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Do you go paperless?
Old 12-05-2017, 01:32 PM   #1
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Do you go paperless?

For a long time I resisted doing this. But it seems to me it makes sense. I can access my accounts online anyways and the only thing I need is the tax information at the end of the year. So I did this where I could. To be honest, the paperwork I am getting in the mail is too much, and I needed a better way to deal with it.

So my question is did you or do you plan to select the option to go paperless? With the possible exception of tax forms , I can't see getting all this correspondence in the mail when I can access it online. Does anyone else feel the same way?
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Old 12-05-2017, 01:35 PM   #2
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I went paperless some time ago. At tax time, I upload all the electronic information to my accounting firmís secure portal. Much better than the shoebox method!
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Old 12-05-2017, 01:38 PM   #3
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For a long time I resisted doing this. But it seems to me it makes sense. I can access my accounts online anyways and the only thing I need is the tax information at the end of the year. So I did this where I could. To be honest, the paperwork I am getting in the mail is too much, and I need a better way to deal with it.

So my question is did you or do you plan to select the option to go paperless? With the possible exception of tax forms , I can't see getting all this correspondence in the mail when I can access it online. Does anyone else feel the same way?
I have been unsure of what to do about this, and right now I am going paperless for some things and not for others.

It makes sense to go paperless instead of filling my file cabinet with old bills. On the other hand, it's hard to change sometimes and I wonder about the "what if"s. But then those "what if"s never seem to happen.
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Old 12-05-2017, 01:38 PM   #4
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Yes, I switched everything to paperless a while ago and set all the bills for auto-pay (credit card where possible, pull from my checking otherwise). My main concern is if something happens to me and DH, who is not a paperless kind of guy, has to take over. My solution is to have an Excel file that's on both our computers with a list of all bills and accounts, URLs, logins, passwords and payment method. I update it whenever I make a change to anything.
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Old 12-05-2017, 01:38 PM   #5
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We are paperless for all bills/accounts that allow it. It's great. Have an organized computer structure (backed up multiple places) to store all necessary documents. For example, have a tax file and within that each year. So save 1099's and such to the right file and then after the returns are done I store the final tax return in that file too. Can easily find old tax returns that way. Have another file with PDFs of all estate planning documents. Etc.... I do not keep monthly bank statements and such though.
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Old 12-05-2017, 01:39 PM   #6
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We’re almost completely paperless.
  • Any monthly payment we can pay online, is paid online, autopay if possible. It’s a bother to write a check anymore.
  • We don’t keep paper records of tax returns, investment or bank statements or much else anymore, all saved or scanned as PDFs (saved on desktop with external HD backup).
  • We efile Fed taxes, still use paper for state only because they charge $10 (why?).
  • We’re glad when there are online manuals/guides instead of paper copies.
  • Stopped taking newspapers and magazines long ago.
The vast majority of our snail mail is junk, I wish we could stop it and we’ve tried to, but USPS probably encourages it...

YMMV
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Old 12-05-2017, 01:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnrealizedPotential View Post
For a long time I resisted doing this. But it seems to me it makes sense. I can access my accounts online anyways and the only thing I need is the tax information at the end of the year. So I did this where I could. To be honest, the paperwork I am getting in the mail is too much, and I needed a better way to deal with it.

So my question is did you or do you plan to select the option to go paperless? With the possible exception of tax forms , I can't see getting all this correspondence in the mail when I can access it online. Does anyone else feel the same way?
Yes. Bills/statements are either accessible online or I keep a pdf but no paper copy. Tax form pdf's are in a file folder on my laptop.

The only thing I keep a paper copy of is my tax return and I'm not even sure that I did that last year... printing it is a bit of a pain.

I had a sizeable folder of manuals/user guides for various things that we owned and was able to find them in pdf form on the internet and have them in a folder on my laptop... almost never look at them... the same as when I kept the paper versions. Recycled a pile of paper 8x11x10-12" as a result.

