How to organise your financial paperwork

Once you've tamed your paperwork, what's the best way to store your financial documents?

If you’ve sorted through your financial documents, congratulations, you’re halfway there when it comes to taming the paperwork and simplifying your finances.

The next step is to work out the best way to store your documents so that you can easily find your information when the need arises.

Protect yourself

Financial documents can contain sensitive personal information, and with identify theft on the rise, it’s not advisable to simply throw them in the bin or out with the recycling.

Buying a shredder or using a document disposal company will ensure your details remain safe.

Go digital

Many companies are also moving towards issuing financial documents electronically and by adopting this you can reduce the amount of paper you accumulate.

You can also turn your physical documents into electronic versions by downloading a document-scanning app such as CamScanner, Genius Scan or Scannable.

Use a system

Whether you choose to keep paper or electronic copies of your financial documents, how you store them is as important as what you keep, so having a filing system in place is essential.

Folders – whether physical or electronic – can be helpful. Label them with the timeframe the documents are to be kept for such as:

  • less than one year
  • one year
  • five years
  • keep forever

Apps can help here too, with several record-keeping apps – such as Evernote or Sign-N-Send.

Back it up

For extra security, online files should be backed up on an external hard drive that’s easily transportable or on a cloud-based solution.

And consider storing physical paperwork – especially that which is hard to replace – in a fireproof safe or offsite in a safety deposit box.

While you’re at it

Organising your documentation also presents the ideal opportunity to simplify your finances and review your financial commitments.

While you’re at it, why not take a look at your budget, check your insurance cover is adequate and shop around for a better deal on your utilities?

For help with simplifying your finances or any other financial matters, speak to your financial adviser or let us help you find an adviser and call 131 267.

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© AMP Life Limited. This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any investment decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, AMP does not accept any liability (whether under contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.