You may have heard about financial coaching, but are not sure what it is. Maybe a financial coach is just another one of those fads, like an after-life trainer or an alien abduction therapist. Maybe the term financial coach will come and go, never to be remembered again. But, maybe it won’t. Maybe a financial coach could be a really important addition to your life, especially if you struggle with personal finance. Maybe a financial coach could be a really important addition to your life even if you don’t struggle with personal finance. Maybe, just maybe, a financial coach can really help you to improve your life.
Quite a lot of people ask me about it. They ask, “Is a financial coach a financial planner?” Or, “do you sell investments?” Or, “I make a lot of money, isn’t a financial coach for low-income earners?” I tell them, “Not exactly”, “No”, “So, as you make more, you naturally become a better money manager?” It seems like there may be some confusion about exactly what a financial coach is.
So, here goes. My definition of financial coaching.
Financial coaching focuses on education growth and the decision-making process around money. This is so wealth-building skills can be mastered. The financial coaching model is about helping people to see that change is possible. It is also about learning to build personal resources and manage risk to facilitate the realization of life goals and objectives. Both the education and the coaching focus on debt management and payoff, saving for specific reasons and risk management. It centers around breaking down barriers to good financial health, creating realistic action plans to meet specific goals and then successfully executing on those action plans.
Phew! That was heavy. How about this? Financial coaching is about helping people make positive changes around the way they approach financial issues. I like to think it is about taking away some of the mystery and anxiety around money and replacing it with knowledge and confidence. Because once you are over the fear (or at least partially) surrounding money, you can start making plans to be more successful with it.
Whether they admit it or not, there is not a person alive who couldn’t benefit from financial coaching. Take it from a person who, in the early years, was as stupid about money as any trained (or untrained) accountant can be and has now been transformed (kicking and screaming at times) into a person with a respectable balance sheet. This stuff can be learned. Bad money habits can be turned to good. But, you have to start and the first step is to decide that you are ready to change. That you are ready to make positive changes to how your handle your money. That you are ready to stop having money get in the way of the life you were meant to lead. That you are ready to stop fearing money issues and are ready to gain focus over them.
Are you ready to stop having money get in the way of your dreams? Maybe you have a big vision that has large funding needs. Or, maybe your dreams take less in the way of monetary resources. Either way, it may be time to consider financial coaching. You never know, not having money issues, no matter your income level, might be something you could get used to.