What is a daily money manager?
A financial advisor manages investments. A daily money manager (DMM) is someone who comes to the home once or twice a month to handle the mundane aspects of personal finances: Paying monthly bills (but your loved one signs the checks). Balancing the checkbook. Navigating health insurance claims. Resolving billing errors. Tracking donations. Organizing paperwork. Gathering documents for tax time. Their job is to catch unnecessary expenses while making sure important payments are made on time.
When to call in a DMM. If you are seeing piles of unopened envelopes or shut-off notices, that's a sure sign extra help is needed. Many families bring in a DMM when the spouse who typically handled the finances dies, as the remaining spouse may find getting up to speed just too overwhelming. Or consider a DMM if your loved one needs help but no one in the family lives close by or has the necessary time or temperament. Conversely, there may be a person who seems a little too interested. The oversight of a DMM can deter a relative or "friend" from taking financial advantage.
Benefits. A DMM can help your loved one continue to live independently and still feel in control. They check for duplicate billings and missed payments. (You don't want the insurance cancelled!) They can identify cost-cutting measures. For example, trim the cable plan or negotiate a phone plan that better fits actual usage. A DMM can catch unexplained charges on a credit card. Plus, they get to know your relative and can alert you if they notice problems, such as drowsiness or slurred speech. Perhaps bruising from a fall.
To find a DMM. Go to the American Association of Daily Money Managers. Ask about training, background checks, and professional insurance. And certainly, check on references.
Is paperwork getting neglected?
If you notice your loved one struggling with routine finances, it may be there are more serious issues at play. As the North Shore and Chicago experts in family caregiving, we at Options for Aging can help you explore the root of the problem while also directing you to support services to keep the finances in order. Give us a call at 847-868-1445.