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.
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This week’s Family CFO is Lance from Money Manifesto. Lance is a CPA that works for a Fortune 500 company. His financial background helps him create an informative website dedicated to helping you reach your financial goals. His financial background is what inspired him to start Money Manifesto.
Q: Do you currently work or stay at home?
Q: Do you have kids? If so, how many and what are their ages?
We don’t have any kids yet.
Q: Who is in charge of everyday spending in your home?
I’d say neither one of us is in charge. We talk about our big purchases before we make them. We both know what regular purchases we make so I’d say we manage that as a team.
Q: How do you track your finances?
We track our finances in Quicken and I also use some excel sheets I’ve developed for some specific purposes that Quicken doesn’t handle like I’d like. As an accountant, both programs are second nature to me.
Q: How do you track your net worth?
I track what I consider to be my official net worth in an excel spreadsheet. Quicken keeps track of a net worth number, but I don’t reference it.
Q: Do you create a budget?
Kind of. We have a general spending plan we stick to and monitor our spending but there isn’t a hard set budget.
Q: How often do you check your accounts?
Way too often, at least once a week.
Q: How often do you assess you spending and budget?
Whenever something gets out of line. Quicken constantly monitors our spending.
Q: What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to your finances?
My biggest challenge has been loosening up a bit after we paid off my wife’s student loan debt. We still have a couple of big goals we’re working toward but I need to loosen my grip on our money a bit. My wife’s biggest challenge has probably been dealing with my tightwad tendencies :)!
Q: What has been your biggest success financially?
Our biggest success financially is definitely paying off over $80,000 of student loan debt my wife had from college. It took us a little under 3 years and a lot of hard work.
Q: Who is in charge of the managing bill paying in your home?
I pay all of the bills in our home but we both know what bills we have and how much they are. I just actually process the transactions.
Q: When you and your spouse disagree about a financial issues how do you come to a compromise?
Whenever we disagree I always try to break down the purchases or issues against our goals to see if it fits in with our current goals. We also make sure to speak up about something if it is really important to us and try to explain why it is important. Normally, after a couple discussions we come to the same conclusion.
Q: What is the best advice you have for being a successful CFO of your family?
The best advice I have is to track your spending. It will open your eyes to what is really going on in your financial life. Then, spend less than you earn.
Getting Rid of Debt is Key
Lance shares that he and his wife paid over $80,000 in student loan debt in 3 years. That’s an impressive feat and one that I’m sure required a lot of effort on their parts.
Keep Your Eye on the Prize
Having clear goals and measuring your spending and decisions against those goals is the key to success according to Lance. I couldn’t agree with this more. It’s important to have the next goal in mind, too as there is always more on the horizon.
What questions do you have for Lance?