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Paper or Digital – Organizing Your Finances in a Way That Works

Paper or Digital? Everything is going digital. Tapes, CDs, disks and paper are being replaced with bits and bytes of data often stored in a virtual cloud. Depending on your background, the digital world may be a mysterious and uncomfortable place. Let’s take an objective look at the pros and cons of going digital versus using paper to organize your personal finances. Paper Statements: Tried and True or Time to Go? Paper is the default method for managing and organizing your finances. Online banking in the United States started in the 1980s, but electronic statements and digital financial management did not become mainstream until more than a decade later when home internet use became commonplace. Thanks to its long history, paper statements still remain popular with many banking customers today. According to a poll from CreditCards.com, 54 percent of adults still get paper bank or credit card statements by mail.…

How to Be a Record-Keeping Rock Star

Keeping track of old tax returns and sorting through receipts may sound about as exciting as organizing your sock drawer. There’s no immediate payoff to most financial record keeping, so it’s easy to put it off until another day. Or another year. Plus, record keeping is a chore that can feel even more confusing and time-consuming now that so much information is stored electronically. Raise the Stakes Imagine a new reality TV show where you can win big cash and prizes if you can produce financial and personal documents.   The prize patrol has knocked at your door without warning. They want to see seven years of tax returns, the receipts documenting deductions on those returns, investment statements for your 401(k) or IRA for the past three years, receipts for the computer and new fridge you bought last year, your last three paystubs and bank statements for the past 12…