Do You Want To Be Better With Your Money? Hire A Coach
In order to achieve long term success you must be disciplined and on task every day. A lot of time we have the best intentions to try and change our behaviors and reach the goals that we have set out for ourselves, but unfortunately holding ourselves accountable is the toughest part, right? This goes for many things in our lives that we strive to achieve.
If you’re trying to lose weight – you hire a personal trainer (Exercise Coach)
If you want to eat healthier – you might go see a dietician (Food Coach)
If you’re struggling in your marriage – you might hire a marriage counselor (Relationship Coach)
If you want to be more successful in your business or career – you might hire a Business Coach
If you want to improve your finances you would hire a financial planner (Financial Coach). Working one-on-one with a personal finance expert can help you identify appropriate solutions for your unique financial situation and lead you in the right direction in helping you achieve your financial goals.
Bottom line – If you want to enhance your performance; You hire a coach!
What Exactly is Financial Planning/Financial Coaching?
All of us have certain things in life we want to accomplish and many of them require financial resources. These are called financial goals. Financial goals can be anything that you wish to accomplish with your money. Goals can be anything from a family vacation, paying off debt, buying/starting a business, living in a bigger house, sending kids to college or independence to follow your passion in retirement. Financial planning is a continuous process of assessing where you are currently in relation to your goals. Your financial picture is comprised of a balance sheet (assets and liabilities) and a cash flow statement (budget and savings). Your objective is to constantly improve your financial picture – reduce debt, increase cash flow/savings, grow your assets – which could enable you to achieve your goal early, or enable you to reach for additional goals.
A financial plan is about fitting all of the unique pieces of your financial life into their proper place so that they work effectively together towards your vision. As you become more financially successful, more pieces are needed to complete the financial puzzle, such as risk management, tax strategies, and estate planning. Having a comprehensive financial plan enables you to focus clearly on your specific goals and tune out the constant noise of doom and gloom, because in the long run YOUR plan is all that matters.
What Are the Steps in the Financial Planning Process?
Establish Clearly Defined Goals
From my experience this is the hardest part for most people. A good financial planner will help you think about specific goals and help you prioritize the things that are most important to you. In order to set a clearly defined goal it must be both realistic and inspiring enough to motivate you to action. If it’s not then it’s not truly YOUR financial goal. (It may only be what you think you should have as a goal.)
Asses Your Current Situation
This starts by reviewing your Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Statement (see above).
Create an Actionable and Easy to Follow Plan
Looking at a checklist that is a mile long is a bit intimidating for most individuals. A good financial planner should be able to take your life long financial to-do list and break it into small, easily managed actions steps that can be accomplished in a short time period. Being able to accomplish small tasks gives you the satisfaction you need to keep going and gives you a higher probability of actually achieving your big goals!
MONITOR AND MEASURE YOUR PLAN
The biggest mistake I see most financial professionals make is the lack of follow up in holding their clients accountable to actually do the steps they’ve outlined in order to achieve their goals! Planning is the easy part – doing is the hard part. Your financial planner should regularly check in with you on the progress of completing your action plan. During this process it is easy to uncover your areas of strength and weakness when it comes to implementing the financial plan. A good financial planner should be able to identify challenges and offer solutions that are unique to helping you actually achieve your goals. If something isn’t working there is always another way!
It’s important to constantly monitor and update you plan as life happens. As your personal circumstances change so should your action plan. As you accomplish financial goals your must have a new action plan designed to help you reach the next set of goals on your list. Keep in mind, as life changes your goals and priorities might change as well. You must make sure your financial plan is flexible.
If you’re interested in details about the financial coaching program I offer at Fresh Financial Planning, click here to learn more about the Financial Planning Partnership Program.