12 years of bank statements - I couldn't believe it!

@coffeebreak (17824)
United States
July 25, 2008 8:27pm CST
I just went through 12 years - yes, 12 years of bank statements that my husband had been keeping. (And we have moved 5 times in the last 12 years!) He never opened them, all are still in the sealed envelope, and just in a box. I didn't know he was keeping them and never occured to me he wasn't even opening them. So I shredded 12 years of 12 statements per year and most often at least 3 pages, usually more, per statement plus the first 10 years all had copies of the canceled checks. I did it by hand, just tore until my hands hurt then stopped for awhile. Took me a few times of filling a box with the shreds, but finally finished. and that was only up until the last 2 years. I kept 2007 and 2006 - not sure why, just incase I guess. So how long do you keep your bank statements?
2 people like this
7 responses
@Elixiress (3893)
28 Jul 08
To do that I would have used my paper shredder as I do with other papers that have personal details on them. I have about 1 years worth of bank statements. I know I keep a few in case I have to send them off to get money paid into my bank, such as my EMA from the Government. I am not sure how long I will keep them for. I don't really want to throw them out just in case I need them for some reason. I do open them though, I tend not to read them as I keep up to date with my finances through my online banking. I just keep them in a folder along with my payslips.
1 person likes this
@coffeebreak (17824)
• United States
31 Jul 08
My personal account I keep for 1 year and then toss. Nothing important there and since you dont get checks back anymore and you can get what you do need online, why keep them any longer? I have a shredder but was afraid 12 years of statements with about 5 or more pages per statement would wear it out!
@Elixiress (3893)
31 Jul 08
Ours is powered by mains electricity rather than battery power, so it is not going to run out.
@skinnychick (6937)
• United States
31 Jul 08
I open and read it to make sure everything is accurate and then shred it. I never save them. I don't see a need for them at least for me once I have looked at them.
1 person likes this
@coffeebreak (17824)
• United States
31 Jul 08
Since you can get everything online now, not to much a point. Ikeep them as my life is "if it can happen it will and at the worst time". Sure as I dump them, IRS will want something those could have cured. Or I'll need verification of something a check trail would have solved! Thing is, he had his own personal checking account and just opened it a few months ago. He now needs the last 3 statments and can't find them! He can keep 12 years but not the last 3 months? He had to go to the bank and have them printed out for him!!! No way could they have been in the box I shredded as it was in a storage unit we have that I am trying to clean out so we dont' have to pay the rent on it anymore!
• United States
28 Jul 08
That is alot of years worth of bank statement and some wern't even opend? lol wow. I open mine and will save the first 2 years worth but tha's about it. When a new year starts I'll go through them and toss the ones I don't need anymore. Did you ever ask your husband why he saved them for so long? did he know that you were shredding them? that is just to funny to hold onto something like that for that long. Good that you got it organized for him or there could have been alot more in there a couple more years worth.
1 person likes this
@coffeebreak (17824)
• United States
28 Jul 08
I asked him and he just said he just put them in the drawer. Didn't need to look at them and as long as there was room in the drawer he kept putting them in the drawer. L-A-Z-Y is the key word here! But then he knows I will clean up after him so he doesn't bother doing anything different!
@lvaldean (1613)
• United States
26 Jul 08
I don't get bank statements. The bank retains check copies for me on both personal and business accounts. I get my statements electronically and have for the past 5 years. I scanned all my "must" retain files for the IRS 2 years ago to get rid of paper.
1 person likes this
@coffeebreak (17824)
• United States
26 Jul 08
Yeah, they stopped sending copies of the checks about probably 5 years ago. But prior we still got them. And "scan and dump" sounds like a good way to go.
• United States
26 Jul 08
I generally keep mine one to two years, if even that. I do all my banking online now, but I still like a paper statement. However, I keep a record on Quicken and can print it out after it's reconciled. Sometimes, too, I just get too busy to open all the statements and shred the old ones. That might have been what happened with your husband, he just put them aside and meant to get to them, but never did. He probably thought he would need them.
@coffeebreak (17824)
• United States
26 Jul 08
I am not a "finances on computer" person. I have to have that statement in my hand. I have personal accounts that I keep just about a year and then shredd simply cause you can get alla that stuff online now from most banks so if I do need it I can always get it that way, but just need that paper in my hand for awhile! But no, my husband just didn't bother doing anything with it cause he didn't bother doing anything with it. L-A-Z-Y comes to mind!
@snowy22315 (29858)
• United States
26 Jul 08
I toss most of them after I've looked at them. I have enough junk around here I dont need stuff like that. I guess if I'm ever audited it might cause a problem, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I dont even know anyone who has been audited.
1 person likes this
@coffeebreak (17824)
• United States
26 Jul 08
Yeah, auditing is a reason. I never have been but throwing them out as they come in, I am sure I would have been audited! Just cause I didnt have them! I also just tore up 20 years of tax returns too - before this last move! I am one of those "keep it just in case...." kind of people!
• Canada
26 Jul 08
Wow!!! I wouldn't have done that. I would have gone and bought a shredder for that. I already own one, and if I was in that position I would have been happy to have one. I keep mine for a couple of years, not much longer.
1 person likes this
@coffeebreak (17824)
• United States
26 Jul 08
I do have a shredder but shredding 12 years of 12 months of 10 pages per month - I figured my shredded would have worn out! I didn't want our names, acct numbers and all just laying in the trash somewhere - so I tore them into strips going different ways! Sounds rather decisive, but I did it while watching soaps and needed something to keep me awake anyway!