Have you ever thought to yourself, “I’ve lost control of my monthly household expenses? I have no idea how much money I spend. I have no idea if my insurance is paid. I do not know what expenses are on autopay or which account the autopayments are coming from. I need to get a better handle on my household financial management!” We’ve all been there.
Do you have someone clean your house? What about lawn care, do you have someone mow your lawn? Do you have your HVAC system checked regularly to stop problems before they start? Everyone needs help. If you have ever thought about adding family bookkeeping to the list of services you need to keep your life running smoothly, My Personal Bookkeeper (MPB) is here to help. MPB Client Advocates can help so you can give your attention where it is most needed.
Helping Young Families
MPB has developed a niche client base of young families and professionals that are busy, and just do not have the bandwidth to properly keep up with their household financial management. The following are two case studies* of current clients that illustrate the many services MPB’s Client Advocates can provide to today’s busy families and professionals. *Names have been changed for privacy.
Budgeting to Get Back on Track
The Harper Family had little control of their finances before starting with MPB. Mr. & Mrs. Harper, both in their 40’s, have been blessed with several children. Mr. Harper works a very busy job and juggles a lot each day. Mrs. Harper runs her own small part-time business, manages the house and takes care of the children. The children are all in private schools, but due to the age differences, they are in different schools which are on different tuition schedules. Some of them have braces, some eyeglasses, some piano lessons, some tutors and all visit the doctor regularly. It is a lot to keep track of and manage. They are renting one home and own which is being renovated so they need to keep track of utility and tax payments for different properties. When the day is done, the last thing they have the energy for is even basic household financial management.
The Harper’s credit score was low due to late and missed payments. They were being contacted by more than one collection agency. They had trouble getting credit cards and didn’t qualify for a mortgage for their second home despite having the income to cover these expenses. They needed support and called MPB. Within six months, their credit score improved enough to qualify for credit cards, and for a mortgage for the house they were renovating.
Their MPB Client Advocate provided the following services:
- Reviewed notices from collection agencies and, with Mr. Harper, called and negotiated pay outs
- Created a household finance spreadsheet to track tuition payments, medical bill payments, and charity donations to give to their accountant for deductibles on their tax returns
- Made sure all utilities, tuition payments, mortgage payments and other bills were on autopay and set up on the correct account
- Created a spreadsheet of passwords
- Kept track of due dates for insurance payments, property tax payments, estimated income tax payments, and tuition payments
- Matched medical bills to insurance EOB’s (explanation of benefits), and submitted claim forms for services not submitted by the doctor’s office
Budgeting for Family and Business
The Duncan’s are in their 30’s, own two small businesses and have an infant. They are pretty efficient at paying their bills on time, but they have no budget and no idea how much money was being spent each month or how it was being spent. They called MPB for help. They live in a different state than their Client Advocate but between Zoom, email, texting and online bookkeeping software, they are able to work together seamlessly.
Their MPB Client Advocate provides the following services:
- Reviews all transactions on a monthly basis that have been set up on MINT.com and creates a report in PowerPoint. The report shows total income and expenses by category for both the two businesses and personal finances.
- Updates and emails a spreadsheet listing every transaction for the month organized by category so the client can review specific transactions for one or more categories about which they may have questions
- The client and Client Advocate have a Zoom meeting each month to review the monthly reports, set goals, create an action item list for both parties and discuss other items with which they may need assistance
- Reviews software and subscription charges with client and helps cancel those not being used any longer
- Reviews insurance needs with client for home, auto, life and health to make sure they have adequate insurance coverage
- Creates a budget based on 3-month actual income/expenses and based on conversations with the client’s stated goals. This budget was entered into MINT.com and both the Client Advocate and client can keep tabs on budget vs actual spending in real time
- Consolidates accounts and credit cards
If this sounds like a service from which you, a loved one or client can benefit, contact My Personal Bookkeeper at firstname.lastname@example.org. MPB can help you get control of your household financial management and gain peace of mind.
About the Author: Michele Rubin
Michele is a natural at helping others organize and run their household finances. The experience of assisting her mother in keeping track of mail and in paying bills allowed Michele to develop an understanding of the best ways to approach these tasks. Michele is an organized, thorough and compassionate client advocate. These skills have been honed from years of dedication in teaching, office management and running a non-profit organization. When working with clients, Michele understands that patience and efficiency are the keys to helping them maintain their independence and earn their trust.