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 Gina from Money Wise Moms. I’ve known Gina in the virtual world for many years. Her site is a great resource for saving money and living a more frugal life. She is a great resource for saving on groceries among other things.
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?
3 kids, a 10-year old son and 8-year old twin daughters
Q: Who is in charge of everyday spending in your home?
As the stay-at-home parent, I am.
Q: How do you track your finances?
We keep our budget in the kitchen and mark down any money spent in order to stick to our monthly category amounts. Everything else is tracked online through our bank account and credit card account.
Q: How do you track your net worth?
Q: Do you create a budget?
Q: How often do you check your accounts?
Q: How often do you assess you spending and budget?
We do it monthly and quarterly, we meet and chat about what’s happening and what’s coming up.
Q: What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to your finances?
Even after the debt payoff, it still feels like we can never get ahead. As soon as we save up, a big expense (house repair, car, etc.) comes up.
Q: What has been your biggest success financially?
Last fall, we completed paying off $87,000 in debt in a little over two years, a combination of car loan, second mortgage, and old student loans. It was a huge accomplishment.
Q: Who is in charge of the managing bill paying in your home?
We’ve gone back and forth over the 20 years we’ve been married, but it’s currently me.
Q: When you and your spouse disagree about a financial issues how do you come to a compromise?
We meet regularly and stick to our yearly financial goals, so the little disagreements are usually solved by refocusing on our budget and reminding ourselves where the money was allotted.
Q: What is the best advice you have for being a successful CFO of your family?
It can take a lot of tries (it did for us!), but create a long-term yearly plan and then smaller bits to focus on (like a monthly budget). It puts both partners on the same page and helps you track your progress. It’s what got our debt paid off and has us now focused on retirement savings.
Keep at It
I love that Gina shares how her family has had to go back to the drawing board a few times to come up with a plan that works for them. While it’s nice to think we could all just wave a magic wand and suddenly be excellent financial managers that’s simply not the case. Getting their debt paid off took time, but now that they’ve paid it off they can focus their energies elsewhere.
Big Expenses are Challenging
Gina shares that big expenses are a challenge for their family, and I know I can relate! We’ve spent thousands on home repairs this year, and that’s not at all unusual for us. We’ve found it can be tough to pay for those big expenses but by setting aside a small amount each month for those expenses it helps us cushion the blow.
What questions do you have for Gina? Thanks Gina for sharing!