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Record Keeping

I have always found it invaluable to file all receipts, paperwork etc. and also to keep household appliance handbooks and warranty cards in a separate file but I must admit I have never been as organised as "Siren" of the USA.

Having had three burglaries in the space of six weeks sometime back, I only wish I had been!

It is important that you create three informational files:-

1:  Homeowners manual:

Take a binder and top load sheet protectors.  When you make repairs or improvements to your home make a note of it.  For example, you purchase a new appliance -

a: Keep warranty and any literature that came with it in a sheet protector.

b: Place the Technical Service Dept. number with these papers.

c: Copy of the sales receipt stapled to a sheet of paper that has the store name, manufacturer of the appliance, Model and Serial numbers.

This way you will know exactly when the article was purchased, the length of the warranty and any other information you would need to seek service on the item.  If there should be a need to write a letter of complaint all necessary information is literally at your finger tips.

2:  Ownership manual:

Same materials needed except that you will have to photograph every room, stick of furniture, jewellery etc. in your home.

Place the original sales receipt, the date purchased, and a photo of each item in it's own sleeve.

If you have antiques, make sure that you have a professional appraisers quote in the file along with the photo.

Store this in a safe place, like a safe deposit box at your local bank.  This will give documented proof that these items were in your home at the time of fire, theft etc.

3:  Medical file for each member of the family:

a:  All doctors names and phone numbers.

b:  Health conditions.

c:  Medications

d:  Insurance papers

e:  Etc.

Siren goes on to say that she does not know if the UK has a tax system similar to the American IRS but it makes tax time a little easier if we keep this file updated and keep receipts for all health related actions taken. i.e. medications, payments to the doctor's office, mileage to the office, eye glasses and examinations and all dental related expenses.

We don't have such a tax system but often require the information mentioned for other reasons, especially when taking out medical insurance or making claims against this insurance.

It is also a very good idea to keep a record of  the date of any inoculations and immunisations (both children and adults) as well has childhood illnesses etc.  We all think we will remember these things but it is amazing how memory fades and how time flies.

Kathy Green has kindly sent in the following comments with regard to keeping records:-

One must be especially careful to back up all computer files/records,  put them on a disk, and file those disks along with all other important records! ***   So many people here lost everything in the wildfires of a couple of years' ago, and were left with nothing at all except the clothing they were wearing. 

*** It also makes a sense to store disks etc., at a different location if at all possible.


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