With the holidays, it's hard to get much work done. I spoke with Leah briefly today and asked if she had a chance to set up the direct deposit of Eric's pay to a new account. She told me Eric has to do it and he's been too busy…so I asked for her commitment that it would get done one night this week. Apparently Eric had suggested this awhile back, so it's not that he isn't in favor of doing it, he's just having the same problems as all working parents: no time!
I also asked Leah about carrying a tablet to mark down all expenses by category, and she said that after thinking about it she didn't really see the value. She noted that all purchases are done on a debit or credit card and she keeps all receipts, so why do it? Of course, I told her that it would help her look backwards and see where the money goes. But ultimately we need to create a REALISTIC budget based on Eric's income, and we need to know what she actually spends on food, gas, etc., and then set up new monthly goals for each category.
I used the analogy of dieting. When a person has to write down everything they eat, they tend to eat less...because they don't want to write it down! Leah needs to be tracking her spending the moment it happens, not at the end of the month when the money is already spent! At then end of that talk, I believe she saw the light and plans to start tracking.
I was really proud of Leah last week when I read her blog. She totally confessed to her crazy shopping behavior and admitted that it is problematic and needs to change. (You Go, Girl!) With that level of awareness and honesty I have renewed hope for Eric and Leah's financial survival and ultimate success!