website like creditcards.com will give you an overview of the different features available and what the best rates are. This will give you some names of credit card companies that you might be able to work with. Some of the credit card companies to investigate are: Chase, CitiBank, CapitalOne and Discover. Those will likely have many offers for you to select from and you can find one with rates that match your expectations.
The Best Low Fixed Interest Credit Cards
When you look for low fixed interest credit cards you may give up some of the other features. You might have to choose between
1. Low Interest
2. Cash Back
3. Miles/Trip bonuses
4. Annual Fee
5. Custom Printing or extra cards
Be aware of:
*Changing Rates – Some credit cars companies build into their plans that after a few months or maybe the first year your rates will jump substantially.
*Hidden Fees – If you are not aware of annual fees, over limit fees etc this low interest option may cost you more in the long run.
Low Fixed Interest Credit Cards are available in all areas and you should take your time in selecting the best one for your financial needs.
15 Year Fixed Refinance Mortgage Rates
Cunning home owners are the ones who are looking for a 15 Year Fixed Refinance Mortgage Rates. If you know that a slightly higher monthly payment than a 30 year fixed mortgage rate will result in your mortgage being paid off in half the time, then you are one of the cunning home owners. The rates are also much better than 30 year mortgage loans. Banks feel much better when they can get their money back faster. They can make more money by lending it out again and again and are therefore compelled to give you better rates than other longer loans.
Why will 15 Year Fixed Refinance Mortgage Rates not double my payment?
That’s really simple and basic math and you may be way ahead of us on this. The interest that you pay because of a lower payment on a 30 year home loan mortgage rate is so significant that shortening the length of your loan will not double your payment. As soon as you make the very first payment, the extra that you paid towards the loan principle will stop incurring interest that otherwise would have been adding up for the next 29 years and 11 months.
What is I can not afford the 15 Year Fixed Refinance Mortgage Rates?
There are other ways to work on saving money on your home loans. If you are not fortunate enough to qualify for the lower 15 Year Fixed Refinance Mortgage Rates you can still save money on your interest payments. If you start making even slightly higher payments than the required minimum payments you will save the interest on your loans for years to come.