This week on the podcast, I talk about making a Financial Organizing Binder. Full disclosure… I haven't made my own yet! But I will this summer.
On last week's podcast, I spoke about my Medical Organizing Binder, and next week I'll be telling you about my Household Reference Binder (and this one's a game-changer!). But this week, I'm sharing my Financial Organizing Binder with you.
Having a Financial Organizing Binder is not just about getting rid of the majority of stuff that you have in your financial filing cabinet (and to get rid of that filing cabinet, too!) More importantly, it’s about getting all of your relevant financial information in one place which is super-useful if you are Power of Attorney or handling an estate.
We’re not all great at organizing our finances. Maybe it’s because we don't want to know how much debt we have. It’s definitely an “I'll do it later” task, and it's confusing. For many of us, we go through those files and we don't know what it means, or how we would retrieve it. So we do nothing… until someone passes away and you're in charge of settling their estate.
The way I've designed the Financial Organizing Binder is for you to have one per household. It will work if you're single; it will work if you're married. Because if you're married, often your money is intertwined.
It starts with the worksheet that tells you why you want to make it, who will keep it, who's going to use it, etc.
Did you know we have Certified Binder Workshop Organizers?! Whenever you buy one of the Organize 365 binders, you'll get the information delivered to you digitally AND you'll also get information on how to find a Certified Binder Workshop Organizer. They each specialize in different binders and will have online workshops to sign up for.
Let me explain the four sections of the binder:
This is a really detailed family information sheet and you'll have one of these for every family member.
*Personal Documents and Contacts List
A whole bunch of important pieces of paper and information we need to have and where they're kept. Your birth certificate? Funeral arrangements? Your computer screen name and password? All of that information is on a sheet. Plus, all your advisers and people who would need to help someone if they took over your finances... or just for yourself.
*Insurance Policy Information and Safe Deposit Inventory
This is all things that, if something happened to me, Greg needs to know. And if something happened to Greg, I'd need to know it. Right now, half of the information is in each of our brains, but together we can get this binder done. Hmm, maybe this could be one of my date night activities!
Current money, if you're making this for yourself, is obviously where you're going to keep your current money. But when I was caring for my father, current money was where I was when I was the Power of Attorney. And after my father passed away, current money was where I tracked everything as I closed out all the accounts. This is your address book for everybody who helps you with money, all in one place. It includes:
*Debt and Loan Worksheet
*Credit Card Inventory and Merchant Cards
*Bill Paid Record
*Gift Card Rewards and Information
Gift card rewards was an eye opener when I was handling my dad’s estate. We were able to get a whole bunch of gift cards from my dad's credit cards after he had passed away. And the same for travel rewards information. All of his airline travel miles were able to be transferred to me and my sister.
I'm personally excited about this sheet because I'm starting to do a lot of travelling. I am keeping track of the airline and hotel rewards so we can get some free family trips.
This is all the different retirement benefits that you have. We have sections for your and sections for your spouse in here. Social security information, pension plans, veteran benefits, etc. all go in this section.
Walk around your house, take pictures of everything, upload those photos into Dropbox for a home inventory... and keep your receipts! I update this personally about every five years. This is great for insurance purposes.
When you get this binder, it includes all these printable sheets and pockets so you can divide up the sections.
My Financial Organizing Binder really will help you with organizing all of your finances once and for all!