Tuesday, January 27, 2009

financial basics for the new year

it's another new year and time to reflect on a make adjustments to our personal finances. one thing that doesn't directly affect your pocket book is to take care of the basics that every household should have in place.

Make sure you have an up-to-date will and estate plan.
hubs and me did our wills on legalzoom.com for less than $100 and in about 15 minutes on the laptop while drinking coffee. you can also get your financial stuff all together and see an attorney, but i prefer the jammies and coffee/internet way. either way, you need to get the final wills notarized and placed in a secure place. many banks offer free boxes with your savings account, so check there first. we keep a copy in our firesafe at home and at the bank.
{side note...our firesafe is locked and in the garage by the garage door for quick access in an emergency}

Check your life insurance and retirement plan beneficiaries
ok, i say this one because i randomly looked over my work policy one year and noticed that after my name change, the insurance company had changed my beneficiary inadvertantly to my ex-husband. not a good thing. it was a fairly easy fix, but you can imagine the problem....yikes...let's not go there!

life insurance does not mean you will die tomorrow
this is something that SAHM's often don't think they need, but honestly, if you are gone, someone has to keep the money coming in and take care of the house...which means you are worth a lot of money. when we were deciding on how much insurance to take out for me after i "retired" from engineering, we estimated childcare costs per year per child for a rough number. honestly, your insurance agent probably has a spreadsheet to do that estimate for you, so talk to them!
listen, you have small kids or other dependents, you need to ensure you have plenty of insurance to take care of them if you are gone. and don't forget disability insurance too. If you are seriously injured or heaven forbid, die, you would want your family to be taken care of. Not doing so is honestly, selfish. Few things, if anything, can do more to screw up your family's finances - and lives.

don't forget to scroll on down to see other great ideas for your home!!
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a thorn among roses!


  1. Great tips for everyone...even if you already have these things in place you should review and make changes as needed.

  2. Great tips. Can you check out the will site - the link doesn't seem to be working. Thanks!

  3. Thanks so much for fixing the link - I'm going to check that out!

  4. Great tips. Max out your investments right now. You'll get it all back

  5. Thanks for the reminder. The life insurance - check, but the will is something I keep forgetting. Other than telling my brother I want him to raise my boys. You know, so my MIL doesn't get them.


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