What do you do when you're sick and tired of living paycheck-to-paycheck? When your expenses seem to be bigger than your income? When the collectors won't stop calling?
I remember when my wife and I hit the breaking point in our finances. We realized that no matter how many raises we got at work, we were still living month-to-month. If we were going to get ahead financially, we had to make a change.
When you reach this point, who can you turn to for guidance? Why not seek out an empathetic person that is an expert in this area; a financial coach.
A Coach is Like a Personal Trainer for Your Money
Have you ever decided you needed to work out more? Whether it’s to lose weight, or just boost your health, most of us at one time or another have made this pledge (even if we didn’t stick to it).
When it comes to working out, there are a variety of ways to get started. You can join a gym, attend a class, purchase a DVD set, or simply start doing push-ups on your living room floor. Many people have done these things with great success. Others need something more personalized, so they hire a personal trainer.
When it comes to whipping our finances into shape, your options are fairly similar. You can create a budget on your own, read a book, join a class, or hire a financial coach. Much like personal fitness, many people find success on their own. However, there are a lot of people that need the personal touch that a financial coach brings in order to reach their financial goals.
A coach can save you time and energy by helping you create a plan. They’ve helped tons of families walk through similar situations. In fact, odds are your coach has stood exactly where you are now.
Like a personal trainer, a coach’s knowledge and experience can help take the guesswork out of your journey and help you reach your desired results faster.
Personal Finance is Personal
It’s called personal finance for a reason. We all have a different story, different circumstances, and different goals. While there is a lot of great financial advice floating around out there, a lot of it needs to be adapted to fit you.
When my wife and I were getting out of debt, we had heard one of the best ways to do it was to completely cut all of the fun out of our budget. Every dollar we made should be directed toward debt payments. However, we needed to tailor that to fit our personality types. If I had to completely cut out restaurants, I would burn out quickly and might give up before I reach the end. It was important that we budget a little each month to help keep us moving forward.
Everyone’s threshold is different. A coach can help you layout a roadmap that aligns with your family’s needs.
They Offer Ongoing Accountability
If you’re married, odds are your spouse helps ensure that your spending stays within the budget. If you’re single, one of the toughest parts about budgeting is staying accountable.
Think about it; you’re sitting on your computer after a long day at work and you stumble onto one of your favorite shopping websites. There on the screen is a jacket you’ve had your eye on for a while. Even though it’s on sale, it’s still out of your budget.
For my married folks, you know that you’ll have to explain this purchase to your spouse later. You know that making this purchase comes with consequences.
However, single people don’t have to explain this purchase to anyone. If they choose to ignore the budget, the only person they have to answer to is themselves. This can be dangerous. That’s why a coach can add a lot of value in this situation. Their financial coach will ask them how their budget went and if they had any areas where they may have strayed. Knowing that they have to answer to someone can help talk them off the checkout button.
The Price vs. the Cost
Most financial coaches charge fees for their time. Like the personal trainer I talked about earlier, more personalized services cost more money. You can work out for free, but if you want one-on-one help, you invest in a trainer.
The price of financial coaching is about the same as a month of cable. However, the cost of doing nothing is often far greater than the price of taking action.
You may be asking yourself, “Isn’t paying money to get control of my finances counterproductive?” Not really. It’s important to look at it as an investment in yourself. The upfront price brings financial changes that can last a lifetime. Also, paying a fee ensures you have skin in the game. We are often more motivated and more successful when we have something to lose.
What if I Don’t Have the Money?
So you are convinced that financial coaching can change your life, but aren't sure if you have the cash on hand to move forward. What can you do?
If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. Here are some things people have done to gather up the cash:
Had a garage sale
Stopped eating out for 1 month
Canceled their cable subscription
Joined a research study
Mowed lawns or cleaned houses
Used a bonus or tax return
The possibilities are endless. Can you think of other ways to scrape some cash together fast?
Are you ready to take the next step? You won’t regret it. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how I can help you achieve financial freedom.
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