Coach and Client

What is Financial Coaching?

(Last Updated On: October 18, 2018)

Financial coaching is when a client and a coach work together to identify, understand, and improve your personal finances. It is an interdisciplinary field, drawing on both coaching and personal finance expertise. A financial coach will meet clients wherever they are in their lives, identify their financial goals, and collaboratively develop an action plan to achieve those goals. This also means identifying obstacles in the way well as resources available.

How much does financial coaching cost?

Coaches may charge a fee by the hour or per coaching session. Some will offer ongoing coaching in exchange for a monthly fee. Hourly, session, and monthly fees can range form less than a hundred to several hundred dollars.

Structured programs may be offered as packages of coaching sessions intended to be used at specified intervals, over a specific period of time. They may also be paired with course work or other activities as part of the coaching program. Prices for coaching programs can run from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

How often to clients and coaches meet?

How often a client meets with their financial coach is driven by each client’s needs. Some meet weekly at first, but once or twice a month seems common. As coaching progress, frequent meetings should become less necessary. Monthly may become quarterly and eventually just once or twice a year.

Cost can also affect the frequency of meetings. If a client can only afford to meet once a month without creating a financial burden, then once a month for a period of time might make sense. Many financial coaches are flexible and can plan out a meeting frequency with their clients that fits their budget.

Are financial coaches licensed?

There is no license to be a financial coach. Because financial coaching is not regulated, seek out a coach with legitimate certifications.  While licenses are issued by government, certifications are issued by organizations. A legitimate certification is issued by an organization that not only has rigorous requirement to become certified, but it also has the ability to enforce standards and take meaningful disciplinary action when appropriate.

Certifications can provide assurances to consumers. For example, coaches should not be selling financial products and or other services to their clients, but there is nothing to prevent a financial coach from doing it. However, if the coach is an Accredited Financial Counselor®, or AFC®, their Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics prohibit receiving fees from companies for recommending their products.

Image Credit: Nik MacMillan