Your Money Relationship
Money can be a difficult topic to discuss because of our emotionally complex relationship with it and how we use it to create meaning in our lives. We need money for the necessities of life such as food, water, clothing, and shelter, but we also use money to achieve status, security, enjoyment, and control over our world. How would you describe your relationship with money?
We typically have dreams involving our lifestyle, career/job, relationships, community, and faith. These areas of life are all connected and usually supported by a financial plan that prioritizes and balances income, spending, and savings. Two big questions we should all be answering for ourselves are: (1) What budget do I need to implement to help me achieve my goals, and (2) What financially based behavioral changes do I need to make to create the life I want? If you haven’t seriously thought about these questions in the past, answering them could be an intimidating task.
What is Financial Coaching?
If you need help creating a financial path out of the woods, a coach can be the partner who helps you to see the forest through the trees. Financial coaching is a partnership where clients learn financial skills, increase financial savviness, set goals, shape a financial strategy, and execute an earning/spending plan that helps them achieve both their short- and long-goals. A coach and client co-create the plan and brainstorm ways a client can successfully execute it.
Coaches also support their clients by identifying and fostering behavioral changes that will result in sustainable performance. The client’s money habits and goals need to be aligned and working in concert. Financial coaches keep their clients focused on positive financial behaviors while making allowances for missteps as these new money habits take form.
How Can a Financial Coach Help Me?
You will likely find yourself sharing the financial details of your life under a confidentiality agreement. Your coach will need an accurate picture of your financial situation and an understanding of your current behaviors/thinking that will either support or undermine you from reaching your goals. You will co-create strategies to address risks that may disrupt your plan.
Coaches monitor your progress, provide feedback, and make referrals as needed. Your financial coach will teach, encourage, support, and challenge you as you strengthen your financial stewardship.
Some clients may be financially savvy on the mechanics and skills of budgeting and long-term planning but only lack discipline. In this case, a financial coach can still provide value by helping the client: (1) determine underlying sabotaging practices and their causes, (2) identify positive long-term financial behaviors, (3) practice new behaviors until they become more comfortable.
Your Next Decision
No matter what stage of life or age, it’s never too late to pause and decide to live out a new financial plan that excites you and gives you long-term peace of mind. As someone once shared with me, “It’s ok to be old, and it’s ok to be broke, but it’s a terrible thing to be both old and broke.” Don’t let lack of financial planning have you regretting your earlier choices.
About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership, life coaching, marriage, and finances. She coaches individuals as well as designs and facilitates workshops. She has a passion to help people be the best version of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra by visiting her websites at www.shinecrossings.com and www.shinecrossingsministry.com