Expense reporting software helps Ollie get the most from his pay rise

Ollie and his dad Ron stop laying paving stones and start laying holiday plans instead. Never mind the enthusiasm, says the older man; let’s have our business heads on and get the money management right…

Ollie wiped the back of his hand across his mouth, removing the foam deposited on his top lip as he took a deep draught from a bottle of beer.  He wiped his hand on his trousers, and sighed.

“I do wish you wouldn’t do that,” said his father Ron, drinking his own beer with less gusto, and therefore less froth.

Ollie ignored him. “I’ve been thinking about money, and I’ve had this idea,” he said.

“And you have that look on your face,” said Ron. “The look that says you suspect I’ll say it’s a crazy idea,” he added, happy enough to stop laying the patio they’d been busy with all morning.

“I think you’ll think it’s a good idea,” countered Ollie. And what’s more, I think you’ll want to be part of it. Here’s how it works…”

Expense management
He went on to outline his strategy to his father, partly to sound out the older man, who could spot flaws in money matters faster than terriers could catch rats, and partly because he needed his dad’s buy-in.

Ollie had earned a modest pay rise, he explained, and wanted to invest it in a way that would give more back than they might earn in conventional interest.

Using the Solo Expenses online expense management app he and his wife Lizzie had their spending under control, and were managing their personal finances well. What he didn’t want was for the extra money to be soaked up in more of the same; he wanted something to show for it; something that had long-term value. He wanted to buy a holiday property to let in the West Country; a place they could use for their own family holidays from time to time, and earn money from whilst other people enjoyed themselves there too.

Ollie had done the math, and believed they could afford the mortgage, which he intended to investigate getting. Because he and Lizzie owned the property, they would save money on holiday rentals, and they’d be more relaxed about their children Alice and Jack running about in their own property than if it was someone else’s.

There was just one flaw in the plan. What he lacked, he explained, was a deposit.

“Which is where I come in?” asked Ron.

“Which is where you come in,” agreed Ollie. “If you could stump up a deposit, then you and Mum would be able to use the property too, and you’ll get a financial return into the bargain.”

Expense tracking
“Taxable income, though,” said Ron, trying not to show how keen he was on the idea. “We’d need to look at the details carefully. Who would do the maintenance, and the cleaning on changeover day, and the advertising, and the repairs? That’ll all make a hole in the revenue. This won’t be a hobby, you know; it’ll be a business, and we’ll need some kind of expense tracking system so we know how it’s going.”

Ollie pulled his phone from his hip pocket. “Not a problem, Dad. You know all about Solo Expenses, because we’ve talked about it before. The property can have a category of its own, and we can record everything that’s being spent here in the palm of our hands.”

Ron nodded. “OK son, let’s look into it more closely. In for a penny, as they say…”

Ollie punched his father playfully on the shoulder. “I hope you’ll be into it for a bit more than that, Dad. If it was just a penny we needed, we could probably find one down the back of the sofa. Imagine: I could be in a property partnership with a piece of furniture! Let’s go and talk to Mum and Lizzie…”

“Expensive way to get out of laying a patio,” said Ron, smiling…

Picture: Stuart Pearcey | Dreamstime