Financial Coaching Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about Personal Finance Coaching and my individual appraoch.
What is a Personal Finance Coach?
To offer a simple analogy, think of a Personal Finance Coach like you would a Personal Fitness Trainer, but for your finances.
Where a Personal Trainer will advise and motivate you to follow the most effective exercise & nutrition plan to improve your physical health and meet your fitness goals, I provide guidance and motivation to improve your financial health and wellbeing. I will work with you and act as your accountability partner to help you achieve your short- and long-term financial and life goals, whatever they are.
Why have I never heard of Financial Coaching before?
Financial coaching is very new to the UK; however, in the US it is well-established and continues to grow as satisfied clients recommend financial coaching to friends and family.
Here is a link to the findings of a study on the benefits of financial coaching by the official US Government’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
In summary, the study found that “access to financial coaching resulted in measurable gains in three areas: money management; objective financial health metrics like savings, debt levels, and credit score; and subjective feelings of financial confidence and financial well-being.”
Get ahead of the curve in the UK and start your journey towards financial education, improvement and well-being today!
When should I work with a Finance Coach?
Working with a Financial Coach is beneficial at any stage of life, but below are some typical statements from people who seek the services of a Financial Coach. Do you identify with any of these?
- I don’t feel I have a full understanding or control over my monthly outgoings
- I make it to the end of the month – just! – and I’m not quite sure where my money has gone
- I want to understand the bigger picture of my financial future and not just my monthly income and outgoings
- I earn a good salary but I don’t feel I have much to show for it. I am still living month-to-month and don’t put much consideration into retirement
- I want to learn to feel empowered and in control of my own finances
- I’d like someone to coach me on money matters and to help motivate me to reach my financial goals
- I need someone to be accountable to in order to keep my spending in check and savings on track
- I have debt that’s causing me stress and worry, and I’m not sure where to even begin to tackle it!
- I’m prone to engaging in retail therapy /non-material splurges as a ‘pick-me-up’ that I often later regret
- I have undesirable spending habits for which I’d like help, support and motivation to break
- I’m saving towards my first house / dream wedding / world travels / retirement and I want to get there as quickly and efficiently as possible
- I want to spend less money on accumulating ‘stuff’ and more on experiences and creating memories
- We are starting a family and we want to understand how to plan for our children’s future needs and education
- My children are becoming more independent but I don’t feel school education has provided them with adequate real-world money skills. I just want them to have the best possible start, equipped with the right knowledge
- I’ve just started my first job and my employer asked me if I want to opt into the private pension plan – I’m not sure whether I should or how much
- I feel learning how to manage money would be beneficial for the whole family
- Money problems are affecting my relationship and I’d like to move beyond this and onto focussing on what matters most
If any of these sound familiar, working with a Financial Coach could be the best investment you ever make!
What will I get out of Financial Coaching?
A financial coach provides advice, motivational support and accountability to help you meet your own personal finance and life goals, whatever they are. For many clients this might include:
- Create a solid plan for your financial future, including plans for early retirement, if that is your goal
- Provide advice, accountability and motivation to repay your debts in the most time- and money-efficient way, and relieve the stress and worry that comes with debt
- Demonstrate and motivate you on how to free up budget to spend more time doing what you truly love, for example, experiences such as travelling or family holidays
- Help you to plan for and achieve major life goals such as buying your first / dream home or starting a family
- Empower you to build wealth
Personal Finance Coaching is about so much more than managing budgets and cutting down expenses. It is just as much about coaching good money habits, attitudes and behaviours, where negative ones that go unidentified and aren’t resolved will always eventually throw us off course.
What does a typical programme look like?
Finance Coaching is unique to every client; however here are some of the outcomes you can expect to work towards:
- Establish your financial and life goals
- Establish your money priorities in line with your life goals
- Look at your overall attitude towards money, where it originates from and learn ways to improve it
- Work to identify any negative emotions towards and around money and aim to turn them around
- Look at your income and outgoings and identify key areas standing in the way of your goals
- Create a personalised plan that fits your financial and life goals
- Regular check-ins to monitor progress, discuss any issues, receive further advice and plan next steps
How do appointments take place?
Sessions can take place via video call over the internet (preferred) or we can arrange a telephone call. Alternatively, if you’re in travelling distance of Thornliebank, Glasgow you can visit me for a face-to-face meeting if you prefer.
Shouldn’t I just visit a Financial Adviser/Planner?
A good financial planner will provide appropriate advice on what to do with your money, such as advising which financial products and solutions are best suited to your future needs. However, they are rarely concerned with how you manage your day-to-day finances or your relationship with and emotions around money.
I personally think of Financial Planning Services as the next stage in your financial journey, most appropriate once you have a handle on your day-to-day and monthly spending habits and armed with future goals in mind.
People will tend to seek a FA when they have sums of money to invest. I can help you reach that point in the most efficient way, and help you to continue these good money habits so you are in the best position to continually invest in your future.
Also, unlike some FAs, I am completely independent and not linked to or associated with any company, financial or otherwise. I have no motivation to ‘cross-sell’ you financial products whatsoever.
Lastly, there are no minimum salary or asset/portfolio requirements attached to my services – they are open to all and suitable for anyone who has at least some form of income.
Do you only coach office professionals?
No; I am keen to work with anyone who I believe will benefit from my services. I have chosen ‘professionals’ as my target audience simply because working in office environments in the past helped drive my motivation to become a Personal Finance Coach.
My services can be a huge benefit to anyone from the self-employed, to tradespersons and people who have just received an inheritance or other sum and want to put it to best use.
If I don’t think my services are a good fit for your particular situation, I’ll say so. Creating only satisfied and happy clients is the very core of my business ethos.
What don’t you cover?
As in any professional field, there are limits to what I am best placed to guide you on. I will be upfront and clear about any topics where you may wish to seek additional support from a specialist in another field.
Unlike a Financial Adviser, I am unregulated. This essentially means that I will not advise you to use a specific financial product or investment. However, I do offer guidance, support and provide clear, easy-to-understand information that helps you to make a decision on your own, or before you approach a FA.
How much does it cost?
I offer Ad-hoc Consultancy, where we can discuss a specific financial topic or situation of your choice for up to one hour, for just £59.
I also offer a Financial Wellbeing Programme with regular appointments from just £399. Before you commit, we begin with a free 15-minute, no-obligation introductory call to make sure financial coaching and my approach are a good fit for you.
Is it worth it?
Financial Coaching is an investment in your current and future self. The valuable lessons you learn will continue to benefit you for a lifetime. Therefore, for some, financial coaching can be litereally life-changing. Good financial habits and awareness is also something you can pass on to your children, something which school won’t teach them.
If you’d like to know more, I offer a free 15-minute, no-obligation introductory video call to see if Personal Finance Coaching and my approach are a good fit for you.