How long to keep utility bills?


i am confused about how long to keep utility bills - cell phone, landline, electricity

also would like to know about the credit card statements


about every 6 months to a year for most bills. something that may have a problem arise I keep longer (credit cards, car payments etc.)

Also, do not just throw them away. This day and age I cannot stress that enough. Go to wal-mart, spend the $25 and get a paper shredder (one that can shred credit cards and CD’s is perfect). if in doubt, shred it.


also in this day and age you can just look at your bill online and stop the paper billing if you want. I do that for my cell phone bill and utility bill since the paper bill is not really necessary.


That depends on you.

If you are well, like me, you keep them in a file foler or accordian folder for the year. After you’ve done your tax return, you put them in the basement for 3 years- up high, just in case the basement floods, placing the folder in a Rubbermaid bucket with a lid. Then, and only after three years, do you shred them.


I have been paying such bills for 25 years. The only time that I needed to go back and gather any information from them was when I was selling a house and the prospective buyers wanted to know what the average utility bill ran. I keep decent records in my checkbook. So, I just compiled a list from my checkbook register. That was enough to suit them. So, to answer the question, I keep them long enough to get them paid.


I would agree with the other posts that 6 months to a year. I keep our bills for a year and then I have a nice fire at the end of a year.

Of course after I start the fire, I watch out for the IRS agents to show up…it only happened once! :eek:

Just kidding!


We don’t keep ours anymore at all.

Actually, we’ve requested to STOP receiving most of our “paper” statements.
We have electronic copies of everything sent to email… so no wasted paper or postage… and we can just log onto the utility website and view our bills online.


thanks everyone… i guess i will keep the utility bills for a year and then burn them…

what about credit card statements? is that the same thing?


Unless you have a specific statement that you want to save (i.e. you had a big purchase) or an amount that you are disputing, I would use the same criteria…one year. And again, I would burn or shred those as well.


Like others said (and something I do myself)

Look into paying your bills online.
Its fast.
never a late payment
saves money as no postage
saves money as no need to write a check
if your more knowlegeable about software like outlook, you can set up reminders so you can pay on time.
They keep records of your past bills that you can view anytime.
and you dont have to worry about how long to keep the bills before shredding :slight_smile:


i do pay the bills online… whichever i can…

although i get the paper bills… i used to get the bank statements online… but recently when i checked my accounts… i noticed that the statements were not gettig generated right… although my accounts showed the right money…

so i have started getting them by paper again…


Why would anyone want to keep them? Can someone explain that to me? :o

I pay ours and toss them, though most are electronically done via internet…but all others get paid and tossed…


As far as utility bills go…

Most people wouldn’t want to keep them. But sometimes you need to have a recent one to demonstrate neighborhood residency. Schools and some such places evidently consider utility bills to be a better indication of where you live than they do driver’s licenses.

Of course some people who work from home might need utility bills for income tax purposes.


In case there is a clerical error, and your payment is not recorded correctly.

It’s also a really good idea to write down the check number or transaction number on the bill, along with the date that you paid it, so that if an error does occur, you can correct it very quickly, simply by referring them to your bank for the proof that you did, in fact, pay the bill. By giving the bank the cheque number or the transaction number, they can quickly track it down, and the error can be corrected right away.

I keep my bills long enough to know that no errors have occurred, and then I shred them and use them for kitty litter. :smiley:


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