Updated: Feb 28
Need help with your daily money management? Amy Lebeck will have it done for you. Amy is the founder Money Grove Financial Services and Taskmasters, a firm that provides daily money management services to individuals and small businesses. Join in the conversation as Amy pulls the curtains with Renee Williams, revealing how Taskmasters helps you achieve your financial goals. What's more, you'll discover valuable strategies on how you can better manage your finances. Debt, budgeting, and savings? We've got you covered. Tune in!
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Daily Money Management Done For You With Amy LeBeck
I wanted to remind you to rate and review the show. We're growing, ladies, and a few gentlemen who reached out and said that they were tuning in well. As we grow, we want to be able to reach as many as we possibly can through the vehicle of this show. If you're enjoying what you're reading and you want to spread the word, please be sure to rate and review the show. You can rate us by giving us as many stars as you possibly can and then review right there on the platform that you’re using. You can review by putting in a few simple words or a couple of sentences about how the show is helping you. If you do that, I would truly appreciate it. You can also reach me to tell me about topics that you would like to know more about. Reach out at AgentExit@ReneeWilliamsGroup.com. I would love to hear from you. Let's get into the show.
We have our guest, Amy Lebeck. She is the Founder and CEO of Taskmasters, a daily money management firm. Amy lives in Central Minnesota and is a mother of four. Her professional background is in social work but in 2018, she obtained a Master's degree in Family Financial Planning. She has developed a business that helps families, busy entrepreneurs, real estate agents, team leaders and brokers. She helps us to alleviate our stress and lighten our financial load. We're going to talk to Amy Lebeck.
Welcome to the show, Amy. Thank you so much for being on with us.
Thank you for having me. I'm excited to be here.
If you could, give us a little bit about you and your company. What is it that you do?
I do daily money management services for small business owners. I started this business in 2017. It has been growing steadily and what ended up being my specialty is working with small business owners. I help them maintain their personal and business finances at the same time.
You were saying that your area of expertise is small businesses. All of our audience are brokers, team leaders and real estate agents. We're entrepreneurs who are super busy. We don't have a whole lot of time, so sometimes the finances get lost. How do you work with small businesses in the area of your specialty?
I work with all of my clients virtually. We get onboarded to a variety of different systems and I take that task off of their hands completely. I can do their BillPay for their personal, keep their QuickBooks for them, make sure their filings are done on time, collect their tax records and send out 1099s if they have contractors or W-2s if they have employees. I can do the whole gamut of their finances in both their business and personal lives.
I can see all of these things imploding off of my plate onto you.
It's so nice to have that off of your hands. I even feel that as a business owner, often, my financial tasks get put on the back burner because I'm doing everything for my clients. I can completely relate to it that some of my things get set aside. It's easy to have happened.
Schedule time to organize your finances.
It's easy when you're with clients every day and you're in it. You're putting out fires, managing things and trying to keep your transactions from blowing up, then you remember to go through your books or sit down with your bookkeeper. As a daily money manager, what exactly do you do? Can you give us more specifics?
With my clients, I do most of their BillPay and a lot of their payroll, and manage their QuickBooks for them. I usually meet with my clients at least once a month and then we can review their P&L for their business. Quarterly, we can also do different reviews with their balance sheets. I do cashflow projections with them. In their personal side of their finances, I make sure that we get their accounts set up so that they're keeping their personal finances separate from their business, which is also a common problem, especially with small businesses. It's very easy to mix those expenses up.
I help keep an eye on their spending. If we do have some goals that we're trying to hit with budgeting or overspending, I help with accountability in that area. In the beginning, when I'm working with a client, we often set up some of those targets and identify their goals, and making sure that their financial picture is in line with what their financial goals are. We tackle all of those things.
I don't know if this is a new concept for any of our audience. The reason why I feel like it's important to know about the industry of daily money management is because as small business owners or even if we have a large team, so many of us put the finances on the back burner. We know we should be working on it, but it doesn't make it to the forefront in the day-to-day of doing business. For our audience, ladies, I want to stress to you. If you're not familiar with the concept of a daily money manager, it's a little bit different from a bookkeeper. Right, Amy?
It's more involved than a bookkeeper. It's bookkeeping and other services. There are a lot of additional services that go into it beyond bookkeeping. A lot of people get by with just having a bookkeeper. It does serve that purpose, but this is a little more holistic and comprehensive service than just straight bookkeeping.
Is it expensive? Price-wise, what would I be looking at to have someone help me with my business and my personal on an hourly or a monthly basis?
Everybody has their fee structure set up slightly differently. On average, a daily money manager ranges from $75 to $100 an hour. Keep in mind that a lot of clients only need a few hours a month to keep on top of some of that stuff. It depends on your need level and where you're getting those services from. For me, my clients average anywhere from $250 to $1,500 a month. It depends on the level of involvement that they're needing within their business and personal lives.
If I've got a fairly small business or team, I may not be looking at the number of hours that would match that of a team that has 80 agents. I've got a rainmaker and a big team, so my finances would look different.
