Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Going Paperless

So, i know this year i haven't taken the time to blog about any of my new year's resolutions. maybe i'll TRY to get to that before the end of the month, it will still kind of be the new year, right?

BUT, one of my new year's resolutions (and resolutions since getting married) is to cut down on the amount of paper in our household. as my husband recently found out i was in the save the earth club in high school... we cleaned up trash on the jersey shore (the situation and snooki weren't there yet, so we unfortunately couldn't clean them up yet. hehehe...) and now i'm going to clean up our home finances in an eco-friendly way. if it were up to him, we would either keep OR trash every piece of paper that came our way. i know that sounds like a contradiction in itself but for example, he has EVERY pay stub from every job he's had in the last 20 years... yet he'll trash anything healthcare related, doctors bills, mortgage payment stubs, etc so his methods are kind of wacky. i didn't even know when we were supposed to turn in his car from the lease because every month he was throwing out the statement before i could see it and then i couldn't call because he had nothing with the account # on it!

ANYWAY. back to my original point. besides having switched over to paperless statements for most of our bills, i've decided to try to scan everything i get in the mail that needs saving and file it electronically. so far, this has been more of a challenge than anticipated...

how do you organize all the categories of stuff you're filing? by year, by name? i decided to start out doing it on a monthly basis... i took all the bills i had for the month of january and made a folder titled january and dumped everything in. this was 2011's method and while i was just starting to go paperless, it was still hard to keep track of if i was saving everything monthly. looking back, apparently, i was not.

so i decided to categorize by bill type (i.e. JCPL [power company], AT&T, Cablevision, etc.) which so far, this is working out OK. I download the statement off the internet. then once it gets paid, i download the payment confirmation, so i will have 2 pdfs per month... all good? sureeee... so far this is working out ok, for the TWO weeks i've been at it. LOL

then i decided the rubbermaids i saved full of old bills should be scanned and categorized too... so i started going to thru them, and MAN, i have bills back to like 2002! way way longer than you need to save them for. but hey, IN CASE i ever get audited, i'm covering my arse. hehe... i decided some of the old ones could be shredded/stamped (see below). i mean, the IRS doesn't REALLY care who i was calling back in 2002, do they? nor would my hubby like to see the plethora of boys on speed dial back then, right? i kid, i kid...

don't forget to guard your identity!
then i saw this commercial on tv and almost bought this:
NeatReceipts is a mobile scanner and digital filing system that helps you manage all of your paperwork on the computer. NeatReceipts includes NeatWorks software that identifies and extracts the important information from receipts, business cards and documents and automatically organizes it for you. All scanned documents can be searched by keyword so you can find exactly what you need.
i held off because not only does my printer have a scanner in it, but my printer at work is one that can do a multipage scan by just feeding it through the top, so i figured i'd save my $80. but it looked pretty neat.... no pun intended. i liked the probable scam of "automatically organizes" but why do i have a feeling its not as seamless as it sounds?

so this undertaking is pretty large. and i haven't gotten too far... so i figured i'd take ideas/suggestions from any of you who have them? how do you keep track of your monthly bills? do you think its important to save receipts/old bills/the kitchen sink like i do? so far the only thing i'm worried about is having enough room on my hard drive to store all the information i'm scanning.


  1. No joke, my first thought was....where is she going to store all this? External hard drive? LOL I have that issue cause my old comp is full to the max! :(

    Good idea though on keeping everything paperless. I have stupid receipts and stuff that I keep throwing into a photo box for each year. But THAT is not fun to hang onto. And I'm not really sure what I need to keep and what I have to keep.

    But I really need to start paying two other student loans online, because I'm not getting the statement on time. Also, my roommate had apparently hoarded a stack of my mail from November! Yeah, I called my mom last week and told her thanks for the Thxgiving card! LOL But it's easier for me to pay things that way.

    good luck chica!

  2. how come you don't have all of your bills sent electronically instead of in the mail so it saves you the step of scanning and shredding - and saves the earth, miss save the earth club?