After reading about Susan, I realized that my role in our family is not just of a wife, mother, and home-keeper, but also the Family Office Manager. We would like to become debt-free and financially independent. These things don't just happen on their own. It takes planning, research and time to manage a home office. In our marriage, I handle the finances. I have an interest in the topic of personal finance and my husband would rather eat bugs than deal with this subject, so in our home I am the Family Office Manager.
(My office on a good day...)
I might manage the family finances, but we make all financial decisions together and I review everything with him. Last year, when my husband needed to purchase a laptop because his current one was on the verge of breaking into two pieces, he came to me to ask if we had the money for him to make the purchase. It was a necessary expense, but also an expensive one and neither one of us would ever make such a large purchase without consulting with the other person.
My husband does get involved with some financial activities; he did an amazing job negotiating the purchase of our last vehicle. He is actively involved with any major purchase, like a car, computer, or home improvement project. He enjoys researching those things and I would rather eat bugs.
What does a family office manager do and what are their responsibilities?
It will vary from home to home, but in our family, my responsibilities include:
- Track spending vs. the budget.
- Review budget. Where are we over-spending? How can I reduce the grocery budget? Do we have enough money for Christmas gifts? Where can we reduce spending so we can start saving for college funds?...on and on and on...
- Reconcile all accounts: checking, savings.
- Pay bills in a timely manner.
- Manage and monitor our emergency savings & Health Savings Account.
- Project short term cash needs.
- Manage retirement planning: how much will we need? How can we reduce our fees, but increase our return? Research funds and asset allocation breakdown. Make sure we max our contributions.
- Taxes: I work with an accountant because of our business taxes. I also make sure we take advantage of as many deductions as possible.
- Monitor and reduce our liabilities: I am currently working on our 5 year debt-reduction plan. I am also in the process of refinancing our mortgage and car loan again. My hubby will come along to sign on the dotted line.
- Prepare our Family Balance Sheet and review with my husband.
Does your family have an office manager?
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