You might have big dreams for the future, but a dream without a plan is called a wish. No one wins by accident. Even world-class athletes have a coach, because the reality is, we never outgrow our need for guidance, encouragement and accountability.
What Is a Financial Coach?
A financial coach is an advisor who can help you reach your financial goals by teaching you Biblically-based stewardship and money management skills, such as how to build savings or pay down debt, and can help improve your financial literacy.
Financial coaches assist their clients with the behavioral and emotional components of managing money. A coach can help you unearth what drives your financial decisions, so you can take responsibility and create a healthier attitude that leads to better money habits. In our context this allows you to serve with less stress and more sustainably in the field.
What Does a Financial Coach Do?
A good financial coach helps you create and execute a financial game plan for your life. A great financial coach inspires and encourages you along the way.
A financial coach is to your money what a personal trainer is to your fitness. If you want to lose weight or get into shape, you know that you can do it alone—but your chance of success will skyrocket if you work with a trainer. They give you a meal plan, customized workouts and consistent encouragement and motivation.
In the same way, you’ll get into “money shape” much faster by working with a coach who will give you a customized plan and support along your journey.
When Should You Work With a Financial Coach?
Creating or maintaining a sustainable budget
Identifying areas where money is being lost or wasted
Creating a plan to get and stay out of debt
Creating a plan to raise additional support
Identifying and Planning savings for big future goals
Strategizing for when and how to save for education and retirement
What to Expect During a Financial Coaching Session
Want to work with a financial coach, but not sure what to expect? Maybe you’re nervous about seeking help in the first place. That’s understandable.
The good news is financial coaches aren’t counselors. They won’t rehash your mistakes and dwell on what went wrong in your past. Coaches focus on the future. They want to give you a specific, achievable plan for your particular situation.
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How to Prepare for Your Session
Don’t worry about gathering years of tax documents and bank statements before your session. We will ask you to fill out this one simple form to submit beforehand. Easy peasy.
This short confidential snapshot tells us how much you raise or earn, how much debt you have, and your top concerns or questions for the session.
If you already have a rough budget that is helpful but not necessary for the first meeting. A budget is a list of everything you spent last month—from your water bill to your student loan payment.
And don’t be shy or feel ashamed. You can trust your coach like you trust a friend. Plus, they can only help you if they know exactly what’s coming in and what’s going out. So be honest.
What Will Happen During Your Session?
When you arrive (or video in) for your session, your financial coach will have already reviewed your form. After getting to know you for a few minutes, they’ll dive right into your most pressing financial issues.
Since every client has different needs, every coaching session will be different. Some topics, however, overlap like communication, debt elimination and saving for education or retirement.
The majority of clients also need to focus on creating a realistic budget. That means thinking about purchases that frequently bust bank and ministry accounts, like birthdays, vacations, medical expenses and car or home repairs. Coaches want you to plan for these expenses instead of forgetting about them and falling back on credit.
What You'll Walk Away With
Successful clients move the needle as soon as possible after their session. That’s why your coach will give you action steps to follow almost immediately.
These might include tweaking your immediate budget, creating a debt elimination plan, and setting goals for the next few years. You might also brainstorm additional support raising opportunities, a more long term sustainable and healthy budgets for your family, etc.
Keep in mind that you won’t leave your session with all your issues miraculously solved. But you will leave equipped to solve them yourself. Think of your financial coach as a personal trainer. We will show you what to do and how to do it, but the heavy lifting is up to you.
And the payoff? When you realize you did it and have created positive change in your family’s future and your ability to work in His Harvest for the long haul.
What will this cost me?
For cross-cultural missionary, Christian NGO, school, and BAM workers, it’ll cost only your time and any behavior or habits that have created a challenging financial situation.
For non-ministry workers, our first exploratory meetings is free with any subsequent meetings held at a rate of $200 per hour.