As a Financial Coach, I help with basic money management by teaching skills and habits that will create a healthy and sustainable relationship with money. This is done by acknowledging the current personal or business financial situation, evaluating how money is spent and why, teaching the basics and importance of a budget and how to create one, and lastly setting financial goals and achieving them.
1. What is your current financial situation
- 6 months of financial statements: This will give you a good average of where you spend your money.
- Are you paying your bills on time? Are you in debt? Living paycheck to paycheck? Putting money into savings?
- Mint.com-sites like this will put this info together for you.
- This snapshot will show you your spending habits.
2. Credit-Know your score
- It’s important to know what your score is and what is affecting it. Often times there are credit cards open or debts against us that we may not know about.
- Once you know your score, you can start working to raise it.
- Creditkarma.com: This site will analyze your credit score and show you what is helping the score and also what is hurting it. The site will also suggest credit cards that you will most likely be approved for given your history.
- Equifax or Experian: You can get a free credit report from them as well
- Building your credit can take some time, but it’s important to have good credit and can benefit you in the long run.
- Build credit by paying all bills on time and make sure your debt ratio is in check
3. Budgeting-Fixed vs. Variable
- Fixed- expenses that don’t fluctuate and are necessary to live. Examples would be rent, utilities, car payment, etc.
- Variable-expenses that are in your control and often fluctuate. Examples would be meals, entertainment, shopping, vacation, etc.
- You need to know fixed vs. variable to create a good budget
- Fixed expenses are top priority and then variable
4. Check in- why do I spend my money?
- Why am I spending this?
- Is it something I NEED or WANT?
- How am I feeling right now? How will I feel tomorrow?
- Why do I want this?
- What is my motivation?
- Is this helping me hit my financial goal or taking away from it?
- Is the expense accounted for in my budget?
- When I look at past expenditure’s does it make me happy?
5. Goals-Where do I want to be and why?
- Be intentional and specific: your goals have to be personal so you can use them as the motivator to be disciplined.
- Break large goals up into smaller ones. I.e. a 3-month goal into a 4-week goal that will help you hit it. Most of us can do “anything” for 4 weeks, these shorter goals help you create good habits.
- Make an action plan: this HAS to be detailed. What can you do now or this week that is going to propel you towards hitting your goal?
- Know your obstacles: what is going to stand in your way of accomplishing this goal? Where are your weaknesses?
- Get an accountability partner: Check in with this person often. Use them as your compass to keep you on track. We are all amazing at justifying why we should spend $, pick a strong partner that is going to remind you of your goals often.
- Set a dollar amount on what you can spend. For example, anything over $50 you have to take 24-48 hours to think about it before buying-gets rid of the impulse factor.
- Set a weekly challenge: This week I’m giving up Starbucks-put the money you would have spent into a jar-seeing the visible savings helps you stay on track.
- Put your fixed expenses into a different account so you aren’t spending rent money on meals/entertainment. Through payroll, have money go into each account. Or you can do the envelope system
- Create a vision board or have your goals in front of you at all times to remind you what you are working for.
- Figure out what type of “spender” you are and do the opposite. For example, if cash fly’s through your fingers-don’t have cash! If you are always putting your credit/debit card down to buy drinks, only bring enough cash for what your budget can handle.
- Be conscious of your spending and you will most likely spend less
- Money situations don’t get better by ignoring them-tackle them head on, be honest with where they are, and make a plan to improve the problem.
- Fear around money
- Feel it’s too complicated to understand
- Don’t know where to start
- Don’t know where to make changes
- Feeling out of control
- Not sure if you should grow your business
- Not knowing what you can afford
- Concerned that you should have more in the bank and you don’t
- Do you currently have a budget?
- Do you understand what a budget is?
- Do you know what you are spending money on?
- Can you identify your income to expense ratio?
- Do you know your spending habits?
- Are you spending money on things you can’t afford?
- Do you simply look at your bank account to see if you have money?
- Do you know if your company is profiting or not?
- Do you feel like you could be more efficient with your money?
ANSWER "YES" TO ANY OF THESE?
What is a Financial Coach?
Teaches business owners, executives, and individuals the basic understanding of personal and business finance to help them create healthy financial habits and reach their financial goals.
Understanding financial statements such as Profit and Loss and a Balance Sheet
Fixed vs. Variable expenses
Asks questions designed to make the individual think about where money can be best spent
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