Meet Chérie, a Certified Public Accountant based in Southern California. She has more than 8 years of Public Accounting Experience and is a Manager in her firm’s Nonprofit Tax Practice. While nonprofit tax and compliance is her niche, her experience includes trust and estate accounting and tax, income tax planning for individuals and business accounting and tax.
Chérie is passionate about financial literacy and has progressed this passion via
TheLittleCPA.com. The mission of the The Little CPA is to share information she has learned as a Certified Public Accountant that will 1) educate her community on tax and other financial systems, and 2) help her community make wise financial decisions. The Little CPA website includes services, blogs, tools, and other resources to educate her community on tax and financial information that is traditionally only provided to high net worth individuals.
Outside of work, she assists with the nursery ministry at her Church and serves on the Board of Directors for two local nonprofit organizations. She is a proud mother, happily married, and is trained in modern, ballet, tap and other styles of dance.
Chérie gave very insightful information regarding financial literacy. See our interview below:
Q: What are some ways we can be more resourceful with our money?
A: This is a case by case basis, but here are a few general areas I have gathered from my clients:
1) Prioritize your financial goals - If you have a plethora of financial goals, tackle one or two goals, then move onto the remaining goals after you accomplish the first few. If you put a little bit of savings towards a variety of goals, your journey will take longer and you will most likely feel less accomplished. When you prioritize and focus on one goal at a time, you will gain motivation to tackle what's next.
2) Cut expenses - Many of us (myself included) have expense categories that are way too high. For our family, it's food. We are constantly looking into ways to cut our food budget so that we can have more income available for saving, investing and giving. The best way to cut expenses is to set boundaries. For example, when our family exceeds our fast food budget for the month, we eliminate Taco Tuesday and eat whatever is in the refrigerator.
3) Increase your cash flow - I have a highly educated retired client who lives off of pension and rental income. She loves to travel and has had trouble paying her tax and accounting fees due to her elaborate lifestyle. Rather than give up traveling (after all - she is retired), she has the capacity to do part-time fundraising consulting for nonprofits. A few hundred consulting dollars every few months could help her timely pay her financial advisers without giving up the lifestyle she spent her life working for.
4) Invest - In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus tells a parable in which a Master rewards servants who traded 5 talents (currency) and earned 5 more. Investing our money is good financial stewardship and the key to generational wealth, even if we only have a few dollars of disposable income. The internet has a plethora of information on investing for beginners, I am happy to recommend resources.
Q: What budgeting tips do you recommend?
A: 1) Budget for every expense - As financial literacy becomes more popular, more people are starting to budget. While budgeting is a great start to financial improvement, it is best used when it accounts for every expense. Car maintenance, baby shower gifts, hair appointments, cleaning supplies and other items that can often fall into a "Miscellaneous" category should have their own line item on a budget. The reason is, it's usually the small and miscellaneous expenses that throw us off of our budget and into overspending.
2) Choose a budget that works for you - I used to use Mint for my budget. While online apps are the way of the future, I would ignore all budget limit emails and phone notifications. I now use an excel budget and it has helped tremendously! I can customize it to my preference and I actually enjoy reviewing and analyzing it every few weeks. For some, a paper budget might work best because you are more likely to stick to something when it is written down. If your budget is not working for you, explore all of the options out there. I am happy to recommend a few budget resources should you need them.
Q: How can we improve our financial aptitude?
A: The best way to improve one's financial aptitude is to educate yourself. First, you will want to make sure you have the right mindset around money. As a Christian, I let the Bible shape my money mindset. The Bible encourages believers to invest, save, spend wisely, provide for their children's children, give to the poor, tithe and so much more. Once you have the right mindset, you can then educate yourself on how to tackle your money values. I would always recommend reading a book to best learn about money, however, online blogs and videos are a great supplement. I have several blogs on my website that can help start you on your journey to improve financial aptitude.
For more information about Chérie or services offered via The Little CPA, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website via the link below.