Well, actually I’m just going to talk a little bit about death — or rather, making things a little easier on those you leave behind. I know it’s something people don’t want to talk about or even think about, but it’s important. My mom died a few years ago and she set an amazing financial example. She was extremely organized in all aspects of her life, including finances. This made an emotionally stressful time at least a tiny bit easier. I was a wreck to begin with; I can’t imagine what a wreck I’d have been if she hadn’t had her things in order.

So, that is a long way of urging you to organizes your finances so that anyone would be able to figure out your affairs. Keep a master list somewhere (safe!) of all of your account names, numbers, mailing addresses, balances, payment due dates and passwords. This includes your monthly & annual bills, as well as bank, investment & retirement account information, especially if you have accounts that you only get annual statements for. Be sure you have beneficiaries designated for those accounts whenever possible. Talk to the trusted people that may end up taking care of your estate about where that list is and how to access it if necessary.

There’s more to talk about regarding this, of course, but you can make a good start by taking care of those basic things right now.