Finding a daily money
If it pains you to sit down to write out your monthly bills, a
daily money manager, or DMM, might be the medicine you need.
Daily money management involves taking care of financial duties
such as paying your bills, depositing your checks and balancing
"It's a personal service,
but it's one that people haven't really thought about before,"
says Carla Morelli, president of Freyer Money Management in Gaithersburg,
Md. "Everybody has to pay bills. But now people are starting
to think 'Well, why don't I hire someone to do it?'"
DMMs can be very useful for a variety of client lifestyles
such as: the elderly, who have become unable to keep careful track
of their affairs; children of seniors who don't have the time or
energy to invest in their parents' finances; the busy executive
or small businessman who just doesn't have time; and the frequent
traveler who is away from home for lengthy periods of time, either
for work or pleasure.
you decide a DMM is the thing for you, here are some important things to keep
in mind as you conduct your search:
What they do and don't do
Unlike accountants and investment professionals, daily money managers
do not guide you through financial planning strategies. Rather,
they carry out the mundane financial tasks that make up day-to-day
life so you no longer have to. Usually, a DMM will work with you
to set up a checking account from which bills will be paid. Then
you determine how that checking account will be funded -- via a
Social Security check, a monthly electronic transfer from another
account, or some other means. After that, bills will no longer be
sent to you. Instead, they will be sent to your daily money manager
who will make sure they are paid on time.
In addition to paying bills, daily money managers
perform other functions. Organization is key when it comes to managing
financial documents, and a daily money manager can set up a financial
organization system for you. When tax time comes around, your daily
money manager won't do your taxes, but he can get all of the paperwork
together, and once your accountant figures your taxes out, your
daily money manager can make sure the return is sent off in time.
Another task you can leave to your
daily money manager is that of negotiating with creditors. So if you want to change
your payment due date or if there are mistakes on your billing statement, your
money manager will pick up the phone and speak with the creditors on your behalf.
Spell it all out
When you first sit down with a daily money manager, it's a good
idea to have a contract written up that denotes what happens if
bills are not paid on time, says Pat Manalio, former president of
the American Association of Daily Money Managers.
contract will also have to cover the daily money manager, for instance, if the
client fails to get the bills to the daily money manager [in time]," says
Manalio. "So there are issues on both sides that both people need to be covered
for their own interests."
loop or out
When it comes to staying involved in the process, you can be as
involved in it as you want, says Morelli. The daily money manager
can send you a monthly report detailing all of the transactions
that took place, or you can request that you be alerted before money
is paid off on certain debts such as credit card bills.
Naturally, this service is not free. According to
the AADMM, you can expect to pay between $35 and $100 per hour,
depending upon your geographic area. However, there could be other
costs involved since daily money managers will charge you for outside
fees incurred, such as the purchase of stamps for paying bills or
the cost of long-distance calls for calling creditors or other bill
How do you find a daily money manager?
Follow this advice: