The Freedom Filer End of Year Switch

So here it is the beginning of the year and I am ready to trade out my odd year (2011) Freedom Filer files for my even year files.  Many of my clients use Freedom Filer and I typically receive questions at this time of year about how to actually go about this process, so I thought I’d walk you through the process with me. (If you’re curious about what Freedom Filer is, check out my previous post.)

First, I gathered the 12 months of even year monthly files from my file box in the basement.  Starting with January, I flipped through each of the receipts in each file.  The vast majority, receipts such as those from the grocery store, a meal out or any utility bills went directly into the shredder.  Receipts from Target, Costco and other stores were quickly scanned to see if they contained significant purchases that we still owned and might want proof of purchase for.  Personal Bank Statements were segregated and placed in a file dated 2010, as were accumulated medical receipts for the year.  Other items that were kept in the purge:

  • A bill from the lawnmower repair service that tunes up our mower each winter, that served as a reminder to schedule service again for this winter and which I shredded upon completing that task.
  • A receipt for my son’s drum set, a receipt for some lacrosse equipment, a receipt for a necklace that my husband gave me and receipts for various electronics, all of which I moved into permanent Significant Purchase files.
  • Two receipts for home repairs that I moved into my Permanent Home Maintenance file.

After 45 minutes, the even year monthly files were empty and ready for 2012.   I had shredded approximately 90% of the file contents and had one file of 2010 documents that I filed away with my 2010 tax archives.

I hope your Freedom Filer transition goes smoothly.  Any questions, please let me know and Happy New Year.


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