PLEASE NOTE: This case study uses an actual client engagement but names have been changed.
Craig and Jessica are in their early thirties with two young children. Craig has a demanding full time job, while Jessica works part time in a professional career which she trained for before she had children. She hopes to return to that career when the children are a little older.
Craig contacted us because, in spite of trying to sort out their financial situation, they just did not seem to be making any progress. Always a little bit short of money, never quite able to pay off the credit card, they were becoming increasingly frustrated and it was starting to impact on their relationship.
Craig came to the first meeting on his own, and had done some preparation in the form a draft family expenses budget. At that meeting we drew up a draft plan which confirmed that there was a shortage of money, and that Craig and Jessica would need to make some changes. I also emphasized to Craig that it was important that Jessica attended the next meeting so that she could hear from me about the issues. Often in such cases it is very difficult for one partner to “sell the ideas” to the other partner. It works much better if both partners hear the same message from the professional adviser.
Jessica did attend the second meeting with Craig and we were able to have an in depth discussion about their personal and family goals. They had been able to work out several ways to address the shortage in the initial budget – so much so that we were able to redraft the plan and give them a workable program to follow. Part of this will involve them making significant changes to the way they operate their bank accounts.
By facilitating an open discussion between Craig and Jessica, we were able to get them to understand the changes they needed to make, and give them confidence that they can achieve the things they want to for themselves and for their family.