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A Comprehensive Guide on Becoming a Financial Coach

Have you made money mistakes, learned from them, and now want to prevent others from doing the same? Do you have a passion for saving money and are curious about the intricacies of personal finance? Becoming a financial coach may be a great career choice for you. The journey to becoming a financial coach may seem overwhelming at first, but following the tips and recommendations in this guide can help you on the path to success. Like how a basketball coach trains the players, but when it’s game time, they’re on their own, a financial coach follows a similar method. With financial coaching, you help your clients make smart money decisions to build their wealth.

Once enough savings have been accumulated, your client can find a financial advisor to help manage their assets and influence their investing decisions, but you set up their financial future.  

 

Thanks to the internet, becoming a financial coach is easier than ever. Anyone interested in becoming a financial or money coach can utilize this guide for step-by-step instructions.

 

An excellent place to start the journey to become a financial coach is with the question – why Become a Financial Coach?

While there are many reasons to become a financial coach, we focus on the opportunity to help others while making a living. 

 

  • Financial coaching allows you to help others achieve their financial goals. Financial coaches, also referred to as money coaches or budgeting coaches, guide their clients toward creating healthy financial habits, including setting financial goals and tracking progress.

  • On top of the opportunity to help others to reach financial wellness, financial coaching is a career opportunity, part-time or full-time. Setting your work schedule and hours gives you added flexibility that you might be missing in your current job. Additionally, financial coaches charge their prices, allowing for stable economic growth.

 

Now that we covered the why, what does a financial coach do?

A financial coach helps clients work towards financially related goals, from saving money to paying down debt. Financial coaches meet with their clients regularly to discuss progress and any changes that may be needed. The financial coaching process can last from a week to a year, depending on the client’s needs. Like any other coach, the financial coach helps the client set goals and track progress. Financial goals often include multiple layers. Therefore once meeting the first financial, the financial coach works with the client on the next destination. For example, a personal finance coach can work with a client on how to qualify for a mortgage and then move to another goal, such as building a nest egg for retirement. A business financial coach can start with managing cash flow to set a plan to pay off the business loans.

 

What are the Different Types of Financial Coaching?

  • Personal Finance Coach: A personal finance coach helps clients understand the basics of personal finance. Common personal finance coaching goals include paying down debt and saving up money. In most cases, a personal finance coach works with employed people.

  • Business Finance Coach: A business finance coach works with business owners to take control of business finances. Common goals that business finance coaches help clients with include obtaining a business loan and improving cash flow. Unlike personal finance coaching, business finance coaches are certified, professionals.

  • Business and Personal Finance Coach: A business and personal finance coach works with clients where business cash flow is connected to their personal finances. Small business owners can benefit from this type of financial coaching to learn how to translate business cash flow into a family budget and deal with the business seasonality and the family cash flow requirements. This business coaching and personal financial coaching ensure not only business success but also a personal financial success.

 

How Can I Earn a Financial Coach Certification?

There is no required licensure to hold yourself out as a financial coach. The beauty of financial coaching is that it’s more about skill than schooling. You don’t need a college degree to be a great financial coach. However, when you’re getting started, having an official certification can help solidify your authority and give you a leg up on the competition when you're getting started. Most financial coaching certifications are offered online and require studying and hard work. However, you are investing in yourself as a financial coach and can generally charge more if you have a certification on your credential list. Three popular options include:

 

There are a few certifications you may want to consider getting:

  • Financial Fitness Coach (FFC)- This certification helps expand your financial literacy. With this certification, you’ll run through various case studies to understand finance on a personal level and educate the client accordingly. 

  • Certified Personal Finance Consultant (CPFC)- The CPFC certification is a four-part course on various money-related topics. Financial management, retirement, insurance, and other finance topics are covered, but that’s not all. The CPFC course also teaches essential behavioral skills that a coach should have, like listening skills and knowledge of consumer protection legislation. 

  • Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI)- While the CPFC course is ideal for one-on-one coaching, the CFEI is suitable for teaching classes and holding lectures. This course will help you engage audiences and strengthen your presentation skills. This certification is the most rigorous out of the three but is essential if you want to teach finance on a large scale. 

  • Dave Ramsey Financial Coaching Master Training Program: This course teaches you the ins and outs of guiding individuals and businesses on their financial journey. Also provided are instructions on how to grow your financial coaching.

  • Udemy: This site gives you a comprehensive list of different coaching programs to choose the right one for your business needs. Certifications offered through Udemy vary in price, which can be great if you are just starting.

  • Financial Coaching Academy: There are four different levels of training to choose from, with the basic one giving a general overview and the top course providing you with a detailed analysis of everything you need to know.

 

How Do I Start My Financial Coaching Business?

  1. The first step in any plan is to start with why (great TED talk). Financial coaching deals with people. There is a saying that to communicate to the head; there is a need to talk to the heart. Take the time to clarify the purpose of your financial coaching business. This document will serve you as the foundation of your communication and marketing plan.

  2. With a clear why statement, the 2nd step towards a career in financial coaching is to get a financial coaching certification. See section 4 for financial coaching training options.

  3. The financial coaches network offers a class on launching a financial coaching business, a great starting point. Information can be found here: https://www.financialcoachesnetwork.com/launch

  4. You will also need to check the business side of your coaching business. The IRS has a comprehensive business checklist.

  5. Once you have certifications and your business is correctly set up, it’s time to begin marketing to attract new clients.

 

What Apps and Software Should I Use?

  • Financial coaching software should provide financial coaches with features to create financial goals, share the financial goals between the financial coach and the client, and track progress. When writing this blog post, there is no financial coaching software used by financial coaches that provides these features (Savings Jar will launch these features in Q4 2022). Standard financial coaching software used by financial coaches includes the following:

  • Zoom – Great video conferencing tool. During Covid - 19, Zoom provides the opportunity for financial coaches to connect with clients to set and track goals.

  • Trello – Kanban-style, list-making app. With Trello, the financial coach and client can set goals, prioritize goals, and celebrate accomplishments.

  • Budgeting tools

  • YNAB – the choice for hardcore budgeters.

  • Mint – free personal financial management website with budgeting tools and bank integrations.

 

How Do I Find Community Support?



 

Last points:

Building Your Business

Once you’ve obtained your certification, it’s time to build your business. You may have gleaned what kind of coach you want through your certification. Are you better with one-on-one coaching or presenting to a group? Find your niche and build your business around it. 

Social Media is Key

Social media is a great resource to use on your finance coach journey. Some financial coaches teach directly from platforms like YouTube. Social media can help you gain clients and keep them through active engagement. 

Keep Trying

You’ve taken all the steps to become a successful financial coach. What separates those that do not make it and those that do is determination. Keep experimenting with marketing, educate yourself on personal finance, and keep trying. 

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