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 Kristia Ludwick from Family Balance Sheet. Kristia is a blogger, and works part-time as an office manager for her husband’s small business. In addition, Kristia is a former retail buyer who managed millions and is now managing her family’s finances. In Kristia’s own words, “At Family Balance Sheet, you’ll find personal stories, practical tips, and delicious recipes to help you and your busy family live well on less, create a peaceful home, and live a happy life.”
Q: Do you currently work or stay at home?
Q: Do you have kids? If so, how many and what are their ages?
I have two daughters – ages 8 & 6
Q: Who is in charge of everyday spending in your home?
I handle the everyday spending, but we make joint decisions on the big purchases.
Q: How do you track your finances?
I’ve been using Quicken since the late 90’s to manage our checking and savings and our spending. I use excel spreadsheets for our budget and our balance sheet.
Q: How do you track your net worth?
Yes – every month.
Q: Do you create a budget?
Q: How often do you check your accounts?
I check it almost daily. I use my debit card for most of our purchases and it was compromised recently at Target, so I’m a little obsessive about checking our accounts.
Q: How often do you assess you spending and budget?
Q: What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to your finances?
Being self-employed, our income fluctuates. Some months are better than others, but we’ve had months over the years where we’ve had to dip into our savings just to cover our expenses. Those were scary times.
Q: What has been your biggest success financially?
I left a corporate career to join my husband in self-employment. My husband is a chiropractor and I am the business manager of his practice. We have been in business for 13 years and it continues to grow each year.
Q: Who is in charge of the managing bill paying in your home?
I handle all of the bill paying in our home and our business.
Q: When you and your spouse disagree about a financial issues how do you come to a compromise?
Years ago we started meeting monthly to discuss our finances. These meetings have pretty much eliminated most of our disagreements. We also set financial goals every year that we both agree on, so whenever we do disagree on something we look at our goals to guide us towards that right decision.
Q: What is the best advice you have for being a successful CFO of your family?
One person can handle the day to day stuff, but it’s so important for both spouses to be in the loop when it comes to the family finances. When the balance is uneven, conflicts will occur.
The reason we focus on our finances is so we can meet our goals and do the things we’d like to do with our money. Financial meetings are key, I agree with Kristia. It helps to discuss plans, expensive things like vacations or purchases, and really just reinforces why you’re working hard.
Keeping it all Balanced
I love Kristia’s reminder that when the balance is uneven conflicts happen. It is so true. In a marriage or relationship there has to be some balance of your wants and your partner’s wants to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
What questions do you have for Kristia? Thanks Kristia for sharing with us!
Updated: Due to a spellcheck error an earlier version of this post misspelled Kristia’s name.