Personal finance organizers are plentiful, but how do you know they work?
Last summer, Mark Gavagan mailed me a copy of his It's All Right Here life and affairs organizer. This three-ring binder is big and unwieldy, but is amazingly comprehensive. It not only offers pages for credit card and saving account information, but also includes space to record family medical history, business information, and more. There are even several pages of vinyl or plastic sleeves where you can store things like keys!
The It's All Right Here life and affairs organizer provides 300 pages for recording your information (too many, if you ask me) and, like Suze Orman's Ultimate Protection Portfolio, it's a bit spendy. It's certainly worth ordering if you're looking for peace of mind, but there is another option.
After our discussion in February about how to organize your account information, GRS-reader Erik Dewey e-mailed me to say that he has created his own life-affairs organizer, and he's willing to share it with others.
Related >> How to Organize Your Account Information
Dewey calls his 5,65kb PDF The Big Book of Everything, and he's made it available for free download at his site. Dewey writes:
[The Big Book of Everything] is a notebook filled with all of the information anyone could possibly need to know about you. The idea is that in our lives we have countless things that we are involved in. On rare occasions, other people need this information and no one knows how to get it. That's where the Big Book comes in. By filling this out and keeping it current, you can simplify the effort others have to take on your behalf.
This is basically a less-polished version of Gavagan's life and affairs organizer. The Big Book of Everything includes sections for:
- Passwords and logins
- Bank accounts
- Insurance policies
- Tax records
- Debt obligations
- and more…
At just 37 pages, The Big Book of Everything is much more compact than the It's All Right Here affairs organizer. And did I mention it's free?
This is a great example of a Get Rich Slowly reader taking the time to create a tool to fill a need his in own life — and then being willing to share that solution with others. Thanks, Erik!
Update: By popular request, Erik has created editable versions of the Big Book in both Excel and PDF format. Awesome!
Author: J.D. Roth
In 2006, J.D. founded Get Rich Slowly to document his quest to get out of debt. Over time, he learned how to save and how to invest. Today, he's managed to reach early retirement! He wants to help you master your money — and your life. No scams. No gimmicks. Just smart money advice to help you reach your goals.