Updated: Mar 30, 2022
Managing Your Finances with a Personal Guide
What’s your approach to managing your finances?
You might find you fall into one of these categories of people:
1. Do-it-for me: You work with a financial advisor, paying them to invest your money and give you financial advice.
2. Do-it-yourself: You figure it out yourself by reading books and blogs, talking to friends and family, and occasionally meeting with the person who works at your bank.
3. Not-really-doing-anything: You’re not really spending any time and energy on figuring out your money. Maybe you’ve got some savings and a mutual fund account somewhere, but you’re really not paying attention to your money. You’re just winging it.
If you work with a financial advisor, you might be perfectly happy. As long as you understand how your advisor is paid and how much you are paying in fees, and you feel that you are getting good value for the fees you pay, then great.
You may find that neither a financial advisor nor a financial planner is quite what you need. You are looking for something that’s less of a commitment and you want to maintain control. You need some advice and guidance, but you don’t want to be tied to anyone. Or, you might not fit into their client profile and you can’t find someone to work with you.
Not doing anything is clearly a problem. Winging it might feel ok as long as you aren’t going into debt, but chances are unless you have income significantly above your expenses, you could probably use some help making every dollar you earn add value to your life.
Enter financial coaching
What if you had a guide? A financial expert to consult with, to answer your questions, and to check in with to see if you’re doing the right things. A person who isn’t associated with a financial institution, and not driven by sales goals and product commissions. An unbiased, experienced, friendly, and trustworthy partner who works in a flexible manner to suit your needs.
I love riding my bike – I commuted to work on my bike for years. But I don’t know anything about how to fix my bike. When something breaks, I drop it off with William at my local bike shop and pick it up when he tells me it's ready. I pay him. I walk out. I get back on my bike. But really, I’d like to be able to fix the minor things myself. I once bought a book on bicycle repair, but it sits on my shelf un-read. It feels like too much work. I don’t know how to use the tools, I don’t know what parts I need, and it would take me way too much time to try and figure it out. What I’d love is a place I could go to learn to fix my bike. I could use their tools, have access to the parts I might need, and have someone to help me. I’d save some money and I’d feel more empowered because I would know how to fix my bike if William was on vacation.
“Do-it-yourself with a guide”
Going it alone can feel intimidating and overwhelming. A financial coach can show you what you need to think about, help you define what your priorities are, fill in your knowledge gaps, help you build a plan, keep you on track, and encourage you when you are languishing. A coach is also there for the long haul, available for check-ins and tune-ups to support you and help you with the various issues that will arise as life ticks along.
Ignoring your finances isn’t an option. What approach do you want to take? If you want to understand your finances and take an active role in making solid financial future for yourself and your family, think about having a financial coach as a partner alongside you through the process.