I back up everything with MozyHome.
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Old 12-05-2017, 01:52 PM   #8
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A mixture here. Mail is more private than online, and being piecemeal is not subject to large scale hacking. Financial transactions and tax records, anything that for cost basis, etc. I might need to retain for decades, I prefer on paper. I'd skip monthly paper account statements, but sometimes the options are not granular enough to support that.
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Old 12-05-2017, 01:58 PM   #9
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Many years ago, for practically everything. And with precious few exceptions, the few pieces of paper I still get in the mail are immediately scanned into pdf files and then shredded.
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Old 12-05-2017, 02:05 PM   #10
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The only monthly bill I have gone paperless is my monthly co-op maintenance bill. Barring a midyear change for something exceptional, the bill never changes from month to month during the year. I do print out the first month's (January) bill so I can see a breakout of the payment's components. I use my bank's autopay which mails a check to the bank the managing agent uses to process the payments.


As for keeping paper bills in general, I keep the current year plus the previous calendar year. So, around now I have nearly 2 years of bills. Next month, I get rid of the 2016 bills and store the 2017 bills as 2018 builds up. If I had any special correspondence regarding any bills such as disputes, I keep that.
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Old 12-05-2017, 02:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnrealizedPotential View Post
For a long time I resisted doing this. But it seems to me it makes sense. I can access my accounts online anyways and the only thing I need is the tax information at the end of the year. So I did this where I could. To be honest, the paperwork I am getting in the mail is too much, and I needed a better way to deal with it.

So my question is did you or do you plan to select the option to go paperless? With the possible exception of tax forms , I can't see getting all this correspondence in the mail when I can access it online. Does anyone else feel the same way?
Went completely paperless in 2005 so I could do everything online including pay taxes. Full-time RVing you canít have snail mail chasing you around the country. Got down to absolute minimum of mail.
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Old 12-05-2017, 02:25 PM   #12
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For the most part, we are paperless. Every so often I hand write a letter and send it in the mail. And I might pay a bill with a check.
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Old 12-05-2017, 02:42 PM   #13
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All investment accounts have been paperless for several years. All bills that allow it are auto paid and paperless. But, we still get a lot of junk mail. So we still get to go out the mail box daily.
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Old 12-05-2017, 02:43 PM   #14
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Virtually everything paperless. The ultimate goal is to be able to live anywhere, on a moments notice.

All account statements
All auto payments
When I get a paper bill, I see how I can get rid of it. I seldom get any these days.
I even get tax forms online. Very seldom to you need a copy mailed, you can print it if you have to.
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Old 12-05-2017, 03:13 PM   #15
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I continually prod my DW to go paperless, and occasionally I am successful. Except, now she looks at the electronic versions of the various statements and bills......then prints them out to store in our bulging file cabinet!
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Old 12-05-2017, 03:39 PM   #16
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After slowly changing over to paperless I am changing some categories back to paper in a hard copy binder. Other than property taxes all bills are paperless. However year end investment statements, bank statements, and income taxes are kept along with valuable documents in a safe box. Included is a master list and directions. In the event I'm not immortal this will give my heirs a roadmap without surfing the web for clues.
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:45 PM   #17
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I was thinking about it until earlier this year when our ISP went down for five days. When we have a utility that is maintained as a utility should be, I'll reconsider.

Since that condition is unlikely to be met within my lifetime the answer is a firm and unequivocal "NO!"
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Do you go paperless?
Old 12-05-2017, 04:51 PM   #18
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Do you go paperless?

Iím mostly paperless. Which reminds me. I need to make sure others have access in case something happens to me.
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Old 12-05-2017, 05:12 PM   #19
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Paperless all the way except as some have mentioned, tax documents. To each his/her own, but the best is way is whichever is quickest, easiest, safest and most accessible to get the job done. If your ISP is unreliable, remember if you have a smart phone you can do mobile banking, investing, bill pay etc... That is provided your connection is secure.
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Old 12-05-2017, 05:14 PM   #20
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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.
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