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 interview is with the always clever Kim Tracy Prince from House of Prince. Kim is s freelance writer who has written an advice column, a news column about women online, various parenting and travel columns, and is currently a contributor at Mint.com writing about family budgeting.
Family CFO Interview: Kim Tracy Prince
Q: Do you currently work or stay at home?
Work from home.
Q: Do you have kids? If so, how many and what are their ages?
Two: 9 and 7.
Q: Who is in charge of everyday spending in your home?
Q: How do you track your finances?
Q: How do you track your net worth?
HAHAHA LOL. What? Okay, every so often we hack this up in an Excel spreadsheet.
Q: Do you create a budget?
Q: How often do you check your accounts?
Every few days.
Q: How often do you assess you spending and budget?
Monthly, and more often.
Q: What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to your finances?
The children. We overspend on their sports and activities, while at the same time not saving enough for college.
Q: What has been your biggest success financially?
Marrying my tenured professor husband. Aside from that, the most buck for my bang comes from high-quality content deals with companies who value my work.
Q: Who is in charge of the managing bill paying in your home?
Q: When you and your spouse disagree about a financial issues how do you come to a compromise?
We take a breather, and both come back to the conversation with evidence that will appeal to the other’s sensibilities.
Q: What is the best advice you have for being a successful CFO of your family?
Do it together. Be partners. Come to each other with your worry and your triumphs. It sucks to do it alone. If you are single, get a trusted friend or loved one to help you be accountable to yourself.
Experiences vs. College
Kim points to a common problem in middle income families. We often spend a ton on sports, activities, and enrichment for our children’s brains, but we may not save anything or enough for college. With student loan debt in the trillions I know she’s not alone. While I don’t exactly have the right answer I think it can be looked at through the lens of what your kids are getting out of the experiences you’re spending on.
All too often I talk to parents who are pushing their kids to be high achievers through sports, arts, or academics so their child can earn scholarship funds for college. The truth though is we’re likely ‘investing’ way more than our children will see in scholarship dollars-so if that’s part of your motivation you may want to reconsider that travel soccer team that costs thousands each year.
On the flip side if your child is getting a lot of positive from their experience than I would definitely consider that as money well spent.
Setting Aside Emotions During Money Arguments
I love Kim’s advice to step away from the heated financial conversation and come back with evidence and rational reasoning. All too often we tie money into our feelings and if we take a step back and look at it from a less emotional place it’s easier to come to an agreement or make a compromise.
Thanks Kim for sharing! What questions do you have for Kim?