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Old 12-06-2017, 09:58 PM   #61
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I believe the USPS can be likened to the army maintaining divisions of cavalry on horseback. It's long outlived its purpose I would support mail service of 1-2 times per week at centralized points similar to above (where on stop delivers mail for hundreds of residences).

Unfortunately, the USPS can not be run totally like a normal business since Congress controls many aspects. When USPS tried to eliminate Saturday delivery in 2013, it was rejected by Congress.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:39 PM   #62
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I guess I have to say we are mostly paper. Most of my bills are paid electronically (pull method). Small bills are paperless, but we get paper bank statements. I find it more convenient than logging into websites to review bills. We file tax returns on paper. It is just safer. It seems to me paperless is mainly a convenience for the vendor, saves them cost.

I do archive my investment records annually. And I look for opportunities to go paperless when it is convenient to me.
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Old 12-06-2017, 11:32 PM   #63
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If Orwell's "1984" Big Brother had the internet, it would be so much easier for him to re-write history.

In other words, I prefer paper.
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Old 12-06-2017, 11:34 PM   #64
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I went paperless 8-10 years ago primarily because I wanted to keep all of my records, but was running out of file cabinets. But secondarily because of my security concern of paper statements, which contain full account numbers and until recently SSNs and other sensitive information.

For those who are concerned about missing a bill because the internet is unavailable for a few days, I have to ask how many bills do you have with such short payment terms? Most give you at least 20 days. For most outages (hurricanes and fires excepted), this should not be an issue.

One thing I do regularly is to review my list of bill payments from my bankís website to make sure all bills are either pending to be paid or have just recently paid, so I know that no bills have been missed. I think my bank billpay system will email me if a set amount of time has passed and bill xyz has not been received. Again, another failsafe so bills are not missed.

Lastly, someone mentioned not saving to pdf, but merely being able to access their online account as needed for historical access. To them I say be careful. A few years ago we changed the type of our checking account to avoid bank fees. We were still with the same bank and even kept the same account numbers, just the account type changed. And with that ALL of the prior account type records disappeared. I no longer had access to them. The best the bank could do was to mail me stmt copies for just the prior few years, which I scanned and shredded. So donít assume youíll always have access.
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:33 AM   #65
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I download CC transactions into spreadsheets monthly and do not d/l the monthly PDFs. Does anyone see a problem with that?
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:42 AM   #66
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I download CC transactions into spreadsheets monthly and do not d/l the monthly PDFs. Does anyone see a problem with that?
There is a lot more info on the statements than the list of transactions. Thatís what youíre missing. Is that important to you?
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:37 AM   #67
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I download CC transactions into spreadsheets monthly and do not d/l the monthly PDFs. Does anyone see a problem with that?
Do you think you'll ever need to refer back to a statement that's either no longer available online or that belongs to a card you've closed? I could see the need if I were trying to use one of the CC perks such as a warranty extension or travel insurance.

I actually do the same as you, and I've never yet needed an old statement, so I just go ahead and take the risk and figure I'll deal with the problem when and if it happens. If I needed to call a CC company and ask for an old statement to prove a purchase or something, I do have all the transaction data, so I would know which statement I needed.
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:45 AM   #68
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We went paperless five years ago, or as paperless as possible. We do have a small box of hard copy tax records however we cull them as time passes.

There were two imperatives. During downsized we came to realize how much useless paper records we had accumulated over the years. Lots of shredding. Then some more.

When we sold, and then traveled for an extending period we made the decision to move everything possible away for hard copy/snail mail. We have continued that process ever since. Just started taking the local paper two weeks ago but plan to cancel. Too much junk news in it, too many adverts and flyers. Back to on line news providers.
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:51 AM   #69
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If I needed to call a CC company and ask for an old statement to prove a purchase or something, I do have all the transaction data, so I would know which statement I needed.
Yes they are no longer available online but they will provide them (often for a fee) so I take that risk. The alternative is a PDF blizzard. So far, I have never needed one.

