“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Benjamin Franklin (1735)
Download Your Copy of the Brewing Wisdom Financial Binder Here
If you’re reading this, I would hazard a guess as to say that your house probably isn’t burning down, you’re not being rushed to the hospital with a life-threatening emergency or even thinking about a life-changing event happening anytime soon. Even as I sit here now writing this, in my late-20s, my heart is telling my brain “don’t worry about that, just enjoy your evening!” However, NOW IS THE TIME to worry about it!
As a husband and provider for my family, it’s my responsibility to do everything in my power to take care of my family… whether I’m here or not. That is the entire motivation behind this post. There have been many quiet nights lying in bed where I have wondered what would happen if I wasn’t here tomorrow. Our home is safe and warm, there’s food in the refrigerator and the vehicles have been maintained and are safe to drive. What really bothered me… and what has kept me up thinking too much is how the finances would be handled start to finish. Steph and I work together on our finances, and we’re completely open and honest about all aspects of it. The problem is that there is a lot of auto-pay online and many accounts that don’t get logged into but once a year. We forget about them, and then they surprise us with a bill or if something goes wrong. It’s all of these little “gotchas” that need to be recorded so no matter who is taking care of the finances, they’re prepared to succeed.
So, to alleviate this worry in my mind, we put together the first working draft of our Financial Binder! We’re providing it for free to anyone who wants a copy (just download it at the link below). The goal of this binder is such that anyone who picks it up and reads it cover to cover will be able to understand 90% or more of your family’s finances. Obviously, we did not include everything but we have made every effort to include the aspects of life that matter the most. Even though the hardest of times, we believe that God is still faithful and he helps us grow and move on. It’s our desire to see no family have to go through the pain of not being able to pick up where another has left off.
So, let’s start with the basics… this notebook isn’t going to be something you will want to let many people read. This notebook is for daily/weekly/monthly use for you and emergency use to anyone besides you and your spouse! However, you will want to fill this out as if it’s for someone else to use since there’s a great possibility it will be one day.
The next thing to mention is that I would highly suggest that you include a personal letter or letters in the beginning of this binder. It’s not mentioned anywhere in the document that you can download, as it’s entirely optional. We believe though that this should be a very personal letter declaring the intention and some explanation of what will be found in this binder to whoever you think will be reading this. The dynamic nature of human relationships is such that no two are the same. A “form” letter of introduction is cold and will not be cherished. The letter should also be encouraging and loving as if these are words that someone will read from you after they can no longer communicate with you. I’m not talking about a love letter here, but more of a reassurance to whoever has to go through this book that everything will be ok. Odds are good that if you’re preparing this book while you have time, things will be ok when it is time to break it out.
Finally, one of the most important things to do with this notebook is to talk to the individuals that would need to use this binder and have them review it with you after you’re done. We’re not trying to sound morbid, but have them go through and see if there are any questions that you need to address in the book. The knowledge that is common and readily available in your mind may not easily be determined by them.
After completing this binder for our family, I feel (at least as the husband in the home) so much better. I no longer have to worry about the day-to-day financials because Steph and I both agree on and understand everything in our binder. There is enough information in the binder that no matter what happens, it will not take a lot of effort and frustration to keep going.
Cover Page for Sample Binder
Pages 2 & 3 of the sample Brewing Wisdom Financial Binder
We would like to thank the Avery Products Corporation for donating the binder to Brewing Wisdom that we now use as our family’s Financial Binder. This binder can be seen in the pictures above!
(Please feel free to email or comment regarding any suggested updates, additions, removals, clarifications, etc needed in the Brewing Wisdom Financial Binder. Thanks!)