There’s more to being financially resilient than simply saving enough money for a rainy day. A
part of being financially responsible is maintaining good financial records – and making sure
people who need access to your records know where to find them if something happens to you.
Your Favorite Orange County Bookkeeper is here with some ideas for improving your financial
Communicating Your Goals
Too many families spend little to no time talking about money and this habit lowers the financial
literacy of everyone in the household. Do you know what goals each of your family members
have around money?
Talking about money – more than what bill is due when – will strengthen everyone’s financial
resilience in your family. You may want to set family goals as well as encourage everyone to set
individual financial goals. This may or may not include preparing a budget and agreeing on
plans, including a savings plan, a debt reduction plan, and others.
Do you use an accounting system or Excel worksheets to store your financial records? Do your
loved ones know how to find these items if something happens to you? Is it clear where they are
located on your computer?
Now that so many things are digitized, your financial records might be in a hundred different
places on your computer. Planning for a smooth financial future for your loved ones means
keeping files organized in a way that make sense. Organize with folders by the type of document
and by year. It’s also helpful to name the files something searchable, so others may find it by a
In addition, make a list of instructions on how to access all of your financial-related digital
assets. Your list might include:
1. URL, login, and password to your accounting systems.
2. List of bank, brokerage, and retirement accounts and their login information.
3. List of credit card accounts and their login information.
4. List of government-related accounts, such as social security and irs.gov, and their login
5. List of regular monthly bills, such as utility, credit cards, and rent, and their login
6. Details of regular monthly income received.
7. Where to find financial files on your computer, such as tax returns, bank statements, and
real estate closing documents, just to mention a few, and how to access them.
You may not want to share your passwords with certain family members. If this is the case, you
can still record your instructions and store them away for safekeeping, providing access
If your computer crashes, will you be able to recover your financial files? Periodic backups to an
external hard drive or cloud service will prevent a loss of records.
Be Prepared for Potential Audits
You hope it will never happen, but if it does, are you prepared for an audit with the IRS or a state
agency? Do you know what records to keep and for how many years? According to the IRS
website, it’s best to keep records for at least 3 to 6 years.
Having good documentation, sharing financial knowledge and goals, and making a backup plan
will boost your financial confidence. You will be more prepared than most households when it
comes to financial safety.
How financially resilient do you feel? Taking into consideration the above ideas will help you
stay one step ahead. Need help with your financial resilience? Give Your Favorite Orange
County Bookkeeper a call at (949) 355-4521 to get help with your numbers!