Grown-up activity workbook

Making a go-bag

This is a short pdf guide to making a go-bag – a backpack that you can grab and go in an emergency. It includes a detailed list of things to bring and a step-by-step guide to putting it together. I think it will take about ten or twelve hours, spread out over a couple weeks.

Go-bags are the topic du jour around here, so I am hopping on the bandwagon. As with the finance planner, I am trying to copy the style of the great children’s activity craft books, so that this onerous, grown-up activity is as simple and enjoyable as making a kite.

I think my go-bag is somewhere in the middle of the road in terms of what I have read elsewhere. This version assumes that you don’t have a car, so I’ve tried to keep it pretty lightweight. However, it does include four liters of water because everybody says that water is the number one thing to keep in reserve. For my own kit, I just filled up old plastic bottles with tap water.

In my version of the go-bag, you finish up by writing a little checklist on a piece of cardboard. There’s always a few things that you can’t put in the go-bag – like your mobile phone – and so this gives you the peace of mind that you won’t forget any of these last-minute items.

Grown-up activity workbook

Organizing personal finances

There are a ton of things I’m supposed to be doing that I’m not doing – organizing personal finances, cleaning the closets, sorting out the photos.

Everything changes this year. This is the year where I finally get everything organized at last, at last.

I am calling this project “grown-up activity workbook”. The idea is to approach all these dreaded tasks in a super non-threatening way. It will be a bunch of worksheets in the style of children’s arts-and-crafts projects – those projects from Blue Peter or Anorak magazine where you make a dream-catcher out of string and crayon and paper plates. You make a flower out of an old egg carton and a stick.

Credit EvgeniT, Pixabay.

This will be the same thing except for grown-up activities, like assessing your pension options and transferring all your pension holdings from previous workplaces into one consolidated account. I’ll start with super simple instructions. Later I might add in those goofy touches you get in craft books – flower art in the margins and connect-the-dot sidebars.

The first worksheet is about organizing and reviewing your bank statements. In this worksheet, you will save last year’s bank statements on a USB and then write down your balances, income sources and maybe a few selected costs. By the end, you’ll have a nice tidy USB with all your bank statements and an idea of your net wealth. It should take about three hours.

Perhaps, in the process, you can come up with some creative way to improve your finances. Maybe you can move things around or reduce some cost.

I started doing this activity a while back so that I could file my FBAR but I think it’s useful for everybody anyways. I posted something similar last year but I think this one is simpler and better.