If you're feeling overwhelmed with your finances, it might be time to hire a coach. Budget coaching can help you get your finances in order and create a plan that works for you. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about hiring a coach, including how to know when you should work with one, what kinds of people can benefit the most from working with one, and what to look for in a coach. If you're ready to take control of your finances, hiring a budgeting coach could be the right step for you! Book a free budget coaching strategy session with me to see if we might be a good fit.
7 signs you need a budget coach
You are good at making money, but not at managing it
They say that work expands to fill the time available. The same can be said of money - it's easy to find ways to spend whatever you have. Most people lack a financial education. They don't learn how to manage their money effectively, so they end up in debt or struggling to make ends meet, even if they make a lot of money. In fact, over a third of people making over $100,000 a year are living paycheck to paycheck.1 It doesn't have to be that way! If you ever find yourself wondering where all of your money goes every month or why you don't have as much money as you think you should considering your salary, you probably fall into this category.
You have a lot of debt or unnecessary debt
If you have a lot of debt, it can feel like you're never going to get out from under it. A money coach can help you create a plan to pay off your debt and get your finances back on track. Many people have debt that they could easily get rid of if they only knew how to budget their money properly. Student loans, car payments, and credit cards are among the most common types of unnecessary debt. Many people are so used to their debts that they can't even imagine life without them. A financial coach can help you organize your finances so that you can get rid of your debt and start growing your net worth. Wouldn't it be nice to take the money you're using to service your loans and start investing it instead?
Unexpected expenses keep resetting your financial progress
If you find that your financial goals are constantly being set back by unexpected expenses, it's time to get a financial coach. Unexpected expenses can include anything from car repairs to medical bills. Many people don't have enough saved up to cover these types of expenses, so they end up going into debt or using credit cards to pay for them. Even if they don't use debt to cover these expenses, they might have to take money away from other goals like saving for a home, new car, or retirement. This can be a vicious cycle that's hard to break out of without help. A financial coach can help you create a plan to save for unexpected expenses so that they don't throw off your entire budget.
You feel guilty about spending money
If you find yourself feeling guilty about spending money, it's a sign that you need help managing your finances. A lot of people have what's called "money guilt." This is when you feel guilty about spending money, even on things that you need. For example, you might feel guilty about spending $50 on a new pair of shoes, even though you need them and they're within your budget. Money guilt is normal, but it can lead to financial problems if you let it get out of control. A financial coach can help you work through your money guilt and develop a healthy relationship with money.
You want to increase your saving and investing
If you're not saving and investing as much as you'd like, a financial coach can help you figure out how to make it happen. Many people want to save and invest more, but they don't know where to find the money. A financial coach can help you find ways to increase your savings and investments without making major changes to your lifestyle.
Money causes tension in your relationship
If money is causing tension in your relationship, you need to get help as soon as possible. Money is one of the most common sources of conflict in relationships. If you and your partner are constantly arguing about money, or if you're avoiding talking about money altogether, it's time to seek help. A financial coach is not a therapist, but they can help you develop a financial plan that works for both of you. They can help you discuss your priorities, find clarity, and get on the same page about money. This can help reduce the tension in your relationship and improve your overall quality of life. You can also read this article about how budgeting together can strengthen your family.
You've failed at budgeting in the past
If you've tried to budget in the past and it hasn't worked, you're not alone. A lot of people have trouble sticking to a budget. This is often because they don't have a plan or they're trying to do too much at once. Building good money habits is tough, but a coach can make it so much easier by providing advice about how to reduce the friction of running a budget and providing just the right amount of accountability. A financial coach can help you create a realistic and achievable budget that works for your lifestyle and your priorities.
4 types of people who can benefit the most from budget coaching
People in overwhelming financial situations
We all know money is not the most important part of life. But it's a lot easier to enjoy the rest of life when your money is in order. Marriage, divorce, death of a spouse, job loss, moving, and college graduation are all examples of life events that can generate overwhelming financial situations and stress around money. A coach can help you break your situation down into small, digestible steps so you can work your way through any situation without getting overwhelmed.
