Money, Matter, and More Musings has written a great pollwith 20 questions everyone should ask themselves regarding personal finance. I feel like I’m pretty much on top of our finances, but I was not able to answer yes to every question. There were five questions that made me realize that I still have work to do:
Do I have a backup of all important financial documents? Not really. And everything I have is in a cheap metal filing cabinet beside my desk. I think that we should probably get a good quality fire proof safe and put a lot of stuff in that instead. The documents concerning our mortgage, our life insurance certificates, copies of our parents’ wills, our credit card and financial account information. I’m putting this on the to do list.
Have I gone over our credit reports in the last three months? Nope – it’s been more like 9 months. Oops.
Have I seen my credit score in the last three months? Not even close. The last time we looked at our actual credit scores was in the fall of 2002 when we were buying our house. I’m not too concerned with this however, since we have no plans to take out a loan, and I think that as long as our credit reports are good, the score must follow, right? Maybe I’m being complacent about this… but I don’t want to pay to get our credit scores.
Do we have at least three months worth of expenses in an emergency fund? Not yet. We’re putting $100/month into our ING account, and we have just over $1000 in there right now. We’re also saving in our HSA to have medical emergencies covered. But realistically we need at least $9000 in savings to have three months worth of expenses in reserve. That will take a while at $100/month, but we’re plugging away at it.
Does my spouse know all the details of our financial info if something were to happen to me? Sort of. He’s aware of what expenses we have and what accounts we have (mortgage, Ameritrade, HSA, ING, etc) but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know all the nitty gritty. He’d have to sift through that little metal filing cabinet to find everything, and some of it is pretty cryptic. I enjoy handling the money, and he lets me do it. When I was working in a big corporation 60+ hrs/week and my husband was just starting his self-employment journey (about 6 years ago) he handled all the money and bills. But it’s more complicated now – there are more assets (back then we had a checking account and our 401ks and that was about it). So I think that we should sit down for a meeting about the details. Maybe we could get a safe and then work together to fill it, making sure that each of us knows exactly what’s going in.
MMM’s postwas an eye-opener. If you haven’t taken the quiz yet, you should head over there and see what areas you need to work on – and if you can answer yes to every question, congratulations!!!