A Fresh New Year With Help

This is the time when we start thinking about choices for the new year. Perhaps taking care of your household finances is one of them. I have a number of ideas of who and how a daily money manager can help with that task.

Why I Got Into This Business

I’ve been asked multiple times why I gave up my corporate career and decided to go into daily money management. There is not one answer, but a book I’m reading does help to explain some of it. From a simple why, I have a few reasons. First, in my life I learned household financial management skills from people who had good skills themselves and taught me. Over my life I’ve discovered that I perhaps am the exception and a large population of people don’t have these skills. They muddle through and hope that it all works out rather than knowing it will.

Second, I have learned in my engineering career to be patient and work things through to a solution. I also have had the opportunity to pass along knowledge in an engineering area to others and enjoyed the task of planning and then teaching others that knowledge.

Third, it warms my heart when I can help someone who is struggling and to help them find a point of hopefulness. I can use my organizational skills to help break down the overwhelming into small chunks that are easier to manage.

Necessary Endings

I’m currently reading a book by Dr Henry Cloud called Necessary Endings. (I was introduced to this author in another book called Boundaries which was co-authored with Gary Townsend and is great if you feel like you are being taken advantage of by others.) The focus of Necessary Endings is to understand that in order to move forward, it is often necessary to end something that we have been doing.

An example of this is my ending my engineering career in order to focus on daily money management. Dr. Cloud indicates that in order to move forward through an uncomfortable environment, one has to come to a point of hopelessness with the status quo. It might be a CEO who now hates to go to work because trying the same things that used to work aren’t working any more. It may be someone who used to do the household finances now hates that chore.

What Does Hopelessness Look Like

As Dr Cloud points out, change won’t happen until one gets to a point of hopelessness around the issue or situation. Sometimes change is thrust upon us as we’ve seen with Covid over the past few years. I’m not talking about that type of change. Instead, these are changes that we choose to make. Most of the time change won’t occur until we reach a point of hopelessness and the pain of the now gets to be so much that we are willing to do something to change the situation.

In my work career, I experienced what I’m talking about. I was working as a computer engineer in a computer services company during the early 2000’s. You may recall that this was right after the internet bubble burst, and the economy slowed down and the demand for computer services dropped significantly. My company started laying off people and it didn’t look like it was going to get better. The company leadership was also trying to keep things going the way they had done it before, and it wasn’t working any more. Yet they did not change.

I got to a personal point of hopelessness and decided it was time to look for a new job. It would mean ending the familiar, ending relationships with co-workers and stepping into the unknown.

It turned out that the unknown became a fantastic tech startup with new opportunities for challenges and learning new skills and an excited group of people to work with.

Financial Necessary Endings

Necessary endings can occur with finances as well. Once a person has come to the hopelessness of the financial situation, it can prompt a necessary ending of the status quo. This opens up possibilities for new ways of doing things that improve life both now and in the future (with the accumulation of savings).

Graphic of the word TeamIn the same way that I reached out to recruiters to help me find the next career position, the next stage of finance management can involve the skills of others. For many people, when they want to lose weight, they will join a gym (very popular at this time of year!). To stay on track, they will engage a personal trainer to help them achieve their goals.

Likewise, I as a daily money manager can fulfill that role of personal financial coach to help with household financial management. I’m going to go over a number of situations where having that coach can be beneficial when the decision has been made to end the old way and take on a new way that leads to satisfaction in this area of life.

Don’t Know How to Keep Track of Finances?

One transition is a young person moving from the educational environment to the “real world” of work. The simplicity of managing money in the educational environment no longer works with a new job and all the opportunities for spending that comes with a significant and regular paycheck. It is time to end this simple money management as debts, new interests and bills become regular.

The feeling of hopelessness can come when realizing that money is controlling you rather than you controlling your money. Or it may come when you want to do something new that requires money but the current methods of managing money won’t get you there.

In this situation, a daily money manager can be more like a tutor, teaching money management skills that were never learned growing up or in the educational environment. As a daily money manager, I can help jump start skills that will go on to last a lifetime leading to a comfortable lifestyle.

Life Too Busy for Finances?

A daily money manager can be that helper during the next phase of life. A couple is now managing a household together and needs to be on the same page when it comes to finances. Yours, Mine, and Ours can be the plan, but the Ours become more and more of the finances. Young children require more time. Both spouses may be working and growing in their careers. Handling the finances that used to be simple to take care of, get pushed to the background and it becomes a headache to deal with regularly.

For these individuals, the trade-off of money for time becomes more important. A landscaping company is hired to manage the yard. A handyman is brought in to fix things in the house when they break. Someone else washes and details the cars. The daily money manager can be another professional brought in to handle the tasks of managing the household finances.

This Used to be Easy

As people age, tasks that used to be second nature start to require more effort. It is a natural part of life that habits such as managing the household finances and paying bills start to get more complicated. Of course, the fact that many vendors are pushing for online access for billing statements and acceptance of payment doesn’t help a person who grew up prior to personal computers and the internet. Trying to make the change at this phase of life may result in a lot of frustration and hopelessness.

Active older adults often want to make full use of the extra time provided by retirement to travel, to get involved in new activities. In the same way that people with children want to hire a professional to manage areas of life, active older adults may want to hire a professional to take over daily money management.

For older adults past the active retirement phase, the frustration of trying to make sure bills get paid on-time and making sure the accounts are balanced can be overwhelming. Having a daily money manager can start as just a second pair of eyes to give confidence that nothing has been missed. But this can transition over time to a point where the daily money manager handles almost all of the finances for them.

What I Can Do for the Hopeless

As a daily money manager, I can assist with these household finances to the groups described above. When the household finances become a point of hopelessness, this can be the time to decide to make a change. That change often involves help from others and I can be that person for you.

Reaching out to make that first contact can be daunting. It means a person has come to a point where doing things the same way won’t work anymore. It means accepting the fact that it cannot be done by oneself. But at the same time, it represents a future that is hopeful. It means a necessary ending of the way things were, but also a future that provides hope. Almost always, this means the future is better than the past.

Has daily money management become a dreaded chore for you? If so, this is the time to make a New Year’s resolution to change that. I look forward to hearing from you.