Welcome to another installment of the Centsible Life Family CFO interview series. This series will share a look behind the scenes at how other families manage their money with useful advice, funny stories, and hopefully we’ll all come out of it a bit more money savvy.
Want to be featured as a Family CFO? Simply click over to the interview form and fill it out. It should only take you about 5-10 minutes. I’d love to feature readers and fellow bloggers alike. If you have suggestions for additional questions I’d love to know what you’d like to ask.
This week’s Family CFO is Jeff from Sustainable Life Blog. Jeff is a “regular guy trying to lower my impact, save some money and stay healthy, all while trying to keep up with a regular life.” His website helps readers find sustainable and green ideas that will not only help reduce their impact on the environment, but also help improve their finances.
Q: Do you currently work or stay at home?
Q: Do you have kids? If so, how many and what are their ages?
1 girl -she’s an infant.
Q: Who is in charge of everyday spending in your home?
We both are. We each try and not spend any money during the day, and save up our money spending trips for the weekend if at all possible. Typically there are 3-4 days per week where we dont spend anything, then a day where we spend $150 or so.
Q: How do you track your finances?
I use a combination of Mint and Personal Capital. I used to use a spreadsheet, but it became way too painful. I’ve been using mint for 5+ years, so the history there is nice, but I think personal capital is a bit better fit for me.
Q: How do you track your net worth?
I use a fancy spreadsheet that I built for net worth tracking that includes stuff that Mint and Personal Capital do not. It has values of our vehicles and our home.
Q: Do you create a budget?
Q: How often do you check your accounts?
Daily – For no reason what so ever, I just cant stop.
Q: How often do you assess you spending and budget?
Q: What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to your finances?
Trying to focus on our goals every day, instead of just sometimes. Typically, automation of savings helps a lot, but it cant do everything.
Q: What has been your biggest success financially?
Paying off all of our consumer debt (mostly mine before we got married).
Q: Who is in charge of the managing bill paying in your home?
I typically do it, though I always update my wife with what we are doing and why/how etc. Both her and I want to make sure that even though I’m actually doing the work, she knows what’s going on and knows where to find everything if she needs to access it.
Q: When you and your spouse disagree about a financial issues how do you come to a compromise?
Usually we keep trying to find a solution that both people agree on. We both have similar habits, so this does not happen to frequently.
Q: What is the best advice you have for being a successful CFO of your family?
Communicate with your spouse and set goals – and talk about them often. In January big goals are set and often forgotten about. Have check-ins and see how you are doing with those goals and if there needs to be any adjustments. Also – remember why you set the goals in the first place.
Communication is Key
Communication with your spouse is definitely key to making marriage and money work. I like that Jeff recommends check-ins. Money meetings are key for us to stay on track.
Maintain your Focus
When you start digging out of debt or focusing on a financial goal it’s often with a laser focus, but as time goes on we often lose that motivation. Finding a way to stay focused or motivated like rewarding yourself for reaching certain goals (like we do with milestones in our lives) is the key to staying on track.
What questions do you have for Jeff?