I’m A Private Portfolio Manager

Life is crazy here, as often happens when you have kids, and a spouse, and a job, and you’ve volunteered for too much stuff and you have a house for rent that you are self-managing and you are getting ready to PCS.  Sound familiar?  Many military families are burning the candles at both ends, trying to do everything for everyone.

As I tried to juggle two volunteer boards with getting our house rented and all the regular things of life, I realized that I needed to add a new job title to my personal resume.  As the primary money person in our house, I am responsible for making sure that the bills get paid, the banking gets done, the rental houses stay full, and that our money is handled well. That could be a full-time job by itself.  So I’ve decided to give it a name to recognize the importance of handling a family’s financial affairs:  Private Portfolio Manager.

Now, this may seem ludicrous to some, but I think that looking at your money management as a job is an important part of doing the best that you can with your money.  If you had millions of dollars, you wouldn’t just let the management of this money be handled on a casual basis.  Being serious about managing your money is even more important if you don’t have much of it, because you can’t afford to waste a cent.

Let’s look at parts of my new job title (all definitions from dictionary.com):

Private, meaning “pertaining to or affecting a particular person or a small group of persons; individual; ”  Yup – that sure fits.  Your financial life seriously affects a small group of persons, mostly your immediate family and possibly some extended family or friends.

Portfolio, meaning “the complete investments held by an individual investor or by a financial organization.”  Most people think of an investment portfolio meaning stocks or bonds.  However, it can include any investments or financial assets of an investor or financial organization.  And your family is a financial organization, and it’s portfolio might only consist of a paycheck and some bills, but it is still a portfolio.

Manager, meaning “a person who controls and manipulates resources and expenditures, as of a household.”  Well, obviously if you have any money at all, you are taking the role of a manager when you decide when and where to spend the money.

Put it all together, and you have a person who controls and manipulates all the resources and expenditures of an individual or a small group.  If you are reading this blog, I bet you do that on a daily basis, and it is an important job.  Perhaps if you start thinking about it in a professional way, it will change the way you make other choices in your life.

In my life, I see a few choices that I would make if I were a private portfolio manager.  First, I would allow myself enough time to do the job well, and then I would do it.  I would take even more seriously the task of keeping track of our income and our expenditures.  Perhaps I would not be so cavalier about spending.  And I certainly would be keeping better track of things in a more tangible way.

Just my random Friday rants and ramblings.  What do you think?

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.