Simplified 365: The Office - Day 15: Paper Filing (Part 2: Putting Away)

Simplified 365: The Office - Day 15: Paper Filing (Part 2: Putting Away)

Today’s pretty self-explanatory.  Put your papers into the files you created yesterday.  Fight the urge to create numerous sub-folders.  We want simple and easy.  Set that timer for 20 minutes and go for it!  

If you come across papers you’re not sure of, set them to the side.  Generally if it’s not a “hell yes, I need this”, it’s a no.  Time to let it go. If it’s still difficult to let it go, ask yourself what’s the worst that can happen.  And if the worst happens, what are the ongoing ramifications of not having that paper.  If it’s that you’ll have to pay taxes on it during an audit, but it’s only a $200 expense, the ramifications are only $60 of lost money, plus or minus.  If it’s something related to your house’s basis, the costs could be higher.  Try to think through, logically, why you’re keeping it. If it’s just a fear of “I might need it someday”, actually follow that train of thought all the way through to someday.  Find out the truth.  Ask your tax professional. Chances are you don’t need it.  

If it’s not a financially related question, keep asking yourself what’s the worst that could happen if you don’t keep the paper? Short of being stuck after losing your passport in a foreign country and not having a paper copy of your birth certificate as evidence of US citizenship, there aren’t a whole lot of awful things that could happen.  

Well, that’s it…get to filing!

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