Look at your goals, come up with a plan that's in line with those goals, and then implement that plan.
In the beginning, the cost is slightly higher because we would have to do a lot of onboarding. We need to get the whole financial picture into place, get onboarded onto all the systems and get a plan in place. It can be a little bit more expensive in the beginning but for an average smaller business, it would probably be closer to $250 to $500 a month at most.
For me, it's worth it to hand it off and be done with it. Does it require a lot of my admin or a staff person? Do we have to be intricately in it with you or can we just set it up and then hand it to you?
It's more of a set-it-up and hand-it-to-you type of service. It's a little more time-consuming on the front end because you do need to get your accounts in order. We need to review everything and come up with a plan and goals. In the beginning, it's a little more of a time effort on your part but after that, it's a hand-off. It's advisable to keep an eye on it as a business owner. I do like to meet with my clients at least monthly. Eventually, that can potentially go to quarterly or be down to emails, depending on the need level. It's more of we're going to check in periodically, rather than we need to be doing this together and hand-holding."
We have a range of members in the audience as we alluded to before. Some are small, single or solo agents. Some have small teams. If that's the case, are there any tips for our audience to improve their finances without hiring someone?
Yes, definitely. Something that I would always tell people is to schedule time to get organized with their finances. One of the biggest problems is things get out of order and then it's intimidating and you don't know where to begin. Scheduling time in your calendar, even if you take a day off and take that whole day to get organized, would be the first step that I would recommend people do. Once you have that unraveled, it's a lot easier to tackle those tasks when you have a plan.
The other thing I always recommend for people to do is to go through a budgeting exercise just once, even if it's not something that you want to maintain and stick to. Being able to connect all of your bank accounts, credit cards or anything that you use on a regular basis to a software, and going through and seeing where your money is going is a very eye-opening exercise. Most people are shocked when they do it to find out where their money is going.
The majority of people have no idea where they're spending their money, even if they think they do. There are tons of different software you can use, Mint or YNAB. A lot of them have free trials if you don't want to do it long-term. Connect those accounts and categorize all your transactions for probably about three months. That's a good exercise for everyone to do and get a good picture of where your money is going.
In order to get it straight or fixed, I need to know where it's going first. What if my finances are a real mess? If I set aside this time in my schedule, I'm going to sit down, get it all solved and get a grip on all of my finances. I'm like, "This is a hot mess. I need help." If I were to work with you or someone like you, where would we start? If it's tangled like a lot, I've got business and personal stuff, where do we start?
I start with my clients exactly where I suggested. Where I like to begin with clients is I like to get set up in a software. There are different ones I use for personal and business. Get those accounts connected. That way, I can see what your spending habits are and where there's possible debt in the business or your personal life. I can identify where maybe some holes and problem areas are.
That would be step one for me. It's onboarding onto a budgeting software of some kind, categorizing your transactions and seeing if there are things that are late. All those kinds of things fall into getting those accounts connected. Step two is once we've identified where your money is going, how much is coming in and where the shortfall is if there's surplus, then we create a plan based on your goals.
We talk about, "What are your financial goals? What would you like this to look like? How much time do you want to spend on this? Where do you want your business and personal finances to be in five years? Are you looking to retire? Are you saving for retirement? Do you have debt that you want to reduce?" We have to look at all of those goals and then we come up with a plan that's in line with the goals. The final step is to implement the plan. I work through that whole system with all of my clients.
In your experience, how much of the chaos in our finances is emotional?
Most of it is emotional. Everybody has different comfort levels with their finances and spending, and also with avoiding a lot of those tasks and truths within your finances. It's a lot of habitual too. One of the things that I like to do with my clients is I try to set up the implementation strategy to fit as closely as possible with what they're already doing. Creating new habits is incredibly difficult, especially when you're crunched for time, busy and got a lot going on. I try to help create financial habits with my clients that are similar to what they're already doing and simple.
Can you dive a little bit deeper into that? Do you have an example?
As far as spending goes, I do try to separate their spending money from their bill money. We set up different strategies with their accounts. I don't like to leave it up to my clients to change what they use for daily spending. I might have them use a different card if they're used to using a card, but we would pull the money out from the account and make sure that the only funds available on that card are what they have available to spend. I try to keep it simple for them so they're not saying, "I have five cards in my hand. I have to decide which one I'm spending from based on how I have my account set up." It's little things like that. I try to make sure that I'm not asking too much of them to where it becomes overwhelming and then the plan fails.
That's smart because a lot of our spending is emotional and based on habit. If we can do incremental improvements to get to where we need to be, then that is helpful for us. It's helpful for you as you're working with us too.Once we have things set up and let's say we decide that I'm going to work with a money manager who is going to help me with my personal and business finances. We then get started. You start an implementation program with me. How do we maintain that organization over time so that it doesn't get back to where it was before?
