Don’t worry everyone, Cindy is fine she was just insanely busy this week. Instead our good friend Moni has stepped in with a guest post.
I was recently asked what my Bus Factor was. If you are like me and not up to speed with the business world’s buzz words, you would have needed to be told that Bus Factor is a measure for just how indispencible you are to your organisation/business/family and just how much disruption and disarray it would cause if you were to be hit by a bus.
So what is my Bus Factor rating? Married with three teenagers, there are four other people capable of cooking a meal even if it was basic, two other people with full drivers licenses and my older daughter is a naturally organised person. Sounds good on the surface.
But add into the equation that I work for my husband’s small business and that he is out of his depth with internet banking, he doesn’t know any of our passwords and has actively avoided going to the bank to get a PIN number on his debit card for four years now. He a vague knowledge of the office work end of our business and he wouldn’t begin to know where our insurance policies are kept or or how to contact our broker. He wouldn’t know who our Wills and Power of Attorney’s are filed with, quite possibly he doesn’t even remember we have a Power of Attorney filed. Don’t get me wrong, he is an intelligent guy but he has been very happy to leave such matters to me. Delighted even.
So it would be safe to say that my Bus Factor to my family would be quite high. Oh I’m sure they’d eventually muddle their way through, no one would starve and with a fair bit of stress and help from the right people they would get on top of matters. But a lot of working knowledge walks around with me in my head and to suddenly not have access to that would certainly send them into a bit of a tailspin and that is the last thing my loved ones would need to deal with in a crisis.
So what does this have to do with 365 Less Things? This post isn’t about having an accummulation of stuff to be sorted and distributed, this is about pre-empting a “hit by a bus” situation and about what I call “loose-end” clutter. All those messy financial, household and personal matters that we keep meaning to do something about and in the event of ending up incapacitated or worse, would be left to our loves ones to unravel.
So today I’m going to start a notebook called my “Bus Book” to hold all the important information, contact details, account numbers, payment arrangements and resources that can be called on in a crisis. I’m going list which bills arrive by e-mail and to what address and I am going note which bank statements I have opted for a ‘no paper statement’ option. Naturally I won’t include passwords to internet banking but I will include our banker’s contact details.
I’m also going to make a list of loose ends that need tying up. I am going to look at how many bank accounts we have as a joint couple, individuals and business. I am going to book my hubby an appointment with our banker to learn internet banking under his own login and I am going to document how I run our paperless office system.
I asked some friends who work in the legal, accounting and medical fields what loose ends they encounter in ‘hit by the bus’ situations:
- Not wearing a medical alert bracelet.
- Not updating organ donor status (either way) and keeping releatives aware.
- Not staying up to date with tax obligations
- Not reviewing insurance policies annually
- Not reviewing credit history.
- Not removing guarantorship from bank/finance once loan completed (some countries it does not happen automatically and takes up to 7 years from the request to do so).
- Not updating wills after major life changes.
- Not updating Power of Attorneys after major life changes.
- Not updating guardianship arrangements for dependants.
Since I started looking for loose-end clutter in my life, I discovered that when my daughter legally changed her middle name earlier this year, we informed everyone except our lawyer (re: wills), her bank account and our medical insurers.
I realised that a finance company we no longer use had not released their interest on the securities register on the item in question.
I realised by doing a free credit report on myself that a person who I have a ‘cross identity’ with (exact same birthdays and the same first, second and last names) has returned to using her maiden name and some of her information has been filed mistakedly against my details.
So what is your bus factor? And what loose end clutter do you need to tie up?
Today’s Mini Mission
Declutter something used as an adornment.
Today’s Declutter Item
Just when you thought you had seen the last of the Snoopy items this one pops out of the woodwork. Well actually it was housing some art equipment which my son decluttered an artist friend last week. He no longer needed not wanted this lunchbox so it is off to the thrift shop today.
Eco Tip for the Day
Avoid using plastic straws. Even tiny little bits of plastic like that add up to lots of waste. The less demand we put on supply the less of these insidious little things add to the pollution of our planet.
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast