Big life changes can be really exciting, whether you’re signing for a brand new car, accepting your dream job offer or picking up the keys to a new home.

But whilst these huge parts of growing up and moving onto bigger and better things can be a thrilling experience, they are stressful. There are lots of forms to fill out, information to provide and important documents to dig out of the junk drawer.

By making sure that you have the right important documents at the ready, you’ll be able to take away some of the stress so you can truly enjoy life’s best moments.

Of course, keeping important documents filled with personal information can leave you vulnerable, as it’s not like you can encrypt a birth certificate. So, check out MoneyBright’s guide on the important documents you should have at the ready, and the best way to keep them safe and organised…

How Long Should You Keep Important Documents?

Some of these documents should be kept updated so you can provide the latest information for any situation.

This depends on the type of document and the details it contains, so to make it extra easy for you, we’ve broken it down based on housing and finances. Any personal documentation should be kept for as long as possible, including medical records.

Housing

Documents such as utility bills do not have to be kept, however, we highly recommend keeping them around for a good few years. This is because some situations will require multiple forms of proof of address for as long as up to five years ago.

Things such as tenancy agreements, insurance policies and ownership papers should be kept for as long as they’re relevant. However, hold onto at least one thing from each address for the same reason as the utility bills above. 

Financial

In the UK, the HMRC office has suggested that people hold onto payslips for at least two years after the end of the tax year they were issued. However, they do highlight that keeping all payslips and P60s is advised. We also recommend that you hold onto any insurance policies, ownership deeds and credit/debit records for as long as possible.

Keeping Your Important Documents Safe In Your Home

Having all of these important documents and key personal information hanging around your home can leave you vulnerable.

Important documents such as financial documents, tax returns, birth certificates and bank statements are some of the last things you’d want to end up in the wrong hands. As a result, file folders and a home safe are absolutely essential.

MoneyBright recommends storing important documents in an organised way and in chronological order – a stark contrast to the usual scattered way.

Having a waterproof storage packet is a great start, protecting your documents from any leaks or flooding. Along with this, MoneyBright highly recommends investing in a fireproof safe to keep robbers and flames at bay.

Want to be prepared for any situation?

Digital storage has always been a great way to keep documents on hand, but encryption errors, hackers and human error mean that having all of these documents stored safely in your is more important than ever. 

Now that you’ve got that under control, learn more about how to be an expert in any financial situation with MoneyBright by checking out our deals, tips and tricks. 

 

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