For me, it’s personal. It’s about my parents. In 2007, my father passed away suddenly. My folks were three months shy of their 50th wedding anniversary. My mother was a highly educated woman who, in the 1950’s, graduated from a well-known college. She had always managed the family finances and had turned my father’s modest teacher’s salary into a retirement in Hilton Head.
When my father passed away, the heavy burden of running an entire household fell on my mother for the first time; all as she dealt with grief, loneliness, and loss. About a year later, during a visit to her home, I saw her dining room table covered in financial paperwork – bills, statements, receipts, late notices, EOBs, charitable solicitations, junk mail. She told me she was only going to her mailbox once a week because it was just filled with more paper she didn’t want to deal with.
And she was trying to manage all this paperwork like she always had – save her receipts, reconcile her checkbook once a month, staple receipts to her credit card bill. It was taking her days to do what she had once done in hours. And it depressed her.
I sat down with her and asked a few questions:
“Is this what you want to be doing with your days?”
“No,” she said.
“What do you want to do?”
“I just want to go to lunch with my girlfriends,” she quietly answered.
So, on the spur of the moment, I asked her if I could help. I would take care of all the paperwork. Since I already reconciled my own personal finances every day, I knew I could very easily do the same for her. And she could go have lunch with her girlfriends. It would be that simple. She hesitated for a lot of reasons, but finally decided to give it a try.
I took all that paper away. I took her bank records and her statements as well as her bills and receipts. I computerized everything using leading financial management software. I changed all her bills and statements to paperless mode. And I began using electronic payment methods so she didn’t have to write checks. (Of course, I first obtained the legal authority to do all of this on her behalf.)
It took three months and innumerable phone calls for her to realize that everything was covered. All her bills were being paid on time. No more late charges. All her expenditures were being recorded. All her accounts were reconciled daily. This burden had finally been lifted.
I only did what I thought any son or daughter would do. I did it because I loved my mother and wanted her to be happy. And she was. She was smiling and laughing again. And she started going out to lunch with her girlfriends on a regular basis. When her girlfriends asked what had changed, she told them what we were doing.
“I wish I had a son who would do that for me.”
“I would gladly pay someone to do all of that.”
“That sounds like heaven. I hate paying bills.”
These were just a few of the comments she told me about. That was when I first started to think about Daily Money Management as a personal service I could provide. I could make a difference in people’s lives, bringing them peace and security without taking control or dignity away from them.
Sadly, my mother passed away in 2017 after dementia slowly took her from us. But that slow and painful journey was never accompanied by a financial crisis. Her financial house was in complete order every day. We were able to make medical care decisions for her based on facts and numbers, not on emotions.
That is the basis today of my Daily Money Management service. Simplify. Protect. Unburden.
About the author: Joseph Hunt is the President of JSE Hunt and Associates. For more information, please contact him at email@example.com or call (803) 980-4868. His office is located at 2985 Chapman Circle in Rock Hill.