For our Food Storage Do-Over this week we are focusing on financial preps. Like all aspects of food storage and preparedness you can’t just do this once and be done with it forever. You have to “rotate” so to speak. In other words, you need to update.
For a complete list of things we have thought about updating see the week 2 do-over post here.
Today I’m sharing one of the things I have been working on this week. This isn’t a one-size fits all kind of project. It’s personal, some of it private, and custom to each families situation. Some of these ideas may help you. You may have additional suggestions or experience. I’m just sharing a portion of what I have been working on today.
THE BIG WHAT IF?
While I did work on updating my emergency binder, wills, passwords etc… my main project was to come up with a list and set of instructions on how to pay the bills for my husband should a big “What if?” happen to me.
Now before you go all “gender role” critical on me… my husband is great. We are great. We have a great marriage. Just because I do the physical act of paying the bills doesn’t mean anything. I had to get that out there because I’ve seen people get critical on this subject matter. In our house we divide and conquer and I manage paying the bills.
Before going on vacation, having a baby, or putting our tax paperwork together I always start worrying. What if I died? That’s hard to even type. It’s a thing no one likes thinking about or talking about. However, if I did die there would be a whole lot of C-H-A-O-S around here and just the thought of that makes me want to be better about “preparing” for that.
So this week I made a list of ALL the bills we pay, how we pay them, and when to expect them etc. I used my credit card statements and bank statements for the last year to check myself in case I forgot something. Since I was doing my taxes anyways I had all this stuff pulled out. It was the only silver lining that came from doing my taxes this year.
I thought you all might like to see a template of what I did. So I made a more generic file to give you that you can modify and make your own. If you use excel you can type it all in. If you don’t have excel there is a PDF version with an example on page one and a blank one on page 2 you can download and use.
Here are some disclaimers:
- I erased all my personal information and put some pretend stuff in this spreadsheet so you could see examples.
- It’s in excel so you can modify it to fit your needs.
- When I made mine, I chose not to put the passwords directly on the saved file. I printed it out and hand wrote them in. As I update this each year I will have a great start and just check the passwords, add new bills, remove old bills.
- I’ll store a couple copies in different safe, undisclosed locations. Well I’ll disclose those locations to my husband and another family member.
- If you have any suggestions on things to add feel free to leave a comment or email us. I didn’t attempt to guess every single bill everyone would ever pay so just add line items to fit your needs.
- This is strictly bill payment. In my emergency binder I have retirement account info, bank account info, a will, and a whole slew of other information.
When I told my husband this was all ready for him he got a panicked look on his face. He said “Can’t you just make me a video explaining this all and I’ll just watch it if I have to?”. Yes it’s hard to do this folks. But you’ll feel better after you do!
-Jodi Weiss Schroeder