Financial Coaching - person with headset

Financial Coaching

With access to a team of top-notch, certified financial counselors, employees can get ahead of the financial impact of life events.

Whether employees are looking for one-on-one budget coaching, help with specific debt concerns, guidance with mortgage, vehicle or student loan decisions, they will receive unbiased, courteous care from our team. Financial coaching is free of charge to all FinFit members.

One in four employees rank a financial wellness benefit with access to unbiased counselors as the most desired employer benefit.

Financial Coaching Topics range from:

  • New baby/child
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Getting married
  • Getting divorced
  • Job loss/disability
  • Buying a home
  • Credit reports
  • Debt and creditors
  • Budgeting guidance
  • Affording college and student debt

It’s simple: spend less than you make, and don’t forget to save for your financial goals, right? While it may seem easy, managing matters of the dollar is tough. Even if your financial life is going in the right direction, all it takes is one or two emergencies or a few bad financial decisions to sideline any financial plans you have in place. According to a Bank Rate survey, over half of Americans said they were concerned about the amount they had in their emergency savings. Out of those who were uncomfortable, 75% had no savings or insufficient savings to cover three months of living expenses.

However, it’s not just unexpected events that can derail your money management goals and financial plans — your emotions are just as likely. While often overlooked, your emotional connection to money can fuel money habits and handcuff your overall financial wellness. Fortunately, a financial coach can help.

A financial coach can help mend your relationship with the dollar and improve your financial situation. Even if you are receiving financial advice from a certified financial planner, a financial coach is different. When combined with financial advice, a financial coach can help prevent your human behavior from derailing your financial goals.

What Is a Financial Money Coach

Before we dive deeper into what a financial coach is, it may be beneficial to distinguish what a financial coach is not. For starters, financial money coaches are not financial advisors. Instead, a financial money coach takes a much closer look at the behavioral side of personal finance. In doing so, you and your employees will be more likely to stay on track with the goals that you and your certified financial advisor may have developed.

Just as you would get a fitness coach to get into better physical shape or a career coach to land the next promotion, a financial coach can help you get in better financial shape. Financial coaches help you develop a positive relationship with money to stay on track toward your goals.

Whether it’s improving your credit score, improving your financial literacy, or paying down credit card debt, your financial coach will offer the tailored attention you deserve. In the process, your money coach can help you build more accountability in every decision moving forward. This certified financial professional will get to know you personally, understand your “why”, and help you stay on financial track with productive daily behaviors and thoughts. Most importantly, these financial professionals will act as your in-the-corner cheerleader helping you achieve small and large successes.

Are Financial Coaches Trained or Formally Educated?

Yes! Most financial coaches are specially trained through independent associations. For example, the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE) offers a course curriculum for those looking to start a financial coaching business or become an accredited financial counselor. While many financial coaches do have a bachelor’s degree, it’s typically not a requirement.

What Does a Financial Coach Do?

A financial coach can help you realize your lifestyle is a direct reflection of your emotional connection with money and habits. As such, any changes you make in your financial habits should always begin with the way you think and treat money. Financial coaches help clients:

  • Understand the importance of budgeting
  • Track income and expenses
  • Establish tangible short and long-term goals
  • Develop initiatives to pay down debt
  • Create easy-to-understand plans to keep you accountable

Most financial coaching services and topics are centered around:

  • New baby/child
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Getting married
  • Getting divorced
  • Job loss/disability
  • Buying a home
  • Credit reports
  • Understanding financial products
  • Debt and creditors
  • Budgeting guidance
  • Retirement planning assistance
  • Student loan planning and budgeting
  • Affording college and student debt
  • And more

What’s the Difference Between a Financial Coach vs. a Financial Advisor?

Getting your financial accounts in order can be quite the challenge. As such, many savvy Americans turn to financial professionals to help them do just that, such as financial advisors. Financial advisors are trained professionals who help create complex financial plans, offer retirement planning, investment advice, and more. While a long-term plan is paramount, you may be unlikely to hit those long-term target goals if your day-to-day finances are a mess. This is where a financial coach can help. Let’s take a closer look at a head-to-head comparison between a financial advisor’s duties vs. a financial coach‘s duties.

Financial Advisor Duties

Financial advisors, in general, are tasked with helping you create a comprehensive financial plan for your future. They offer recommendations on a diversified portfolio that can protect against the unexpected and help you move toward your financial goals. In the process, financial advising may entail a full range of products and solutions, such as:

  • Investment strategies and financial products: Bonds, stocks, mutual funds, structured products, managed accounts, and more.
  • Insurance financial products: Life insurance, auto and home insurance, disability income insurance, trust services, and more.
  • Banking and cash management service: Some advisors may even offer credit cards, lending solutions, trusts, and similar cash management services.

Financial Coach Duties

While financial advice centers around long-term goals, financial coaching is more about the here and now. A financial fitness coach can help improve your financial security and help you get the most out of your paychecks. A few common services offered by a financial fitness coach include:

  1. Creating a budget
  2. Understanding your spending habits
  3. Uncovering your emotional connection to money
  4. Outlining a financial plan
  5. Learning how to create an emergency fund
  6. Managing debt
  7. Planning for life events
  8. And more

When Should I Hire a Financial Coach vs. Financial Advisor?