I suppose it is a part of my resolution to cease being so anal. I still store Bills of Sale for warranted goods.
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:09 AM   #70
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DD has taken the next step and takes a picture of each receipt when she gets it and puts in an app on her phone were she also indicates the amount and category, etc. She then can throw out the paper receipt. She then downloads her data from the CC company into Quicken and can look up any transaction as needed in the sorted report generated by the phone app while reconciling her Quicken accounts. I would go that way if there were a phone app I could use to update the Quicken registers with receipt pictures and data directly.
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:30 AM   #71
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All this quicken and paper and PDFs and receipts. A lot of accountants here (and work). End of day all a waste of time IMHO. How much money has been saved or refunded versus all the time spent?
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:04 AM   #72
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All this quicken and paper and PDFs and receipts. A lot of accountants here (and work). End of day all a waste of time IMHO. How much money has been saved or refunded versus all the time spent?
I have been entering receipts and checks into Quicken, putting the receipts and checks into a box, and reconciling the accounts each month for around 30 years. I wouldn't feel comfortable not knowing the details of what I have spent money on. After 10 or 15 years, I toss the old receipts and recycle the box because I cannot get plastic check storage boxes anymore. Reducing the hassle of keeping the receipts and checks would cut down on some of the effort. Having a linked picture of the item would enhance the Quicken database and reporting capability.
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Old 12-07-2017, 05:16 PM   #73
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Paperless, but very little auto-pay. Stopped a service years ago but auto pay kept rolling along. Clawing back my money was a hassle. Most on-line payments are from my checking account, so it's pretty much one stop shopping.
I will let credit card companies auto pay ("pull") money to pay my bill in full each month.
For others "services" as you call them, I usually set up the auto-pay on my side "push" so I can stop it at any time.
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:44 PM   #74
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Used to keep paper receipts and account statements, but finally couldn't stand the overhead of storing 15+ years of records. in recent years have either signed up for electronic versions or scanned old records in and discarded the paper. Have automated the scanning and storing process somewhat so it's easier to organize the pdfs. Only have a small bit of old records left that I scan in when I have free time.

I have found that I needed to go back to the account statements probably about 10 times in the past few years. Not a lot, but to me it's worth having the records available and searchable (OCR). Just have to make sure to have a good backup solution.
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Old 12-08-2017, 01:36 AM   #75
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DD has taken the next step and takes a picture of each receipt when she gets it and puts in an app on her phone were she also indicates the amount and category, etc. She then can throw out the paper receipt. She then downloads her data from the CC company into Quicken and can look up any transaction as needed in the sorted report generated by the phone app while reconciling her Quicken accounts. I would go that way if there were a phone app I could use to update the Quicken registers with receipt pictures and data directly.
I don't use Quicken (I did but didn't like it). What I do is scan in receipts to a PDF. I have a ScanSnap ix500 sitting on my desk and it is very fast to do the scan. I then OCR the receipts to make them searchable. I keep a copy on my hard drive but also upload them to Evernote. Since they have been OCR'd it is very simple to find any receipt that I need to find. I do discard the paper receipts except things that might need to be returned or are very large purchases.
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Old 12-08-2017, 02:55 AM   #76
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Just to further comment: even though I am mostly a paper person, I do not feel the need to keep most bills more than a year or so. If you use quicken a lot of the details are there electronically.

Having said that, I do have every bank statement and tax return I have ever filed. And supporting records on the taxes. Also have paper or electronic records of every investment statement ever received. Overkill i admit. Would definitely destroy some of downsizing.
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Old 12-08-2017, 03:46 AM   #77
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I still prefer paper. It makes logging my expenses into my spreadsheet easier rather than having to log in to multiple websites to obtain the information. Likewise for my banking and credit card statements, though for those I also have electronic access. I don't see me changing this anytime soon.
Ditto for me - I like to have the prompt of the incoming paper mail to do a review and update my checking account register for the upcoming payment Everything I can I have on autopay, but I still want the paper statements. Only my electric company required paperless to do autopay against a CC - I see that charge on my CC''s paper statement.

There's just too many companies that overmarket via e-mail (some almost daily) that their bill would just get lost within all the other junk they send.
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Old 12-08-2017, 08:28 AM   #78
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Ditto for me - I like to have the prompt of the incoming paper mail to do a review and update my checking account register for the upcoming payment Everything I can I have on autopay, but I still want the paper statements. Only my electric company required paperless to do autopay against a CC - I see that charge on my CC''s paper statement.

There's just too many companies that overmarket via e-mail (some almost daily) that their bill would just get lost within all the other junk they send.
Interesting perspective. I do exactly the same thing but with a paperless process. I only get one e-mail a month from most accounts, or if they send junk it's pretty easy to distinguish by the subject.

When I see the e-mail about "payment due" or "statement available" I log on to the appropriate site (I do NOT click a link in any e-mail!) and download the statement or verify the payment amount.

While I'm in there, I review transactions and any other information that needs to be reviewed.

Then I update the payment in MS Money and reconcile the account if necessary. If there's an recurring payment set up I mark it paid.

The whole thing works pretty smoothly, and it forces me to be 100% aware of and involved with each account, with the minimum of effort. I wouldn't want things any more automated than this.
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Old 12-08-2017, 01:47 PM   #79
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Ditto for me - I like to have the prompt of the incoming paper mail to do a review and update my checking account register for the upcoming payment Everything I can I have on autopay, but I still want the paper statements. Only my electric company required paperless to do autopay against a CC - I see that charge on my CC''s paper statement.

There's just too many companies that overmarket via e-mail (some almost daily) that their bill would just get lost within all the other junk they send.

Often you can set a filter in your email program so that the valuable stuff goes to one place and the ads to another. I use GMAIL and I have filters that do this. You can also often unsubscribe to the marketing stuff and I do that as well to cut down on it.
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