How do you destroy financial records?

United States
June 20, 2008 3:49pm CST
I am shredding records from my mother's estate that are more than seven years old. I had a stack of canceled checks, medical bills, receipts, medicare statements, tax records, you name it. Anything that had her financial information, bank numbers, social security numbers on it went into the cross-cut shredder. It has taken me all afternoon, because the shredder keeps overheating! And I'm thinking that I haven't done my own old records for a while. I probably should go through them. What about you? How many years worth of tax papers, bank statements, canceled checks, etc., have you accumulated? and how do you plan to get rid of them?
6 responses
@minnie_98214 (10575)
• United States
20 Jun 08
I will burn mine. I love a great fire and well you aint gonna get my info off those papers when im done lol.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Jun 08
Burn, Baby, Burn! Do you burn them in your fireplace inside or do you have an incinerator outside? We aren't allowed to have outside fires in the city, so I'd have to use the fireplace. And right now it is a little warm for a fire!
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Jun 08
We do it outside. A nice bonfire late at night is so fun. And another bonus I just love the smell and it keeps the dang mosquitos away too.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Jun 08
I do love bonfires, too. Can't do them here, though. About once a year we go to a friends' house for a cookout and have a bonfire. We roast marshmallows over the fire!
@spalladino (17929)
• United States
20 Jun 08
We do the same thing...shred...shred...shred. I also shred those offers for prequalified credit cards and anything that has anyone's birthdate on it. You can't be too careful with your personal information.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Jun 08
Hadn't thought about the birth date, but it is a good idea. Thanks.
• United States
27 Jun 08
I also shred everything that has my personal information. People are crazy these days...they will go through your trash. I rather spend a few mins shreding my information then to take the risk of someone taking my idenity.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Jun 08
Not so long ago it was only the homeless poor who went through trash for something they could sell or use. Now we have to worry about "white collar" criminals looking for information to use against us. What a world.
• United States
10 Jul 08
Let it cool down..keep shredding. And then, if you have a yard, make a bonfire out back and toss in what you shredded. That should do it!
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Jul 08
Outdoor burning is banned here in the city. It is possible to burn in the fireplace but it really dirties the chimney to burn paper there. I'm satisfied with cross-cut shredding.
• United States
22 Jun 08
I also have years of stuff I need to shred but I keep putting if off and then I forget about it for another year or so. BTW thanks for reminding me now it will stick in my mind for day or so.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Jun 08
You are welcome.
@queenofarms (1665)
• United States
21 Jun 08
I have all my tax papers from 1984. I keep my cancelled checks and statements for 2 years then I shredd,rip up or burn them. Anything with my personel info I destroy one one these ways. My husband and I just cleaned out our file cabinet about a month ago.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Jun 08
You can't be audited by the IRS any farther back than seven years, so you don't need to keep them all for longer than that. But you might want to keep your canceled checks for seven years in case you DO get audited! I really need to go through my own old records and clean them out one of these days soon.
@Aurone (4758)
• United States
21 Jun 08
Its my understanding that you have to keep five years worth of papers. But after that I will shred them and throw them out.
1 person likes this