In general, you will turn to a financial coach when you need help saving and managing money, but a financial advisor would be more applicable when you need help investing and growing money. Financial coaches specialize in working with everyday Americans, both employers and their employees, who may need general help and may not have a ton of assets. On the other hand, financial advisors are typically for those who have saved money and/or are interested in investing their funds.

Advisors provide options for creating an investment portfolio to help their clients to achieve their financial goals. Financial advisor pricing is usually based on a percentage of their assets under management (AUM) as opposed to financial coaches who may charge a flat retainer fee. In addition, a financial advisor may require clients to have a minimum amount of assets to start service.

What Are Some Common Financial Coaching Questions?

If you have financial questions, you’re not alone. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that financial coaches answer:

Cash Flow Questions

  • How do I create a workable spending plan?
  • Why aren’t my financial ends meeting anymore?
  • What should I do if my paycheck has been reduced?

Career & Health Questions?

  • How can I live on my disability or reduced income?
  • At what age will I be able to retire?
  • How can I get on my feet after a major life event, such as a death of a spouse or divorce?

Debt Questions

  • What should I do if I am no longer able to manage credit card debt?
  • Can you help me create a plan to get out of credit card debt so I can save for a home?
  • What are the ways I can avoid foreclosure?
  • Why do I always get back into debt?
  • Are there other options for me besides bankruptcy?

Investment and Savings Questions?

  • How much should I save for emergencies, retirement, and college?
  • How do I choose an investment advisor I can trust?
  • What can 401k, IRA, Roth, or pensions do for me?
  • How much should I keep in my bank account? How many bank accounts should I have?

Additional FAQs

  1. Is there financial aid out there for college costs?
  2. How do I manage my parent’s financial affairs?
  3. Where can I go to get a credit report and improve my score?
  4. What should I do if I’m a victim of identity theft?
  5. How do I address collection/tax notices?

What Should I Do to Prepare for My First Financial Coaching Session?

Your financial coach’s job is to get to know you, understand your ambitions, and any financial hurdles and obstacles you may face. This vital information can be used to help them guide you toward a better, healthier relationship with money. As such, the best part of preparing for your first financial coaching session is that…you don’t have to! During the consultation, your financial coach will ask you general questions to help them get to know you and your financial relationship better.

How Much Does a Financial Coach Cost?

Because financial coaching costs are not governed by a financial industry regulatory authority, the pricing can vary based on each individual coach. While some may charge a flat rate that includes multiple sessions, other financial coaches may charge an hourly rate per session. However, if you are a FinFit member, you have access to expert financial coaching at no additional charge!

What Are the Benefits of Using Financial Coaching Services?

A financial coach can help you:

  • Feel better and be better in regard to money
  • Remove self-destructive patterns
  • Prevent counterproductive habits
  • Create a plan to achieve your goals

While everyone may benefit differently from working with a financial coach, here are some of the top, most prevalent benefits.

Manage Finances More Prudently

We get it — managing finances can be tough. And not everyone has the skills to do so. Working with a financial coach can expose you to the innovative tools, expertise, and resources to help you get control of your finances and future.

See Your Money in New Light

You’ve heard the sentiment about the second set of eyes? Well, your financial coach can be your second set of financial eyes on your money. This unbiased financial professional can help you gain a greater understanding of the numbers and help you gain clarity on where your money is going.

Uncover Your Emotional Connection to Money

Your emotions control much of your behavior, and most people make decisions based on feelings. The worst part is — many people are completely unaware of it. A financial coach can help you unveil the emotions that may be driving your financial decisions.

Receive Consistent Motivation

Achieving your financial goals can easily look like climbing Mount Everest. However, a supportive financial coach can give you gentle and consistent nudges to help you keep climbing.

Get Down to the Root to Grow Financially

A financial coach can help you get down to the root causes of your financial problems. Often, individuals only treat the symptom and ignore the underlying cause. An experienced financial coach specializes in

  1. Analyzing your finances
  2. Studying your mentality
  3. Developing a plan based on strategic analysis

At the same time, a financial coach can educate you on any hidden fees that may be costing you money — money that would be best suited saved or invested.

Make Substantiative, Lasting Change

Financial coaching works from the inside out to reveal the “why” behind your actions and motivations. Once the drivers are uncovered, you and your coach can properly address them. However, financial coaching isn’t a “feel-good” process or a “seminar high” that only leads to temporary fixes. Instead, financial coaching works at a deep level to deliver the life-changing services that exist well after your financial coaching ends.

Revolutionize Your Money Mindset and Make Sound Financial Decisions with Financial Coaching

Life is all about choices and decisions — particularly financial ones. When you make a poor financial decision, your circumstances are likely to reflect the choice. As such, if you want better results, it starts with making smarter financial decisions. And this underpins the importance of having sound financial coaching.

A financial coach can work closely with you to create a plan and outline the steps you need to take today to achieve your goals tomorrow. Best of all, FinFit members have access to the tailored financial coaching and guidance you need at no additional cost.

Situated in Virginia Beach, Virginia, FinFit has become one of the nation’s largest financial wellness benefits. We provide a self-directed online experience that lets employees measure their financial well-being through fun and educational resources as well as tools to increase financial knowledge and drive results.

Let’s discuss how FinFit can help! Schedule a demo with one of our financial professionals.

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