Home > My first month as a 'Financial Counselor

My first month as a 'Financial Counselor

January 24th, 2009 at 04:49 pm

I am helping DD1 and her hub with their finances. They have made some unfortunate choices over the past several years and are now dealing with the consequences. In December, DD1 called me crying...her hub had just had a garnishment against his check for an unpaid bill and they did not have enough money to make it.

Looking at their bank statement was...well, a shocking eye opener for me. NSF fees, numerous ATM wds, fast food, multiple weekly trips to walmart...and all of the bills were past due.

I loaned them money to catch them up under ONE condition: I would manage their money until I was paid back...and they could NOT waver from the plan.

So, every Friday evening, I go to their home and we make a spending plan for the week. We pay bills and they know exactly what they can spend on food and gas. And nothing else.

And there was NO wiggle room this month. The only way they could pay thier bills and have money for food and gasoline was to figure out a way to make extra money. SIL is a DJ on the side, and he was able to book a couple of gigs. DD1 cleaned my moms house on weekends. They used the babysitter the minimal amount...only while they were working. SIL used the more economical car on the days that DD1 didnt work. DD1 found coupons to help, the got creative with meals...

Last night they entered their final paychecks into the account and here are the results:

All bills are paid for the month, with no past dues.

NO nsf fees were incurred on the account.

They have had frugal, but nutritious meals.

They have enough to get them through the end of the month.

And, they each got $10 to spend on anything they want.

Not bad for month one. I am praising them, and trying to make sure they understand the importance on living within their means from here on out.

Funny thing, I am using basic tools...but my son-in-law, who I am sure thinks of me as most son-in-laws do,...NOW calls me a financial whiz...LOL.

Not sure about that, but obviously, using the basic rules of finance and working together as a team are working for them, for now. And thats ok with me!

14 Responses to “My first month as a 'Financial Counselor”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    That is great! They just needed some guidance. Each month will get better with more wiggle room once the debt is paid back. Where did they get their extra income?

  2. Thrifty Ray Says:

    creditcardfree...I went back and edited to show how they came up with the extra...which was bring more in, and cut back spending wherever they could...I am very proud of them. thanks!

  3. NJDebbie Says:

    You are awesome!

  4. Slowlygettingthere Says:

    That is awesome! There have been times in my life when I wish someone would come in and help us like you are helping them. Not solving the problem and walking away, but solving the problem and teaching them how to solve it. They must trust you immensely to let you see all their bills.

  5. homebody Says:

    Ooh I wish my kids would let me do that! I have to be satisfied with lecturing! Ha Ha. What a great start really.

  6. Analise Says:

    Wow... you have done a wise thing to help them this way. What is happening here is that you are educating them in an area many young couples struggle with - money management. If you keep this up for a few months, they should learn enough to take over. Maybe in a while, your DD1 and SIL can work on the budget while you "supervise" and then they'll be ready to fly on their own. You are a great MIL (and mom)!

  7. frugaltexan75 Says:

    That is so great how they have accepted your help, and are taking it to heart.

  8. Ima saver Says:

    That is great! I am proud of all of you!

  9. boomeyers Says:

    Keep up the great job! I can't wait to see how they do this next month! (Whiz!)

  10. Carolina Bound Says:

    I am doing the same for my sister and brother-in-law. They call me "the banker!"

  11. Smiley2009 Says:

    Wow!! They are so lucky to have someone like you too help guide them in the right direction. Kuddos

  12. lizajane Says:

    You are so smart to help them this way. Not only does it prevent them from getting in deeper, it helps them to realize you will not just bail them out whenever they need it. I'm sure as a financial whiz, you have a grand plan for having them take over this budgeting after a certain period of time (like you do for other clients? LOL). So, good job to you, and congratulations to them for stepping up to the plate and asking for help and then sticking to it. That's awesome! Hopefully they will realize it's an ongoing process and not just a spending diet that they can quit after they get tired of it.

  13. crazyliblady Says:

    I applaud you for your courage in doing this, because without a cool head and common sense prevailing, it could have gone ugly. You sound like a natural at this sort of thing. Have you ever thought about doing it for a living?

  14. Blue Eyes Says:

    You are doing a great job as a financial counselor Smile

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