Understanding Personal Finance Care
Frequently Asked Questions
Who needs the help of a Daily Money Manager?
DMMs (Daily Money Managers) serve a wide audience, including seniors, widows & widowers who were not the ‘financial spouse’, caregivers who have their hands full with other things, busy professionals, frequent travelers, newlyweds, individuals of high net worth, and small businesses. The list encompasses those who cannot, or do not wish to, manage their own business affairs due to busy schedules, disability, or lack of interest or knowledge. At Paper Tigress, we focus on helping seniors, caregivers, and busy professionals. We can also assist/serve as executor or financial power of attorney.
Will I still need an accountant, lawyer, or social worker?
In most cases, we work with your accountant, attorney, and other professionals. We are not licensed to prepare taxes or provide investment advice, for example. But we can save you time, keep pertinent information organized, and, by handling the day-to-day tasks, we make life easier for all concerned. We are also an excellent resource to connect you with any other services you may need.
How do I know I can trust you?
There are many factors that play into trust, including past experiences and the word of others. If you are older, we encourage you to allow someone else oversight of our work or let us oversee the work being done by a family member, if that is the case. It is always best to have 2 sets of eyes on everything. We provide clients with detailed reports of all transactions, which will match your financial statements, and we encourage you or a trusted other to monitor reconciliation and credit reports regularly.
We are members of the American Association of Daily Money Managers, meaning that we must adhere to an industry Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. We are always happy to provide references from clients and other professionals, and you can read other testimonials on the website. Any employees must pass a national criminal background and credit check prior to hiring. Janis Harlow has served as Treasurer at her church and other organizations. She is happy to address any natural concerns you may have in this regard. Without trust, there would be no Paper Tigress.
What does this service cost?
AADMM members are prohibited by anti-trust law to share rates publicly. There is no charge for an initial Discovery meeting. If we mutually agree to work together, we charge a small fee for an Assessment of Work, which can then be applied to one of our packages. The assessment determines the service level needed. We currently have 3 packages with varying levels of service, each for a fixed price. We charge hourly for the initial Organization Phase, where we establish a system for you and get you caught up, if needed. Hourly rates are also available for short term projects, like sorting through documents in a filing cabinet, or helping you get ready for tax time. Travel expenses may be billed separately, depending on your package, as are miscellaneous supplies. It is best to speak with us at the time of your Discovery meeting about any questions you may have.
Will I lose control of my finances if I hire Paper Tigress?
The beauty of an individualized plan is that you can keep, or give up, as much control as is legally and ethically possible. For example, sometimes a senior might have severe arthritis or tremors. While they may be mentally strong, they need help preparing checks and filing paperwork. They can see every check that goes out if they want to. For others, seeing a transaction report, and account reconciliations that match bank and credit card statements each month is enough. We try to work within your comfort zone.
Will you make sure my bills are paid on time?
We can set up reminders or automatic payments for regular bills. They will always be paid on time, as long as we receive needed information with enough lead time to pay them. There are several ways to accomplish that and you can choose how to do it.
Do I still have to sign checks?
With some banks, we can set up online payments and there is no need to sign a check. Occasionally the bank requires a special form or limited Power of Attorney to be executed. The laws are changing to protect the vulnerable, so there is no straight answer. If you want to sign checks, it is YOUR choice.
Will my family be involved?
If you are an older adult, we encourage you to have a family member present, if possible, when you meet with us initially. If family members are distant, we are happy to speak with them by phone. In some cases, you may not want family involved, but that is completely up to you. Our work is always performed in the best interests of the owner of the asset in question. We often coordinate with or report to others, when that is desired, or when a Power of Attorney is involved.
How often will I see you?
Visits will be determined by your needs. Some clients we see rarely, or not at all. Typically, visits occur bi-weekly, or monthly. Technology allows us to handle many things remotely, which reduces cost. But this doesn’t work for all clients in all situations. Sometimes we are the only ones ‘checking in’, so a regular visit can be a comfort factor for distant family members.
Will you serve as my Power of Attorney?
Paper Tigress is insured to serve as a Power of Attorney. This authority can be conferred on a very limited basis, such as for a single account, from which to pay bills, or it can be very broad. There is great flexibility in setting up Powers of Attorney, and sometimes it is the best, or only, way to go. There are different kinds of POA documents and you should understand the implications of each. It is a very critical document that everyone should have.
Can you protect me or my loved one from fraud and financial abuse?
There are a number of things we do in this regard as a matter of course. We look at financial statements each month to be sure nothing unusual is listed. We encourage & can assist clients to check their credit reports. We can sort mail and identify predatory solicitations. We educate clients and the public on ways to recognize and prevent financial abuse. There are so many ways to prey on the unaware that it is impossible to promise to stop all victimization, but we can be the eyes and ears that notice when something is not right, and take the necessary steps to correct it.
If I am in debt, how can you help me?
First of all, we do not judge you for being in debt. However you got where you are, is in the past. Our Financial Weight Loss(TM) System helps you tackle debt in a systematic way, based on your personality. We help you develop a budget, identify the best way to reduce your debt, and provide you with ongoing support and education to prevent backsliding. The key is a strong desire to make a change. If you have that, we can help.
What areas do you serve?
That depends on who we are serving. If you require in-person assistance, we primarily serve Northern Delaware and Southern Chester County, PA. Alternatively, with your permission, we can work completely online and/or through the mail, and provide service to almost anyone.