Warren and Sheri were going over their budget in their home office, when their six and eight year olds came blasting through the door yelling about how much the popsicles cost from the neighborhood ice cream truck. Sheri could hear the music of the ice cream truck getting closer and Beau, their six year old wanted to borrow money from his older sister, Ali. who made him promise to pay it back out of his upcoming allowance. Beau agreed and they ran outside to stop the ice cream truck.
It had been a stressful afternoon for Warren and Sheri as they were tight on their finances and hadn’t been consistent with reviewing their income and expenses. As soon as the kids ran off, Sheri started right back in on the expenses and was tense with her words when she told Warren he needed to cut back on his racing club. She never really understood why Warren had to have a Porsche in the garage that was used for two races per year, along with all the expensive parts he would continuously buy. Warren took Sheri’s hand and said, "Let’s take a break and go get an ice cream from the truck." Sheri quipped sarcastically, “Can we afford it?” Warren laughed, held her hand, and they walked outside to meet the kids.
Later that evening, after the kids had gone to bed, Sheri asked if they were going to get back to the budget. Warren hesitated but then said he had an idea. They sat down on the couch and Warren began to explain how he understood Sheri’s concern with his racing expenses. When he saw their kids arguing earlier about borrowing money for an ice cream, he realized that not only do they need to be better about teaching their kids money management with their allowance, but they themselves need to re-evaluate what is really important going forward. They talked about saving for college and putting money away for retirement, but they really didn’t have a solid plan or anyone to help them accomplish those plans. Warren suggested they find a financial planner who could help them invest for not only their future retirement but also as a way to create more income to live on now.
It had been over 5 years since their youngest Beau had almost lost his life. He was only a year old when the doctors discovered he had a heart defect. Many surgeries later, and over a hundred thousand in medical bills, Beau was now a healthy little boy. Knowing they had these expenses hanging over their head, Warren and Sheri found little outlets to let off the stress of the situation. Warren got into racing his Porsche and Sheri was taking quick weekend trips with friends. It was a way for both of them to cope but it didn’t allow any solid financial plan to save for the future. They talked about reigning in these expenses, but weren’t sure how to go about it. Sheri suggested they start by changing their mindset, and giving the first of their income to local organizations that would help those in need in the community. Warren reminded her that his parents had wanted to set up a trust fund that would someday benefit the whole family, and suggested they work together with their parents in using the same financial planner so that all of their goals would be met. Sheri agreed to move forward with this idea and Warren called his parents to arrange a meeting with their financial planner.
Have you thought about working together as an extended family in reaching your financial goals? As the first story in the Financial Independence blog talks about, it's not a sprint, but a marathon. Life can throw financial challenges at all of us and if you've been "training" for the unexpected, as you would a marathon, it's easier to maneuver and get to the finish line.
Remember it's Plan, Invest, Live™