Jenny* ran a successful imported confectionary shop until the major supermarket chains started selling the same goods.
“I had about four suppliers with whom I had overstayed my welcome and the credit card was maxed out,” she says. “It was scary and demoralising – you try so hard for years to run this business and then at the end you just have a $40,000 debt.
“Through my own naivete I thought I was going to lose my marriage and my house because I hadn't been completely honest with my husband about how bad it had become. I didn't want him to feel pressure he didn't need."
Not all financial planners offer cashflow management services but Jenny had previously been introduced to Luda Financial Solutions’ Jacques Hugo. She and her husband saw Jacques who helped set up a financial plan to get on top of their escalating debt.
They re-mortgaged their home to get a better deal, unlocked additional home equity to ease the short-term pressure, consolidated a range of debts and began budgeting.
"Jacques never made us feel like we were cutting everything out – you have to have your treats but just budget and plan for them. It's important to have a date night and time to yourself. Maybe that $5 you save a day on coffee can pay for a babysitter so you both can have a night out. He almost became a little bit of a marriage guidance counsellor as well."
Budgeting ranks as one of the top unmet advice needs of everyday Australians, alongside retirement planning, according to research house Investment Trends. Unfortunately, many advisers still believe the service is un-economic to offer despite advances in technology that have turned it into a scalable offering.
Jacques is one of a growing army of planners that are proving it can be done while changing the lives of clients. He offers a full spectrum of advice, including traditional areas such as retirement, insurance and investment, with budgeting and money management at the core.
“The first thing we look at is how they manage their cash because if they don’t understand their own expenditure, it undermines every aspect of financial advice and ultimately, their financial wellbeing,” Jacques says.
Moneysoft Pro and Moneysoft Lite automatically collates, analyses and categorises clients’ expenditure across their multiple accounts, which then provides a strong foundation for coaching them about money management. Clients receive regular, automated expenditure and budget reports ongoing, which boost their engagement, awareness and accountability.
Moneysoft partners include Fortnum Financial Advisers, InterPrac, Clearview, RI Advice, WB Financial, Millenium3, Financial Services Partners and Centrepoint Alliance as well as broker Mortgage Choice and life insurance specialists AIA Australia.
* Name changed
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