Monthly Archives: March 2010

Just in case

I’m not one to dwell on the negative, but after creating an emergency kit for my family it got me thinking about the other tasks that ought to get on my to-do list (perhaps yours too!) 

  • Will & Testament – It’s important to make sure to plan for your kids, just in case. If your estate isn’t complicated, you can use basic software and fill in the blanks (really no harder than online taxes). You need two people to sign as witnesses who aren’t listed in your will, so we signed over coffee with good friends. We now need to update ours to include our Girly. It’s not something you want to think about, but it feels good to have it taken care of. (Now I need to get my parents to do the same!)
  • Life insurance – Here’s where you can get cheap life insurance quotes.
  • Keep an eye on your credit – Identity theft happens quicker and more often than you’d think, and the harm can be lasting. Protect yourself and your family: shred, then recycle.

I’m realistic and know that it takes an effort for a busy family to pay attention to these long-term “what ifs” of life, but hopefully if we pay them some head now we won’t have to deal with something more challenging in the future. 

What other big-picture housekeeping have you done for your family?

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Sustainable Family Finances
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Family Emergency Kit

Typically I wouldn’t put myself in the category of “survivalist,” and I was pretty sure that the whole Y2K scare was a marketing ploy to sell stuff. Yet, as a Mama I’ve grown into the idea of needing to prepare my family and recently I’ve been a little obsessed with the task of gathering together a 72-hour emergency kit.



Just like how each family is unique, your kit is likely to be different than others, but to help getting you thinking about what you might want to include. We did put everything in a new rolling trash can, but I didn’t label it (found photo) Heres’ my list:

  • Emergency Plan – including important phone numbers and planned reunion locations, copies of insurance info and driver’s liscence, family photos for identification purposes and passports
  • Emergency device – multipurpose crank radio, flashlight, compass and several features I’m pretty sure I’ll never use for $25
  • Cash – in small denominations (I put a $100+ to start)
  • Food & Water – lots of canned goods, we’ll add more water as we get containers
  • Old backpacking stove with fuel, backpacking water filter
  • Clothes and sturdy shoes – no fashion statements here just lots of fleece; we’ll strip if it’s summer (just kidding)
  • Solar powered flashlight – bought 2 at Costco, one for the car (small car kit too)
  • First aide kit & toiletries – including some TP, big diapers, baby wipes
  • Misc – Dust masks, work gloves, pocket knife, tape, scissors, papers (reused!), pens, local map
  • Extras – dog food, old sleeping bags and towels, playing cards, candy, bottle of wine

Many of the items on our list we already had on hand, but the extra expenses (including food) were around $100. Totally worth the investment.


I actually started the task before the tragic earthquake in Haiti struck, and as I wrapped up the last of the supplies I heard news of the devastation in Chile. My heart goes out to everyone impacted. 


While I hope my family never needs these emergency supplies, I imagine that I will be relieved that I listened to that voice inside telling me prepare for the worst and plan for the best.


  • Are you prepared for a natural disaster? 10 ways you could be
  • Mormons reall know how to prepare: Prepared LDS Family

  • Here are a few more good references on this topic:


    Does your family have enough supplies to last 72 hours? 
    What else does it include?

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    Sustainable Family Finances
    The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.


      Manage Your Money Challenge

      I’m excited to share with you a family finance challenge for March called the Manage Your Money Challenge that is being done by the Enemy of Debt blog.


      I don’t know about you, but I’ve struggled over the years trying to make sure all our bills are paid at the right time. Life is easier now that so many of our bills are paid automatically, but keeping track of when everything is paid still boggles my mind a bit.


      The challenge promotes at a calendar-based budgeting system called pocketsmith, and offers a free trial of the program. After a month I’ll let you know what I think. If you check it out, let us know what your thoughts are.


      Do have a good system for tracking when your bills are paid? 
      Are you going to give pocketsmith a try?


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      Sustainable Family Finances 
      The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.