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Coaching

Do Grandma’ Jars coaches provide financial advice?

Grandma’s Jars personal financial coaches do not provide financial advice. Our focus is on helping members take control of their finances through successful budgeting, personal debt elimination, and savings goals.

Due to Phil’s background as a financial adviser, we do have relationships with trusted advisers who share the Grandma’s Jars values and philosophies. So should you require financial advice, please don’t hesitate to ask for a referral.

How long does it take to really get results with Grandma’s Jars Coaching?

This is a hard question to answer as everyone is slightly different. We typically find that by about month three, members start seeing a noticeable difference in how they feel about their finances. They can actually see a healthier balance in their bank accounts, they are understanding the system, and the path forward financially is starting to look much clearer.

By month six, most members who have been following their financial coach’s instructions to the letter are starting to rave about the system and the progress they are making.

Do I need to be able to meet with my Grandma’s Jars coach face to face?

No, you do not need to be able to meet with our coaches face to face. Thanks to modern technology, we now have members in England, North America, Canada, Czech Republic, Philippines and most states of Australia. As long as you have a reasonable Internet connection, we can contact you via Skype.

 

The Methodology

Why does Grandma’s Jars operate around a monthly cycle? I get paid weekly/fortnightly.

We understand that most people get paid either fortnightly or weekly, but believe it or not, budgeting to a fortnightly or monthly pay cycle actually makes things more difficult, not easier.

Here are some reasons why:

  • When setting up a budget, we need to give ourselves a standard way of recording both our income and expenses so we can make a direct comparison. For some people, the hardest part of budgeting is balancing fortnightly pays with quarterly bills or monthly pays with fortnightly mortgage repayments, etc. Establishing a consistent way of recording your income and expenses will overcome many of these problems from the start.
  • More and more people are caught in the paycheque-to-paycheque method of financial management. We want to move away from this pattern of financial survival and establish, once and for all, healthy money management strategies. Operating on a monthly cycle takes the focus off payday. Once your Grandma’s Jars system is up and functioning, it will not matter what day you get paid. The money will always be there to pay upcoming bills and expenses.
  • Most expenses are monthly or multiples of one month. The math is a lot easier when dealing in multiples of months. And let’s face it, we don’t want this to be any harder than it needs to be.
  • There are certain calculations that we need to do each month to check that the budget accurately reflects the balances of our various bank accounts and credit card statements. If we operate on a monthly system, we balance the budget at the end of each month, i.e., 12 times per year. If we operated on a fortnightly system, we would need to do the same calculations 26 times per year. The monthly option is much easier and cleaner.

How do I convert a weekly or fortnightly figure into a monthly figure?

The basic principles to this calculation are simple, regardless of whether it is a weekly or fortnightly we are trying to convert into a monthly figure.

  • Step. 1    Start by converting the figure into an annual figure:
    • a)  If you have a weekly expense or income, multiply it by 52 to give you annual figure.
    • b)  If you have a fortnightly expense or income multiply it by 26 to give you an annual figure
  • Step. 2    Once you have an annual figure, divide this by 12 to give you a monthly figure.

How do I factor in ‘one-off’ expenses?

Everyone will have a ‘on- off’ expense from time to time. Before you decide how to deal with it, you need to be certain that it is just a ‘one off’. If this ‘one off’ is likely to recur at some point in the future, then it needs to be added into the budget and allocated for. This will ensure that next time it turns up, you are prepared for it.

We often see people calling things like their annual subscription to their antivirus software subscription a ‘one off’’ when we know full well it will recur in a year or two’s time. Simple rule: If it is likely to occur again, it needs to be added as an expense in your budget.

If, however, this is truly a ‘one off’ – for instance a speeding ticket – then you should enter this in the budget as an expense with ‘none’ against the Jar and expense. The funds to cover this will, unfortunately, reduce your surplus funds for that month. If you don’t have a surplus, it will have to come from your rainy day fund.