I’ve found a financial theme in many of the relationships that I’ve heard, read, or been told about. It is that one person usually controls the majority of the finances. I know in my marriage this happens to be the case. I do the majority of the financial stuff because my husband would rather not.
I remember reading a book about a woman whose husband died unexpectedly. She had absolutely no idea which accounts they had, what bills were due or how to pay them, how much money they had saved (if any), etc. She had no credit built up and was, to be frank, financially hopeless.
This caused an already painful time for her to be even more difficult. During the grief of her loss, she was forced to try to learn about finances. She had to figure out on her own what to do, who to pay, how to log into accounts online, etc.
Further, her lack of information was costing her money because she was getting hit with a lot of late fees. Eventually, she had collectors calling her demanding the bills and fees be paid. It was very sad.
So today’s Challenge #13 depends on who you are… If you manage the majority of the finances, the challenge is for you to fill out the following information in case-heaven forbid-anything were to happen to you.
If you don’t manage the majority of the finances, the challenge is to have your spouse fill out the following information for you.
If you both manage the finances and know all of the accounts, bills, online passwords, etc. take the day off.
On a piece of paper (NOT online) write down:
- all of your banks and bank account numbers and how to log in,
- how and when to pay the bills (mortgage, utilities, cell, internet,),
- credit cards with their online log in, url, user name, pin, and passwords
- Life insurance information (number, company name, details, etc.)
- Investments (where to find them, amount, etc.)
- Loans (who they are with, how to pay, and when)
- Auto, home and other insurance (number, company name, when the bill is due, etc.)
- Where any keys to lockboxes, hidden valuables, safe combinations, etc. are kept.
Then review it with your spouse briefly or in-depth. Decide on a safe place to hide it that you both will remember and put it there. Try to put it where only you or your spouse can find it.
For all of the Lord of the Rings fans out there remember to… ‘keep it secret, keep it safe’….
(I couldn’t resist).