If you’re having trouble sticking to your budget, getting yourself out of debt and staying that way, or you’re spending too much time worrying about money, you could benefit from the services of a financial coach. They will help you understand and improve your relationship with money, and show you how to achieve your financial goals!
A financial coach works with you so you can develop good money management skills
Financial coaches – also sometimes called money coaches – work with you to help you understand your relationship with money and learn the tools to help you manage your money well. This can be anything from learning how to avoid the debt trap and how to make an easy-to-follow budget, to helping couples agree on how to manage their money.
“A financial coach helps you examine your patterns towards money, challenges your negative mindset and holds you accountable for the work to be done during the coaching process. They guide you on how to use easy money management tools and put good money management practices in place.”
Marnita Oppermann, mindful money coach.
Financial coaching can:
Help you overcome limiting money beliefs
These are beliefs that limit your ability to manage your money well and achieve your financial goals. Marnita Oppermann, mindful money coach, says they include believing:
- You are not good with money or numbers
- There’s never enough money
- There’s a limit to how much money you can make
- You’ll never get out of debt
- You can only start saving once you make more money
A financial coach will ask you questions and guide you through exercises to identify these limiting money beliefs. They will help you learn more about money and share tools you can use so you can change these beliefs.
Grow your money confidence
Managing money well is a learned skill – you aren’t born with it and it isn’t taught in schools. But, you are expected to be able to manage money well! Without any knowledge or education, this is, of course, impossible! It’s hard to be confident in money decisions and money management because you aren’t sure if you are making the right money decisions for you.
Marnita says a large part of the financial coaching process is education about the world of money, which helps you become more knowledgeable and more confident in your money decisions, so you can take charge of your finances and manage your money well!
Give you the tools to help you manage your money well
For example, Marnita says, she gives her clients tools to help them draw up budgets that are easy to follow.
Give you a safe place to talk about money
Hendrik Crafford, who trains financial coaches, says one of the reasons people don’t like to talk about money is because they are embarrassed about how they manage it. You aren’t likely to start a friendly chat by mentioning your overdraft balance or outstanding debt! Financial coaching is a safe environment where you can talk about money – openly and honestly – and with no pressure to buy any products!
The big benefits of financial coaching
A financial coach who helps you manage your money well, can help you to save more, spend less (especially on debt!), grow your generational wealth and achieve your financial goals. And when you are confident about money and managing it well, you can say goodbye to money stress!
As Hendrik says in a blog on his website, the goal – and benefit – of financial coaching is long-term financial prosperity! Who doesn’t want that?
But if you want the benefits, you have to commit!
Your personal trainer or dietitian cannot get fit for you or reach your ideal weight – that is up to you! It’s the same with financial coaching. Your financial coach will guide you and give you tools, but you have to be committed and put in the work! “A money coach is not a do-it-for-you magician,” says Marnita.
She says that when you work with a financial coach you must be:
- Prepared to invest time, including doing preparation exercises and homework, reviewing your financial situation and drawing up a budget for discussion with your coach.
- Willing to reflect on past spending patterns and future needs – honesty is critical!
- Prepared to ask yourself difficult and sometimes emotionally triggering questions – and share these thoughts with your coach.
- Willing to read up on relevant topics.
- Ready to put the learning into practice.
How much does it cost?
Hourly fees for financial coaching can start at around R500, although they may be higher. Course or programme fees depend on the length of course. One-on-one coaching will be more expensive, however you can save on money by entering coaching as a couple, for example, or taking a group course. Marnita says she runs courses for small groups of people, so each person receives individual attention and coaching on items such as budgets, but also benefits from sharing with the group.
Top tip: You can start on your financial learning journey by taking the FREE Truth About Money financial course.
Finding the right coach for you
“Look for someone who has money skills and has completed a coaching qualification, and someone you can trust,” says Hendrik.
You should also make sure you are compatible with your financial coach as you will be sharing lots of information – which you may never have shared before!
Marnita says you should look for a coach who has a track record, and asks you questions, however difficult, that lead to self-insight.
Top tip: Discuss your expectations and goals and fees before committing to a financial coach or programme.
Important note: Financial coaching is not financial advice
Financial advice is a specific recommendation to follow a financial plan, for example to buy a particular product to fulfil a particular need, such as a certain amount of life cover from a specific product provider to make sure your family are taken care of should you pass on.
Financial coaching focuses on your relationship with money and aims to make it a healthy relationship so you can make good money decisions, stick to your financial plans, including your budget, and achieve your financial goals.
Commit to achieving your goals!
Committing to financial goals is the first step to take when you want to build wealth, but if you are finding it difficult to stick to plans, or need a helping hand, financial coaching can help! Financial coaching is not the be all and end all of financial success, but it is well worth considering if you want to become as money smart and savvy as you can!