What is a financial coach?

There are a fair amount of misconceptions out there on what a financial coach is, and what we can do to help. There are several people that can help with various financial situations that a client may present with. To best help define what a financial coach is, it is best to describe what a financial coach is not.

A financial coach is not someone that will be selling you any sort of financial investments or insurance products. A financial adviser is concerned with the behavior of your money whereas a coach is concerned with your behaviors with your money.

I am here to help walk with a person to help them build a debt pay off plan. Lots of people say that they want to get out of debt and will make a haphazard effort. In my experience, this does not always fix the problem that lead to the debt in the first place. Having a solid plan that addresses behaviors that lead to the debt and having a long-term wealth building coach in your corner helping you to make a plan is a person’s best bet for success. There are lots of things that lead people to falling back into debt.

  • unexpected job loss

  • medical expenses

  • veterinarian bills

  • household repairs

  • holidays

  • car repair bills

It is easy to look to a credit card with the intention of paying off debt with a tax refund. The problem with this plan is when “deserve” comes into play and instead the funds end up going to clothes or maybe a family trip, perhaps you are not even sure where the money went. The trouble with money is that, if you do not know how to manage your money, having a sudden financial windfall is not going to change the picture long-term.

A financial coach is going to get into the trenches with you to take a look at where you have struggled with your finances and what led to going into debt. THIS IS NOT A JUDGEMENT SESSION and that includes either sides of a couple. At this point, I am going to work with my client to determine a plan that will help them work towards their personalized goals.

One of the most strongly indicative reasons a person is successful or not at getting out of debt stands in their plan. Second most, I have found lies in a person’s reason. Given a strong enough reason, a person will endure changing behaviors that they are used to. Budgeting is not a simple check register, and it is not as simple as making sure the bills are paid and that the account does not overdraft.

Jennifer Strimbeck