Thursday, April 12, 2007

Idea #1 for Not Becoming a Needy Nitwit: Know Your Finances

In yesterday's post I started a discussion about the new book The Feminine Mistake. If you haven't read that post, this and subsequent posts won't make much sense. So start there and then come back here where, over the next several days, I'm going to give you six ideas for how not to become a needy nitwit.

Idea #1: Know Your Finances
A good question to ask is, "If he died today, would I know what our financial picture looks like and how we got there?"

I can say yes to that question, not because I take care of the finances, in fact, my husband does a much, much better job of handling our finances than me, but because we sat down and created a document that contains everything I'd ever want to know about where our money is invested, what is in savings, how we spend, what kind of debt we have, information on his life insurance policy, etc. Everything!

A copy of that document is updated a couple times a year and kept in a fire proof safe we have in the house. The document was created through Quicken, so there is also a copy on the computer.

So, in the event that Jim kicks the bucket, I can just pull out this document and know exactly what my financial picture looks like and how I would access all the accounts. He has even mapped out a possible plan and what questions I should ask for when, if ever, I should sell the house.

Even though I don't handle our finances on a regular basis, I do try to stay 'in the know' with what's going on with them. This is just being smart, ladies. Honestly, I'd rather pluck my eyes out with my tweezers then stare at all the pie charts and graphs and formulas and numbers and numbers and numbers that my husband gives me whenever I want to be 'in the know'. But to avoid becoming a needy nitwit, you have to know your finances.

See you tomorrow with idea #2.


TCC said...

I actually do handle the finances and all that stuff so I am the one who knows where everything is and keeps my man in "the know".

We have documents in the fire proof safe too but it is a good idea to have a cumulative list of everything - this would help him should something happen to me.

CampHillGirl said...

Hmm, interesting! I have a vague notion of our finances and where to find stuff. My husband and I alternate who's doing the financial stuff, and he's been doing it for about the last six months, but we don't have a safe!! And we just got an additional life insurance policy last year when a guy he works with died in an skiing accident.