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What's your coaching experience?

When we talk about coaching, what comes to mind? Is it the person who helped you achieve greatness in athletics? Is it someone who guided you through a difficult challenge? Is it someone who challenged you to keep growing? People ask me, “what is the difference between a financial coach, a financial planner, and a financial advisor.” This is a great question! Let's dive in to reveal the truth.

What is a financial coach?

A financial coach helps you create goals and actually stick with them so you’re not just dreaming about financial peace—you’re living it. Financial coaching is different from any other finance-related job. CPAs help you with your taxes. Financial advisors help you with investments. Financial planners address how money behaves, but financial coaches work with you to create a start-to-finish plan for your money and how you behave around money.

Financial coaches often work with their clients over several sessions—focusing on anything from fine-tuning your budget to discovering your long-term goals to working through a real financial crisis. No matter the situation, financial coaches sit with you one on one (we call it “kneecap to kneecap”) to help you overcome the challenges that hold you back in your finances.

When should I work with a financial coach?

That’s the great thing about a financial coach—they can help you in any situation! Maybe you’re up to your eyeballs in student loans or credit card debt, or you’re having money fights with your spouse. Or maybe you have big money goals—like saving to buy a house or setting yourself up for retirement—but no plan to achieve them. Regardless, a coach can meet you where you’re at and steer you in the right direction to win with your money.

How do I pay for coaching when I'm broke?

Coaching is meant to put money back in your pocket, not take it out. It’s the best way to help you develop the right money habits and put an end to your money problems. Some people will ask if they can afford it, but maybe you should ask yourself, Can I afford not to get help from a coach? Working with my first client, we were able to identify almost $800 in undesignated funds in their budget. Talk about a raise!

If you’re trying to get out of debt, other options (like credit counseling and bankruptcy) only manage the symptoms. They don’t change the habits that got you there. And the cost of bankruptcy is more than a financial burden—it’s a stain on your personal record.

There’s no better way to establish good money habits than by having a personal money mentor who understands your situation. And sidenote: You should never be ashamed of your financial struggles when working with a coach. They’re here to encourage you. These men and women are trained professionals who work with people from all walks of life and all ranges of income. Whatever you’re going through, it’s okay.

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