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Annual file cleanout

December 31st, 2005 at 11:37 am

Somehow I got into the habit of clearing out our files right at the end of the year. It started when I used to be off early on New Year's Eve, and DH was still at work. I wanted something to keep me occupied til he got home.

Except, it looks like I didn't do it last year--and what a lot of junk in there! At least I found a recipe I'd been looking for (in the file for my civil service pension.)

It's kind of interesting to see how things in my life have changed in the past year or two, and it's also helpful for planning financial tasks for next year. I hadn't thought about it for awhile, but I really do need to get some stuff into our safe deposit box, and I keep forgetting to request new credit reports for both of us. Lots of stuff going on my to-do list.

I tossed several year's worth of natural gas bills, but put the info I wanted all onto one piece of ledger paper. Now I can see that it's normal to build up to owing them $500 in February; I'm on budget billing and it all evens out by summer. But if next February it shows we owe $800, I'll know to expect a $300 hit when we're "rebalanced" in September.

This project also points up how the internet keeps changing how I do things. Normally I'd keep the current year's worth of statements from our regular (non-IRA) brokerage account until our 1099's come, in case the numbers don't look right. I learned that from my mother, and it does make sense. But now I have online access to the account, and could look things up online if necessary. So although it feels strange to toss them, I guess there's no reason to keep them anymore.

Will be doing lots of shredding this afternoon--if we were going to a party tonight, we could have taken it for confetti! (We will be home with a bottle of champagne and Dick Clark. Wink )

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