As mentioned, R and I have decided to engage in some marriage planning to go along with our wedding planning. The former is way more boring, overwhelming and void of fashion-related choices than the latter, but I’m playing along.
Step one of one bagillion has been the question of whether or not to start a relationship with a business manager/business management firm. What does a business manager do? In three obvious words: manage your business. But what is your business when you don’t have an actual business (unless we’re counting the business of writing sample television pilots for free as the world’s most time-consuming resume crafting process)? Everything. Literally everything in your life that has to do with money: bills, loans, investments, taxes, insurances, and so many other words that I’m not familiar with because I have absolutely no knowledge when it comes to business. Ready to set up an LLC for your writing career? Gearing up to buy a house? Prospect of H&R Block getting you down? Pretty convinced you’re spending way too much money on sushi dinners? They’ve got you covered.
Now, this management of ones business obviously comes at a cost. That cost is a small percentage of your annual earnings (combined if you are a couple, so lucky for R mine are super small!), in the case of the firm we’re considering. If you’re interested in a biz man of your own, look into it, and you’ll find out the various fee options. I’m going to keep that out of this because I’m trying to maintain some shred of mystery to my offline life. Just know that having a BM means spending some money making it a decision one must weight carefully.
Here is the PRO/CON list I developed:
— PRO —
I know nothing about personal finance, and given my history with math, it’s not looking like I’m going to be able to Good Will Hunting this thing with a free library card and some wicked smaahts. A Business Manager will help me spend smartly, invest wisely, properly plan for the future, and hopefully get way bigger tax returns.
Money is a massive source of stress in my life, so the idea of consistent assistance in that department and oversight from professionals seems like a surefire way to not end up with the full-blown ulcer that I’m pretty convinced is currently developing in my stomach.
I really, really want to avoid ever blaming R (or, more likely, having R blame me) for a major financial misstep. Yes, we’ll make mistakes in our married life, but given the fact that neither of us have much knowledge of personal finance, I’d prefer if we alleviated one major potential trouble zone by placing that responsibility in the hands of a third party who we can blame together!
The Cool Factor
“Yes, thank you. I am interested in the opportunity, but let me discuss with my Business Manager to make sure it’s the right addition to our portfolio.” BOOM!
You Can Stop If You Don’t Like It
No multi-year contract, no crazy loopholes to get out. That’s important.
— CONS —
It’s hard for me to spend money on things I should be able to do for myself. I could very well learn about personal finance using the Internet or trusted, smarter friends. We don’t need this help in the critical sense of the word. Our hard-earned money might be better spent in other way like vacations.
We’re still not learning about personal finance and becoming even more reliant on the outside help. I asked our prospective Biz Man about this very issue and he said their process is fully transparent, and they welcome our involvement, but I know myself. If I don’t have to look at numbers, I won’t.
The Jerk Factor
“Yes, thank you. I am interested in the opportunity, but let me discuss with my Business Manager to make sure it’s the right addition to our portfolio.” VOM!
In the end, I think we’re going to try this out for size to see what the benefits really amount to. Frankly, we’re starting out our lives together and have NO idea how to best combined finances, set-up new bank accounts, merge investments and make sure we’re getting all the right tax benefits along the way. So it seems like a smart move for this given phase . But (prepare for sap), the thing I’m more proud of is the fact that we figured this out together. R did the research on firms. I phoned friends to provide references. We met our potential Biz Man together, and we talked about the pros and cons as a couple without crying or fighting (and I’m known to shed a tear when it comes to calculating percentage of my net worth). Which means we can now go back to focusing on more important things like writing free television pilots and cooking the world’s most delicious smoked brisket.
Until the next marriage planning pro/con comes up, wish us luck.