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Some questions as I try to get my financial house in order...

How long should I hold onto the following items:
cancelled checks
bank statements
credit card statements
utility bills
pay stubs

Also, any ideas on the best way to track spending to math it up to my bank statements. I'm got a pretty firm grasp on what checks are going out.... but what about an easy way to track ATM and debit card usage.

Dear Mad Hatter,

Our Editorial staff must have been reading your mind:

There is another great resource for tax questions. It is our Investment Tax Guide, available in FoolMart. Although tax season is over, 95% of the information in the guide will be useful in the future. I can get you (or anyone reading this message) a big discount on a 2001 Tax Guide if you would want it around to answer these types of questions. I use mine all the time; it is sometimes so handy to have a book on the shelf you can refer to.

As a special promotion for customers who write in, we're currently offering it for just $10 - or 33% off the regular price. The promotional discount can be found only through the following link. It's our way of saying thanks for being such a loyal Fool. :)

As for the ATM and debit card usage, if you are using a software such as Microsoft Money, Quicken (I use Quicken) you might be able to download these transactions direct to your bank register. It's a very painless, and mindless way to keep track of things.

Fool on!

Karen Kosoy
TMF Karen
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