For the love of Finance
After a combined 35 years’ experience in the Financial Services industry we decided to start our own Financial Planning business three years ago. Not only did we decide to start our own business we also decided to move our family interstate from Sydney to Brisbane. It was a massive few months starting the business and settling the boys into their new schools, but we absolutely love the lifestyle and working with our clients that have chosen us to be their Financial Coaches.
It was a massive change for our three boys particularly Jarrod that was entering year 11 and Rhys who was entering year 9. They had such great friends and sporting teams they had to leave. We involved them in the decision process and all agreed as a family team to make the move. Change is constant in life and we were so proud of the way they embraced it.
We are often asked how we can work and live together. We are together 24/7 and wouldn’t have it any other way!!!! Lucky we really like each other 😊
For those of you that know us well will know that we have the complete opposite personalities but that is what makes us work! We complement each other’s skill sets and work really well together. We work to our strengths and that benefits our clients and our personal life and family goals.
What are the Challenges of working and living together?
The biggest challenge would be separating our business lives with our family lives. We just love what we do and often find ourselves strategizing at night over different ways of helping clients and new ideas on how we can help people. We also worked out early into our business partnership that we needed to have clear roles and responsibilities. We worked together on a clear business plan with roles, responsibilities, goals and structure. We look forward to our Monday morning team meetings to discuss the week ahead and what goals we are helping our clients with this week.
What are the five most important messages we can share with other couples regarding money?
- Communication. It is so important to make the time to speak with your partner regarding your financial goals and what is important to you. We often find that couples have different goals and don’t talk about them. It is so important to have your individual goals along with combined goals. We also love to share our goals with our children. We see ourselves as role models for our boys and like to involve them in our discussions.
- Have a Budget date night. Budgets can be boring, so we like to sit down on a Saturday night with a nice glass of wine, 80s music playing in the background to set and review our budget. Once you have it in place you need to monitor it monthly. I know it is boring and very hard to sometimes stick to a budget but without knowing what is coming in and what is going out how can you plan for the future. You also need to make sure you are paying yourself first and then everyone else. If you are living from pay to pay that is not sustainable and you aren’t going to get to your goals in the long term.We also believe it is really important to have a “fun budget”. You need to have holidays and plan to have fun with your family and friends. It is not very fun financially if you are using a credit card to fund that part of your lifestyle. You will be paying for it for a very long time. If you are not clearing your credit card each month you need to cut it up. It is so easy to tap and go and put everything on your credit card but if you are not clearing the entire amount due each month you are only helping the banks increase their profits.
- Set goals and celebrate success. We like to set our goals into short, medium and long term. We have a template that we write them down and add a photo. Our biggest goal this year was to save for a family holiday to Hawaii. We do simple things like take our lunch to work, make coffee in the office to put extra savings away to fund the goal. We have photos at home to remind us of our goals and also talk about our goals as a family. Going back to our first point, communication is key!!!!
- Use technology to help you. There are so many options now with various apps to track your goals and budget. At FinFit we have our own Wealth Portal that assists with your cash flow, tracking your goals, reports on your Financial position, keeps track of your tax deductions and allows you to store important documents in the “cloud”. We just love it!!!! There are also other options if you are looking for a basic solution such as “Pocket Book”, “Track my Spend” or your banks app.
- Protecting everything. While it is important to grow your wealth, it is just as important to protect it. If something happens to you or your partner you need to make sure you have the right level of protection in place to cover your family. Yes, are talking about insurance. We don’t want something unforeseen to derail our lifestyle and stop us from achieving our goals.
The messages in here are skewed towards couples but they are just as relevant to single people. If you are single, then find yourself a mentor who can help you with discussing what is important to you and give you ideas on what you can do to help you to achieve them.
We practice what we preach and wouldn’t put any options in front of our clients that we haven’t done or wouldn’t do ourselves.
Come and see us at FinFit to see if we can help you get on track to achieving what’s important to you.
Yours in Financial Fitness,
Phil and Donna.