Typically, I retain those clients and help them keep things organized. I often will keep records in a cloud-based storage system so that I can help keep their records for them, so it doesn't get messy and out of hand. The other thing is with the implementation, I monitor all of that throughout our working together if things do start to get a little bit off-track. For example, I do have clients that have spending problems. I will often check in with them on a monthly basis and some of them on a weekly basis. I’ll say, "You are a little high on your spending this month. Let's try to keep a closer eye on things for the rest of the month." There's some accountability there to help keep things in line.
I want to encourage our audience with this. The whole premise of what we're doing is so that we will have money set aside. We want to get a handle on what we're doing with our finances. A money manager can help us do that in our personal and business. Once we have a grip on our finances, we have some control over what we're able to save. Once we're able to start saving, then we can see the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to getting passive investments and putting money aside for later.
I talk about this all the time but what has happened for me is I've gotten to a place now where I feel like I'm later in my career. I wish I had done the things that I'm doing now. I wish I would have done them before, but it's never too late to do the right thing. Now, I'm wanting to make sure that I have money for the years in the future. I want to make sure that I'm able to purchase assets and investments.
If I don't change my daily money habits, I will never get there. I will have my last client, with my last closing be my last check. I'm looking for a handout from Uncle Sam in Social Security because I never put these things in place so that I could have some residual or passive income coming in later. That's the whole purpose of this conversation. Sometimes, when we start talking about money, my stomach churns because I wish I was born with the gene that loves to save. I'm developing that muscle.
That's not a muscle that I was born with. This is my exercise to build that muscle of how to save money and organize my finances so that I can have some money coming in later. I'm encouraging the audience. Don't tune out on us and multitask. Come back to us now if you're not a person who loves saving and organizing your money because this is good for you. You will thank yourself in the future if you do the things that Amy is suggesting.
As far as saving goes, that's another area that I try to help people with. The first thing that I do with people is automating their savings. That's something that your audience can also consider doing on their own. Set up some automated transfers to whatever you're saving to or whatever investment product you're using. You can easily set that up online yourself and it doesn't have to be large amounts either. You can set up anywhere from $50 a week or a month to automatically go into your savings. I highly encourage people to do that.
If you find yourself intentionally avoiding digging into your finances, that's a red flag.
Most of us have the ability to do that automatic saving right on our phones. Whenever we have a deposit or an inbound amount over a certain number, you can either set up a dollar amount or a percentage to go directly into a savings account. Are there any resources, books or specific software that you recommend we use? I know you mentioned Mint. Are there some others we should be looking at?
Another one of my favorite software that I use is called YNAB. It stands for You Need A Budget. It's a little slightly different twist on budgeting. It takes a minute to wrap your mind around because it's planning your money as it's coming in. That's helpful for small business owners that may not have a salary that you pay yourself on a schedule. There are also tons of videos and resources on YouTube and all over with tips and tricks on how to use it. Because of that, that's one of the ones that I recommend to people.
Mint is a good one. QuickBooks is a favorite for businesses that I use. There are tons of books out there on budgeting and a lot of great experts that have a lot of insights and podcasts. If you're interested in learning more about budgeting and finances, the opportunities are endless. YNAB is one that's maybe lesser-known in the general population. I would highly encourage people to check that one out.
I love this because we had Episode 12 with Sabina Gartler. It's called Untangling Daily Money Management for REALTORS® here on the show and she suggested the exact same thing. I'm thinking You Need A Budget. That must be a good one if it's coming from our daily money management group. Are there any specific things that you’ve seen pop up with small business owners that maybe we need to watch out for, like 1 or 2 top things that we could be doing better that usually get us into trouble?
With my clients, what I see the most is avoiding the tasks. That's something to keep an eye out for. If you find yourself intentionally avoiding digging into your finances, that might be a red flag that there are some issues that you might need to address. Debt is another one. That's an easy thing that can get out of hand and people can lose track of it. It can accumulate rather quickly if you don't get a good grip on it. The other is commingling your personal finances with your business finances. If you do find yourself doing that frequently, it might be time for you to schedule some time to undo some of those habits and clean that up a little bit.
I could talk to you all day and dig deep on all this stuff. I want to give our audience a chance to reach you. If they have more questions or if they're interested in working with you, how do we contact you?
Ms. Amy, thank you so much for your time. We sincerely appreciate you coming on the show and sharing with us.
Thank you so much for having me. It was a pleasure to be here.
YNAB – You Need A Budget
Untangling Daily Money Management for REALTORS® - past episode
About Amy LeBeck
Amy Lebeck, lives in Central MN and is a mother of 4. Her professional background is in Social Work, but she left that career in 2014 so she could be more available to her children. She wanted to develop a business that would help busy professionals alleviate their stress and lighten their loads. In order to expand her knowledge of personal finance, Amy enrolled in school and obtained a Masters in Family Financial Planning in August of 2018.
The idea of Taskmasters was born as a way to help families and entrepreneurs manage their day-to-day finances, to alleviate stress, and help people reach their financial goals.