Should You Hire a Money Coach?
The pros and cons of working with a coach to help get on top of your finances
People looking for guidance in their lives are increasingly turning to coaches: life coaches, business coaches, social media coaches -- and now, money coaches.
Money coaches say they fill an important role by taking a big-picture approach to finances and focusing on clients' goals and challenges instead of specific investment or 401(k) questions. Unlike certified financial planners or investment advisors, the field of money coaching is not regulated. Anyone can call themselves a money coach, and although a variety of coaching certifications exist, many coaches say they're meaningless. At
In their sessions, Austin laid out his daunting financial challenges, including a mortgage payment for a house he used to live in, student loan debt, rent in
"Christine helped me realize that I'd become a people pleaser, a habit I had adopted years ago in other facets of my life... I had become more concerned with my clients' financial positions than I was with my own," says Austin. As a result, he often told clients that they could pay him later, or in the case of friends and family, not at all. As a result, he wasn't getting paid for some of his work. During one coaching session, Hassler had Austin call a client and ask for a payment on the spot. "Christine taught me how to set boundaries with my clients, something I had never done before, nor did I think I could do," says Austin. As a result, he's doubled his income.
That's just the kind of holistic support that Hassler, who's based in
When her clients feel overwhelmed and paralyzed, she helps break down what they need to do into smaller steps "so the overwhelmed feeling goes away," she adds. She also helps them explore their relationship with money to confront any problematic patterns or fears. "Fears around money stop people from living their life," says Hassler.
In other words, while certified financial planners and accountants zero in on financial issues from budgeting to investing, coaches look at the big picture. "If you need specific money advice, then I'll send someone to a financial planner ... Choose a coach when you recognize there are patterns. If it's always been hard for you to earn money, if you have a problem with spending, if the whole thing is overwhelming to you and even talking to a financial planner is intimidating," she says.
McMeekin, who has a masters in social work and has trained as a coach through
"What I do is broader than financial planning," explains
Since coaches vary so much in their expertise, training, and experience, finding the right one can be a challenge. Hassler recommends asking friends for recommendations, using the website mycoachmatch.com, and browsing the blogs of coaches. Says Hassler, "You want a coach who's walking a similar path but is a little bit ahead of you."
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Personal Finance - Should You Hire a Money Coach?
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