Why 45 minutes can save your partner days of time and stress
You’re Not Alone! None of Us Can Remember our Passwords
A few months back I was working on a project with my boyfriend and something embarrassing happened. I was trying to show him an email in Microsoft Outlook and I couldn’t remember the password — and then I tried again, and again, and a fourth time! Then you know what happened next. Locked out! He just looked at me and shook his head. You see this is not the first time he’s witnessed my frenetic madness of trying variations of every one of my 5 different passwords.
The next day I recounted this story to a friend at work and he recommended Dashlane, a password manager. It’s an application that you download and which uses a master password to remember all your other passwords. And boy did I start to feel a little vindicated. When Dashlane assessed my computer and online presence, it found that I had 190 accounts! No wonder I was struggling. And turns out the average user has 90 online accounts. I’m sure you know the scene. “Wait, was that Snoopy with a zero or an O, was the S capitalized on this one or not?” You get the picture.
Very few couples have a record of key financial information.
The struggle became all the more real when I was home for Thanksgiving and watched my mother struggle to make a call and a text using my dad’s cell phone. Later that day, I asked her about their bank accounts, insurance information, etc. You see I’m really focused on getting things in order right now, especially finances, so that if there is a death everyone will be okay. You might think this is a little strange, but there’s a back story here.
You see my sister passed away unexpectedly about a year ago and she was only 33. We didn’t have anything in order and it made me think about other families and how very few of us like to think of death, much less prepare for it. After talking with numerous other couples, I heard the same story. Very few, if any, had any of this information documented. And many were parents.
Take 45 minutes to record all your key accounts and passwords
As the famous financial guru, Dave Ramsey says most people can be categorized as either a “nerd” or a “free spirit” when it comes to money. Nerds love to budget and track money, whereas free spirits take a more laissez-faire approach. Both have their advantages and drawbacks, but when it comes to planning for death, even the most hardcore nerds don’t have one centralized place which documents everything for their free-spirited partner. Hence, I created a worksheet to help my parents, which I hope can also help couples organize their passwords, account information, and financials in one place. I call it very simple the Important Account & Passwords Cheat Sheet.
Take action: Next weekend take 45 minutes to sit down with your partner and fill out the Important Accounts & Passwords Cheat Sheet. Save it to your computer and put a printed copy in with all your other important papers.
This exercise won’t be incredibly fun, but it is incredibly important. For me, I view it as an “act of service” for my partner and family. By having everything documented and organized, I can give my family no greater gift if something happens to me. For those “nerds” out there, have fun! For those “free spirits” grab a beer, find a fun place to do it, but just do it:)