Every now and then, we give up on managing our finance and wonder if we need a personal finance coach. However, what is the defining parameters to evaluate what is a perfect fit or definition of a personal finance coach or a personal financial independence coach? Personally, we believe it should be someone who has made a substantial amount of money through various ventures and also helped others make money or improve their personal financial situations.
Attributes Of a Personal Finance Coach
Although there are no set standards that personal finance coaches must follow, here is a quick review that can help you spot a decent one by knowing who they are and what they do.
What is a Personal Finance Coach?
The answer boils down to one simple factor; a financial independence coach is a person who can help you identify your goals and set milestones in your life. They can help you develop a well-thought plan to achieve these goals and milestones and also help by motivating you to execute the plan. Think of it as hiring a trainer or a coach at your gym; it is no different than actually getting a personal fitness trainer. The only difference is that here the coach is training you for your financial fitness, not physical.
Personal Finance coach vs. a Financial Advisor
A financial advisor is a person generally responsible for your investments and has greater insight into the regulatory matters of each investment sector; whereas, a personal finance coach almost does not have to be directly involved in your finances. Their job is to focus on your personal life, analyze it and look at the day-to-day decisions and choices you make and then make suggestions for how to improve or make better decisions.
Although there are training programs and certifications for personal finance coaching, they are not a pre-requisite to becoming a personal finance coach. Anyone can become a personal finance coach, so you have to weed out the right ones from the wrong.
What a Personal Coach Actually Provides?
A personal finance coach helps you perform to your best capabilities when it comes to the financial aspects of your life. Generally, the most important aspect of getting aid from these coaches comes in the form of motivation. They will use their methods of persuasion to help you spend less and be smart with your money and spending.
Really, it is similar to having a personal trainer because to cut down on your current ways of spending is a painful process that we all struggle with. Hence, they help motivate us to go the extra mile and push through that threshold of pain for a rewarding and financially secure future.
What a Coach Does Not Provide
When looking for a decent personal coach, you must know what to really expect from an actual coach. There are chances you may come across some making false claims and promises that a true personal finance coach has nothing to do with. This will help you identify if the coach you are considering is out of line and will help you move on to the next option.
A coach will never handle your finances himself, not even to show you how it is done. Instead, they are purely there to guide you, and will listen to your story, your situation, and help you the appropriate moves that are needed for you to make. They will draw out that self-motivation and focus from within you to achieve the goals set by your coach.
A coach will never make any financial moves on your behalf, even if you want them to. That is a job for a financial advisor to do so. If a financial coach offers to do so, stay away! With a true personal finance coach, you just have to lay everything about your finances and life on the table in all honesty (which most people are unwilling to do and probably should not do it unless you really trust the coach you are working with). However, it is important, because a coach can only help around the information you provide them.
Be ready to share your bank and credit card statements, your mortgage contracts and statements and other financial details that are confidential in nature. It is like, you are going to a gym trainer and not telling him you have a knee injury or a pre-existing coronary condition. Give them half the information, and they will design something heavyweight for you that will be harmful to you, worsening your conditions. So you have to be mentally ready and willing to share your confidential information with your personal trainer, or else the blame is on you if things go south.
Do Your Part
Always remember, in the end, any financial decisions and changes you make and their implications are going to be up to you, and so will be any perks or consequences will be yours to handle. Therefore, you must do your part. You will be needed to make some tough choices, control your spending and pay off any debts. Remember again; a personal coach can only show you the door; it is you who has to go through it.
That said, you need to familiarize yourself with the basics of finance on your own, so you have an idea about things when talking or evaluating a finance coach. Plus, it will help you when your coach is not around.
Remember, there are no “secrets” of success to personal finance. If a coach tells you that they know some secret formula is simply feeding you stories and nothing more to get you to hire them. Do not get the wrong idea, they may still be able to give you some really good financial coaching, but that is all you are going to get. There is no magic formula to help you improve your finances whatsoever.
There is a multitude of online services that offer free personal finance coaching for free. All you need is to put in a bit of research and do some homework to find a good one. You can even get some amazing personal finance coaching material from various financial bloggers and their blogs and websites. There are some wonderful best selling finance self-help books written and readily available online and at the bookstores.
But that does not mean in any way that there is no use of hiring a personal finance coach. They come with their own perks, and nothing can beat a customized and useful service. Plus, some of us do need someone to nudge and push us constantly to make better choices and follow the set path. When finding a personal coach, as for how they plan to help you and if they are readily available throughout the process or are it just a one-time plan and service, they offer to design a financial strategy for you and then you are on your own to deal with it. An excellent personal finance coach will provide on-going support until you feel you are self-sustainable and have mastered your finances.