Here's a scary thought. Your spouse suddenly has a stroke or a serious traffic accident and is in a coma. Among a thousand other things to think about, he or she is the one who pays the bills. What do you do?
Pick up the checkbook and start writing checks? That's so old school!
"Stage a financial fire drill and let your spouse pay the bills for a month."
Could You Manage the Family Finances on Your Own?
Chances are your bills are delivered electronically via email. Do you know your spouse's email password?
- Your spouse may use your bank website to pay bills. Do you know your bank account username, password and security question answers?
- Some bills may be paid automatically by bank draft or bank bill pay or credit card. Do you know which ones?
- It is no longer realistic to pick up the checkbook and simply start watching the mail.
Stage a financial fire drill and let your spouse pay the bills for a month. Or a week, if that is all you can handle. If nothing else, you should earn more appreciation for a time consuming, thankless job!
Use a Password Management Program
This is where password management programs that we have written about previously can be extraordinarily helpful. At the very least, you should have a list of bank accounts, credit cards, websites and access instructions and the right people should know where to find your list.
But don't stop there. What about your parents? For those of you who are designated as their power of attorney, this is even more important! The same process applies.
Don't wait to smell the smoke. Prepare yourself for an eye-opening experience!