Jacinta Martin, Adviser, Altitude Financial Management

Goals-based advice is really big for me, controlling the debt and cash flow. In Jacqui (pictured) and her husband Nathan’s case, they had always dreamed of going to the World Cup because they are die-hard fans. I think they’d written it off as a possibility until they started seeing some of the results with the cashflow coaching I was giving them.

We’d already done their financial plan but the World Cup wasn’t on their radar until literally February or March this year when they realised they had a chance of doing it. Our initial goal was to restructure their debts and put in place a plan to pay them off 20 years earlier than they’d originally forecast, plus take care of super, insurance and estate planning. They’d changed their behaviour as a result of the cashflow coaching and the ongoing advice and were self-reporting.

One day in March, Jacqui came up to me saying they were off track on their budget because their 30-year-old car finally died so they needed a new but second-hand one (which we planned for in our advice) and they had decided to go to the World Cup. It’s on their bucket list and they have the ability to fund it now, when they thought they would have to wait several more years. So we were able to achieve it all because of the advice we provided them in the lead-up and because they stuck to the plan and achieved more than they thought. All this wasn’t in our SoA to begin with; I kind of like that they have benefited more from it [than was originally included]. I coached them on the impact the trip to Russia would have on their financial plan but they were happy knowing when they were back it was going to be heads down again, working towards their goals.

Jacqui Macri, Nurse, Sydney’s northern suburbs

We didn’t have extravagant spending but both Nathan and I really had no idea about how to make money work for us and we couldn’t get our cash flow right before we met Jacinta.

I’d never had a credit card and Jacinta kind of explained how to manage that. I always thought having a credit card was actually a negative thing; I didn’t want to spend money that wasn’t mine. But having advice around those simple things helped us manage our cash flow better, which was a big thing.

For instance, my car died unexpectedly recently and my husband had laser eye surgery at the beginning of the year. Before we worked with Jacinta, those things alone would have put us under a lot of pressure. Even at the end of last year, I worked four months with a knee injury. All those things would have previously put a lot of pressure on us financially.

I remember the World Cup came up quickly. It just came out of nowhere, actually, and we started looking at our financial position and thought, ‘We can actually do this!’ It’s something we’ve always spoken about doing, going to a World Cup to watch the Socceroos, but obviously it’s a very expensive thing to do, especially in Russia, but we started looking at the numbers and we did it, which was amazing for us.

I know it sounds boring but some of the things Jacinta set up for us were just basic budgeting, like groceries and basic life stuff so you’re not always blowing out. It really helped us.

We see Jacinta for our financial advice but it’s turned into a friendship as well, which is great.

Share your comments and feedback with the editor
Smith is the editor of Professional Planner’s print and digital platforms. He is an experienced financial journalist, editor and multimedia producer who has held senior editorial positions both in mainstream press and trade media.