What Is Daily Money Management?
Daily money managers (DMMs) provide personal business assistance to
clients who have difficulty in managing their personal monetary
affairs. The services meet a continuum of needs, from organizing and
keeping track of financial and medical insurance papers, to
assisting with check writing and maintaining bank accounts.
Who needs the help of a DMM?
There are many factors which contribute to the need for a DMM. DMMs
work with senior citizens, people whose careers make it difficult
for them to find time for their own paperwork, and with people whose
medical issues simply make it difficult to keep up with their
finances, among others.
Within the senior client base, most have a need for DMM services due
to a physical change precipitated by the aging process, such as
limited vision, arthritis or other conditions which limit the
ability to write, dementia, or a simple loss of ability to follow
through on tasks. Some others are so active in their retirement that
travel and social activities make it difficult to keep up with
paperwork, and they prefer to simply let someone else handle things
It is not uncommon for the adult child of an older person to seek
the assistance of a DMM if the child does not feel they have the
time or ability to maintain their parents’ affairs.
If I hire a DMM, why do I need an accountant, lawyer, or social
A DMM does not take the place of professionals in the accounting,
investment, or social service fields; rather, their work complements
the work of other professionals by facilitating the completion of
the day to day tasks rather than determining long-term plans.
For example, a DMM, by organizing and maintaining accurate financial
records for a client, can easily compile the necessary documents for
tax preparation by an accountant. When the accountant has prepared
the required tax returns, the DMM makes sure they are correctly
signed, that the appropriate checks are attached, and that returns
are mailed on time.
Unless your DMM happens to have separate professional credentials in
other fields, he or she should not be offering you legal,
investment, or tax advice. However, a good DMM should be able to
recognize pertinent issues and refer you to professionals and
organizations qualified to provide the other services you may need.
What types of tasks a DMM will handle?
The expertise of DMMs covers a broad range of tasks, and the actual
work they do depends on client need. However, the scope of a DMMs
work generally includes the following:
Bill-paying, including calls to payees regarding incorrect
bills and preparation of checks for clients to sign.
Balancing checkbooks and maintaining organization of bank
Preparing and delivering bank deposits.
Organizing tax documents and other paperwork.
Negotiating with creditors.
Deciphering medical insurance papers and verifying proper
processing of claims.
General organization assistance.
Providing referrals to legal, tax, and investment
Some, but not all, DMMs will also provide additional services,
Maintaining home payroll records for use in preparation of
payroll tax reports
Transportation to and from appointments
Assistance with arrangements for moving from one’s home to a
retirement or nursing facility
Acting as power-of-attorney or representative payee for
Preparation of payroll checks for home employees including
calculation of Federal and state withholding and FICA taxes
Where do I find a DMM in my area?
Click here to find a DMM from our Member List!
You can seek DMM referrals from many sources, but you should first
try to get a referral from someone you know and trust. Friends,
relatives, lawyers, doctors, accountants, social workers, and
residential community directors may be able to provide you with a
name of a DMM.
If not, contact your local Area Agency on Aging, senior center,
church, or government social service agency. You can also contact us
at the American Association of Daily Money Managers Toll Free 814-357-9191.
What will the services of a DMM cost and what are the common
Most DMMs charge for their services on an hourly basis, with rates
varying with geographic areas.
In addition to the hourly rates, most DMMs charge for their travel
time and for out-of-pocket expenses such as postage stamps provided
to their clients and long distance charges for calls made on a
Some DMMs request payment at the time of service and others bill on
a monthly or bi-weekly basis. Some local governments have reduced
fee or free services available for low-income clients.
Will I be giving up my independence if I hire a DMM?
On the contrary, the assistance of a DMM is often the piece of
life’s puzzle which allows many seniors to avoid guardianship or
complete loss of independence.
If you find that you are late in paying bills or do not understand
certain financial forms that come in the mail, your family might
pressure you to move out of your home or turn over your affairs to a
legal representative. Often times, a twice-monthly visit from a DMM
will allow you to keep your finances under your own control, with
the DMM helping you to keep on track and to avoid errors which may
have raised the concern of loved ones.
The involvement of an outsider in personal financial affairs may be
too intimidating for some, but most clients of DMMs find that once
they have established a relationship with their DMM, they don’t know
how they survived without one.
The American Association of Daily Money Managers hopes to lead the
emergence of this industry in a positive manner, and we would be
happy to answer any additional questions you may have about this