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If you need help handling your day-to-day personal business and financial affairs, a Daily Money Manager ("DMM") might be right for you. In addition to saving you time and money, a Daily Money Manager can help you avoid guardianship and retain independence.

If you use a DMM, it is advisable to put the agreement in writing so you each understand the arrangement.

What Is A Daily Money Manager (DMM)?

A Daily Money Manager is someone who helps you take care of your day-to-day money management and personal business needs.

Daily Money Managers usually:

  • Keep track of financial and medical insurance papers.
  • Pay bills and communicate with creditors on your behalf.
  • Balance your checkbook and maintain bank records.
  • Prepare and deliver bank deposits.
  • Organize tax documents.
  • Read medical insurance papers and verify proper processing of claims. (See also: Hiring A Claims Professional.)
  • Provide referrals to other financial professionals.
  • Arrange for in-home care and medical appointments.
  • Provide information regarding community resources.

Some Daily Money Managers can also:

  • Notarize documents.
  • Provide or arrange for transportation to and from appointments, including medical appointments.
  • Help with moving arrangements.
  • Act as a power-of-attorney.
  • Handle paperwork related to employees in your home.

When Might I Need a Daily Money Manager?

If you don't have the physical ability, time, or mental competence to handle your personal business affairs without assistance, a daily money manager might be helpful. For example, a daily money manager might be able to help if you:

  • Have difficulty getting to the bank.
  • Often pay your bills late even though you have the finances to pay them.
  • Had an eviction notice or a utility shut off, even though you had the money to pay the bill.
  • Can't balance your checkbook, or can't balance your checkbook without a lot of difficulty.
  • Can handle your personal affairs, but would like to save time and/or reduce stress.

What Don't Daily Money Managers Do?

Daily money managers focus only on day-to-day tasks. They do not provide long-term financial planning or investment counseling, or take the place of other accounting, legal, or social service professionals. For example, a Daily Money Manager will not prepare your tax return. He or she will help you get your papers together beforehand and will actually file the return for you after it’s been prepared by an accountant or tax professional.

How Much Does a Daily Money Manager Cost?

Most professional Daily Money Managers charge between $35 and $100 per hour, depending on where you live and how complex your financial situation is.

If the Daily Money Manager goes to your home, he or she may also charge for travel time and expenses.

You may also be able to find a Daily Money Manager at a reduced fee or no charge (see How Do I Find A Free or Low Cost Daily Money Manager? below).

How To Choose a Daily Money Manager

Because the type of work Daily Money Managers handle is highly personal and confidential, try to get a referral from someone you know and trust. For instance, ask:

  • Friends
  • Relatives
  • Lawyers you know
  • Accountants 
  • Doctors

Once you have a referral, check the person’s experience and background.

NOTE: Choose a Daily Money Manager with care. Even if you do not give the person authority to write checks on your account or use your credit card, he or she will likely have enough access to be able to rip you off.

How Do I Find A Daily Money Manager?

  • Many non-profit organizations offer free daily money management services. Check with your local disease specific nonprofit organization or a social worker.
  • Some local governments have reduced fee or free services available for low-income clients. Check with your Chamber of Commerce.
  • Go to the web site of the American Association Of Daily Money Managers at offsite link.

When You Start Work With A Daily Money Manager

Questions to Ask: When hiring a Daily Money Manager,, ask the following questions:

  • Is there a charge for the first meeting?
  • Are you bonded or insured?
  • Are you willing to work with other members of my team? (Specify which members you contemplate, such as your lawyer and/or accountant.)
  • Will you charge me for the first meeting? (Some Daily Money Managers offer a free initial consultation.)
  • Are you connected with local organizations? If so, which ones?
  • What references can you provide, including phone numbers? (Call the references.)
  • How will you bill for your work?

Get a Contract: It is helpful to get a contract in writing. The contract can be a simple letter. It doesn't have to be complicated. The key is to spell out what the Daily Money Manager will do for you and at what cost.

It should also spell out your responsibilities so it is clear.

If things change over time, the contract can be changed (amended).