People who are disorganized with their money
If you're disorganized with your money, it can lead to a lot of financial problems. For example, you might miss bill payments, accrue late fees, or overdraft your bank account. This can cause damage to your credit score and make it difficult to get approved for loans in the future. A financial coach can help you get organized and find unique approaches that work for your personality and preferences.
People who overcomplicate their finances
Just because you have a lot of money doesn't mean you need to complicate your finances. In fact, overcomplicating your finances can lead to problems down the road. If you have separate savings accounts for all of your financial goals or complicated workflows around processing your paychecks, you're more likely to burn out and stop managing your money well. A financial coach can help you simplify your finances so you can focus on what's important to you.
People who have spending problems
You know who you are...or maybe you don't! If you have a spending problem, it can be difficult to save money or stick to a budget. You might find yourself using credit cards to pay for unnecessary purchases, or you might make impulsive buys without considering the long-term consequences. A coach can help you get control of your spending and develop healthy money habits that work for you.
What to look for in a budget coach
The world is full of people offering to help you with your money. But not all of them are created equal. When you're looking for a financial coach, it's important to find someone who is qualified and experienced. Look for someone who is certified by a reputable organization. It's also important to find someone who has experience working with people in situations similar to your own. If at all possible, you should meet potential coaches before committing to work with them. Look for coaches that offer free consultations or discovery calls and don't be afraid to shop around. I offer a free coaching call. Here's what else to look for in a money coach.
Find a coach who does not tell you how to spend your money
A good financial coach will never tell you how to spend your money. Instead, they will help you develop a system that works for you and your unique situation. The very best budgeting coaches treat budgeting like a process of self-discovery and prioritization, not an accounting class.
Make sure you feel comfortable with your coach
This is probably the most important thing to look for in a financial coach. Money coaching is very personal. You should feel comfortable sharing your finances with your coach during your coaching sessions. If you don't, it will be difficult to get the help you need. Make sure to get a feel for your potential coach's personality during your discovery call to asses whether they'd be a good fit for you. You can also consider asking if they are willing to let you contact any of their coaching clients for reference.
They have a clear service offering and transparent pricing
When you're looking for a financial coach, make sure to ask about their services and pricing. Most coaches will offer an initial free consultation or discovery call to assess your needs. After that, they'll work with you to develop a plan and recommend a course of action. Be sure to ask about their fees upfront and get a clear understanding of what you'll be paying for. Financial coaches charge anywhere from $50 an hour for a coaching session to thousands of dollars for comprehensive packages. You're seeking a coach because you want help with your money, but don't hire a coach you can't afford.
Pro tip: many coaches are willing to negotiate their prices, but they may not volunteer this information. If you find a coach you like, but can't quite stomach their rates, don't hesitate to ask about promotional discounts or reduced pricing. They might say no, but you should never hesitate to ask.
They ask you to sign a coaching agreement or contract
All disappointment comes from unmet expectations. The best way to avoid disappointment with your financial coach is to set clear expectations from the beginning. A coaching agreement or contract should outline your coach's responsibilities, your objectives, and what you can expect from working together. This document will also likely include information about payment and cancellation policies. Be sure to read it carefully before signing and don't hesitate to ask for clarification on anything you don't understand.
Conclusion: hiring a financial coach
A financial coach can be a great asset if you're looking to get your finances in order. They can help you reduce or eliminate your money stress by outlining a clear path to success based on their expertise and experience. They can provide much needed encouragement and accountability and companionship on your journey toward financial freedom. But not all coaches are created equal. Be sure to do your research and find a coach who is qualified, experienced, and who you feel comfortable working with. Also, make sure to ask about their services, pricing, and coaching agreement before getting started. And finally, don't forget to shop around until you find the right fit for you.
1 - CNBC