Natasha and I did not speak last week. I had a lot of client work to take care of after the holidays and did not get the chance to call her. I still have not received her expense journal information, even though she promised it nearly 3-4 weeks ago. I really need that information to move to the next phase for her. It will be more crucial than ever for us to get a good understanding of her REAL spending because when she decreases her tax withholdings, I am very concerned that the extra take-home pay might not be used for the things that it is intended for. If that happens, she might end up worse off than before because her future tax refunds will be smaller than before, and therefore she will have less refund money to make “catch-up” payments next year.
We had a really good jumpstart before the holidays when she sent me her projected cash flow worksheets. Natasha was really excited and encouraged when that allowed me to put together the outlines of a plan. And I was excited and encouraged too. I’m hoping and encouraging Natasha to get more of that good feeling back again. But that’s all it was — an outline. We are still in the “theory” stage, and we need to get to the “real” stage as soon as possible — how much is she REALLY spending on various things. Only then can I teach her ways to manage her spending.
Life always has a way of putting barriers in front of us, and I will try to help Natasha bust through them somehow. She and her boys deserve a more secure financial future, and I still believe she can and will do what she needs to move in that direction. I might have to become more of a nag to progress, but ultimately, I won’t always be there so I am hoping I can give Natasha the tools to do this herself instead.