What is Financial Coaching?

By Carrie Sullivan

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Want help with your finances but are afraid to ask?  When you think of “Financial Coaching,” do any of these words resonate with you?

  • Intimidating
  • Counselor
  • Judgmental
  • Restrictive

Maybe you’re wondering what a Financial Coach will think of you when you tell them about your financial status? Will they think you’re a bad person?  

Maybe you’re hoping a Financial Coach will be able to fix all your financial problems with their “Easy Button” or “Magic Wand” or hold you accountable for how you manage or don’t manage your money.

I can totally relate to this because I’ve been there!  Digging deep into your financial situation, whether you have a lot of money or very little, is very personal.  Being completely honest with yourself about why you do what you do with your money can be scary, but opening up to someone else can be even scarier AND more intimidating.  

When I finally took the steps to face my fears about my finances and looked at my ENTIRE financial picture, it was an eye-opener instead of avoiding the facts and telling myself where I thought I was financially. 

I was afraid:

  • I would find out I was in a lot more debt than I had been willing to admit 
  • I would find financial skeletons in my closet I wasn’t even aware of
  • I would find out I was spending more than I make

In the end, facing my financial picture head-on without ignoring any of the details was far less overwhelming than not knowing the full scope of my finances.  It was a sense of relief to know exactly where I stood financially.  Knowing my complete financial picture allowed me to create a plan moving forward and take control of my money and my future.

Learning how to manage my money and build healthy financial habits changed my life so much that I became a financial coach to help others experience what financial freedom is like.

As a financial coach, I’m here to tell you that financial coaches are not counselors and won’t judge you on your past financial choices or current financial situation.  They don’t think you’re stupid, and they don’t tell you what you can and can’t do with your money.

Benefits of a Financial Coach

Financial coaching is about helping you understand your financial picture, what’s important to you, and the direction you want to go. Financial Coaching is about 

  • Offering new financial knowledge so you can make more informed decisions about your finances.
  • Offering a new perspective on your finances.
  • Providing education on financial literacy and how it relates to your finances.
  • Creating self-awareness of your financial picture, why it’s important to you, and why it matters.
  • Helping you understand where you want to be in your future, long-term, and what obstacles are holding you back from moving on to the next chapter of your life.
  • Guiding you through tough financial decisions by offering insight, awareness, and options so you can make the best choice that is right for you. 
  • Helping you understand your fears, obstacles, and thoughts about money.
  • Helping you let go of the past, the things you can’t control, by giving yourself grace and focusing on what you can control your future.
  • Offering you the tools and systems necessary to manage your money and sustain:
    • a clear and consistent awareness of your financial picture
    • an abundant money mindset
    • healthy financial habits that are aligned with your value and goals

Education and self-awareness are key to building confidence in your financial decisions.  It will help you create a sustainable financial plan AND take the necessary action steps to achieve your desired financial state. 

Why Should I Pay for A Financial Coaches Services and/or Products?

When it comes to money, the math doesn’t lie.  

If I asked the question, “What do you need to do to take control of your money?” the more obvious answer might be, “save more and spend less.”   

If you don’t even have enough money to cover the necessities to live (shelter, food, clothing, and transportation), you don’t have a money problem. You have an income problem.  

If your monthly income covers more than the necessities, but you have no savings, the problem isn’t about the money or a budget.  The problem lies in your habits and behaviors.  

It’s not about the money or your budget. It runs much deeper than that.  You need to understand the root cause of your money problems before you can change your financial picture.

The root cause falls into three categories:

  1. Perspective Problem:  You need to change your mindset and the way you think.  You need to have a big enough WHY to keep you motivated.
  2. People Problem:  You need to make sure you set clear boundaries with family and friends and ensure you’re on the same page, financially, with your partner, working toward the same goals.
  3. Process Problem:  You don’t understand the “mechanics” of a budget, how something works within the budget, and therefore you are not able to recognize when you’re doing something wrong or missing something.

A financial coach helps you focus on the deep-rooted problem(s).  A financial coach helps you understand your values and what’s important to you. They teach you how to align your money habits with your values.

When it comes to financial freedom and goals, would you rather continue down the path you’re on or invest in a financial coach that will help guide you into self-awareness of your financial picture today, what’s really important to you, where you want to be in the future, and what’s standing in your way of achieving your goal?. 

How Do I Know If Financial Coaching Is Right For Me?

Financial coaching isn’t right for everyone; you are the only one that can make that decision.  Instead of asking a financial coach what kind of plan they offer their clients, ask yourself:

  • Why it’s important that I invest in a financial coach?
  • When it comes to my finances, what’s important to me, what really matters?
  • What have I tried so far to improve your financial health?
  • What obstacles are getting in my way of feeling confident and secure about my finances?
  • What is the cost if I don’t invest in my financial health?
  • What will gaining new financial knowledge or a new perspective on my financial health do for me?
  • Where will I be a year from now if I don’t invest in financial coaching?  Will I be in the same place?  How will that make me feel?
  • What is the cost of not mastering my finances?
  • Do I know where I sit today financially?
  • When I ask myself about my financial status, do I tell myself what I think it is by guessing and generalizing, or do I look at the facts and the total numbers as well as my money mindset and my financial habits and behaviors to really understand the COMPLETE picture of my financial health?

How Do You Know If You’re Ready for Financial Coaching?

Financial coaching is a two-way relationship.  If you are looking for a financial coach with the expectation that they have all the answers or a magic wand to fix your money problems, it will never work.

It is not the job of a financial coach to tell you what you can and can’t do with your money or to judge you regarding your financial decisions.  Their job is not to make the decisions for you but to provide you with the ability to make sound, informed financial decisions on your own based on what’s important to you and what you value most.

A financial coach’s job is to help you trust your decision-making process so that whenever you must make challenging financial decisions, you are confident and feel good about your decision, no matter what the outcome is.

When considering a financial coach, ask yourself:

  • Am I curious and ready to explore everything I know and don’t know about my personal finances?
  • Am I ready to face my fears and any obstacles that are getting in my way of mastering my finances and live the lifestyle I desire?
  • Am I open to exploring my values and what’s important to me when it comes to my lifestyle and financial health?
  • Am I ready to take a deep dive into my values and see if my financial habits align with those values?
  • Am I ready to commit to new ideas and willing to choose to think differently to get different results?

If you answered yes to these questions, you are ready for financial coaching.  There are a lot of great financial coaches out there.  When shopping for a financial coach, be sure to do your due diligence and schedule a consult with at least two or three to make sure you find one that is a good fit for both of you.

Whether you choose to work with a financial coach or not, understanding your finances and learning how to manage your money, so you are in control instead of your money controlling you is what will set you free.  

We all make our own choices, choose to think differently, and great things will come your way!

About Carrie:

Family Money Mindset Coach with love and passion for family values and life-long learning.

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