What to Expect During a Financial Coaching Session
Want to call a financial coach, but not sure what to expect? Maybe you’re nervous about seeking help in the first place. That’s understandable.
The good news is financial coaches aren’t counselors. We won’t rehash your mistakes and dwell on what went wrong in your past. We focus on the future. We will give you a specific, achievable plan for your particular situation.
"We won’t rehash your mistakes and dwell on what went wrong in your past. We focus on the future. We will give you a specific, achievable plan for your particular situation."
How to Prepare for Your Session
Don’t worry about gathering years of tax documents and bank statements before your session. We financial coach will email you a few simple forms to fill out and submit beforehand.
So what’s on these forms? One is a short money snapshot and the other is a basic budget. The money snapshot tells us how much you earn, how much debt you owe, and your top concerns or questions for the session.
The budget is a list of everything you spent last month—from your water bill to your student loan payment. We have seen the best clients are those who fill out their forms accurately. That means no best guesses.
And don’t be shy or feel ashamed. You can trust your coach like you trust a friend. Plus, we can only help you if we know exactly what’s coming in and what’s going out.
What Will Happen During Your Session?
When you call in for your session, we will have already reviewed your forms. After getting to know you for a few minutes, we’ll dive right in to your most pressing financial issues.
Since every client has different needs, every coaching session will be different. Some topics, however, overlap, like communication, debt elimination and saving for education or retirement.
The majority of clients also need to focus on creating a realistic budget. That means thinking about purchases that frequently bust bank accounts, like birthdays, vacations and even Halloween costumes. We want you to plan for these expenses instead of forgetting about them and falling back on credit.
What You'll Walk Away With
Successful clients move the needle as soon as possible after their session. That’s why we will give you action steps to follow almost immediately.
These might include tweaking your budget, creating a debt elimination plan, and setting goals for the next few years. You might also brainstorm additional income opportunities to pay back debts faster (a second job) and smart ways to stay out of debt in the future (in-state college for the kids).
Keep in mind that you won’t leave your session with all your issues magically solved. But you will leave equipped to solve them yourself. Think of your financial coach as a personal trainer. He or she will show you what to do and how to do it, but the heavy lifting is up to you.
And the payoff? When you realize you did it—all by yourself.
How to afford financial coaching when you are broke
People usually don’t visit a financial coach because they’re just looking for someone to have coffee with. They do it because they need serious help taking control of their money! Maybe they’ve tried on their own and given up. Or they know they can reach their goals faster with a coach’s accountability. Or maybe they’re struggling with specific areas that require a coach’s knowledge and expertise.
Whatever their reason, one thing’s often certain: They’re wondering how they can afford financial coaching.
"For someone who feels like they’re drowning in their finances, it’s one of the best investments they can make."
It’s true that coaching typically isn’t cheap. That’s because it’s time-intensive, and you’re paying for the coach’s skill and knowledge to help you escape a bad situation. But for someone who feels like they’re drowning in their finances, it’s one of the best investments they can make.
Now, most coaching clients are struggling to manage their finances. They might be broke, but they’re almost never poor.
The bigger problem is that most people struggling with money are just plain broke—and that’s nothing more than a stage they’re passing through. Broke people make enough money to get by, but their bad money habits have them living paycheck to paycheck. They don’t handle their money properly, so they don’t feel like they have any. They’re not truly poor, and they don’t have to be permanently broke.
Sometimes they spend more than they make (whether they mean to or not). Other times they confuse wants with needs and spend money on non-necessities, leaving little for the four things you really need to survive: food, shelter, clothing and transportation
But that also means that even broke people can find the cash to pay for a financial coach. They just have to make their financial future a priority.
So what do you do? You get creative.
Can you sell some stuff? Pick up a part-time job or some freelance work? Maybe cancel that cable or downgrade your data plan? If you spend just a little time looking at your options, you can probably find the money it takes to get the help you need.
And the truth is, that’s good practice for what’ll happen once you do meet with that financial coach.
We will take a close look at your budget—or help you make one if you’ve never done it before. Then we will help you figure out where every dollar you earn is going. Next we will help you make a plan for your money. Not only will you be able to afford the things you need, but you’ll also save for your future, give to others, and even enjoy some of your money for yourself !
But we can only help you if you take the first step.
At the end of the day, taking control of your finances is your choice. Ready to start the journey?