hard copy?

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This is dumb question but what does it mean to have Hard Copy to show you paid your bills?

-- donna olsen (jdolsen@aol.com), October 21, 1998


I think they mean cancelled checks and reciepts.

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), October 21, 1998.

No honest question is dumb. Get photocopies or duplicates of every important document (deeds, birth certificates, financial statements, a copy of your social security contributions (SSA will send you one if you ask). Store these duplicates somewhere OTHER than your main residence (Aunt Sadie's farm house in a secure fireproof box).

-- R. D..Herring (drherr@erols.com), October 21, 1998.

Receipts will only show what you've bought. Okay, so keep those, at least for the Oct, Nov, and Dec 1999 months.

We keep a 26 section open manila folder at home, with each section marked by company: Sears, Home Depot/Lowes, MasterCard, Visa, gas, electric, water, and all the gasoline company's. So each time you charge, or use the Atm, the receipt goes in the slot.

This will give you proof of what you bought.

The other half of the problem is

(1) proving what you previously owed: so keep a hard copy of each prior bill, and write onit what you paid, what check #, and when.

(2) proving what you paid in Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb. When (if) a check is returned, keep it. Otherwise, keep in your checkbook program or register a list of what was sent.

(Unfortunately, we can't really guarantee (unlike now) that mail delivery will work, or that the receiver company will post your payment correctly to your bill, then will bill you correctly.) If the bank doesn't return your checks, or if the mail is lost, it will hard to "prove" you paid. Help yourself out either making a copy a the checks you mail, (expensive) or by using a check that makes it own carbon copy.

My check program prints a little stub wach time a check is wrtten. If so, keep those.

A hard copy is more permanent in times of computer failure than a digital record. So write down what you do in an organized manner. Then you'll have a fighting chance of recovery.

(3) adding the two together

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (cook.r@csaatl.com), October 21, 1998.

"Hard copy" is a computer term for paper documents. Save monthly statement that the company has sent you, these indicate the amount you paid previously -- along with other paper documents letters etc. the companys that question your payments will probably believe their own previous months' statement if they believe anything. good luck (alot of us are lurking here -- every day.

-- alurker (nobody@nowhere.com), October 22, 1998.

BTW, I'm not planning to keep my papers in the ol' safe deposit box after around September '99 (remember the bank in India?). A fire- proof box in a place you can be sure to get to is a good idea. I'm planning to encase groups of associated documents in ziploc bags, too, plus toss in a desicant pack or two.

Not everyone has an Auntie with a farm nearby; any other ideas for them's what ain't? My mum is fond of the bag in the toilet tank hidey hole, but we may need the water storage space!

How about buried in the bottom of the pet food container? We bought some Rubbermaid trash cans to store big bags of cat food out in the garage. Maybe put the box in first, then the food?

-- Arewyn (nordic@northnet.net), October 22, 1998.

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