How to create a financial survival plan

Document what bills you pay

If you pay your bills online, you might never receive a hard copy of your statement. Payment reminders arrive in your email. And only you hold the user names and passwords for online account access.

Does this scenario sound familiar?

Without this information, your partner might never know about a debt until it became seriously delinquent. Insurance policies could get canceled; credit card accounts could rack up major late fees and interest.

A simple list of each account, what it’s for, when the bill comes due, how much it’s usually for and how you pay it will solve this problem. You’ll also need to create a list of all your user names and passwords for bills you pay online. Wherever possible, make your partner a joint account holder so he or she will have an easier time gaining access, making changes and talking to customer service.