It’s Got To Hurt A Little

There is an old saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Well, I think we can agree that might be taking it to the extreme. When we talk about setting financial goals and plans to achieve those goals, I think the more appropriate saying is “No pain, no gain.” You see, when you are modifying spending habits, you are going to be experiencing some growing pains. We are training ourselves to avoid impulse buying and using a credit card because we “don’t carry cash.” This change in behavior is going to be difficult and yes, even a little painful. It’s kind of like starting a new plan to work out at the gym. After the first few workouts, you will be sore. You will also probably be a little disappointed that you didn’t lift as much weight as you might have expected or wanted to lift. That’s ok! The fact that you made the decision to start is the most important thing.

Just like exercise or even a diet, once you stick to it and the habits are built into your lifestyle, over time you will see the results. You will start seeing your financial net worth go north. Looking back, you will think that the pain wasn’t so bad after all. Those of you that have already started your journey to financial freedom and look back on your first few months of that process, you know what I’m talking about.

Yes, it’s got to hurt a little but the results offering peace of mind and the feeling of accomplishment will far outweigh the pain you will feel. Even if no one else knows it.

What Is Financial Coaching And What It Is Not....

The best way to explain financial coaching is to contrast it with what a financial advisor does.

In it’s simplest form, financial advisors focus on selling investment products, like stocks and bonds, and typically (but not always) work with individuals or couples who have a significant amount of money to invest. Financial coaches, on the other hand, focus on the basics of personal money management, behavioral change, financial education and commitment to a spending plan. While financial advisors most commonly help manage wealth that already exists, a financial coach’s job is to provide clients with the knowledge, skills, and behaviors that will help them build their wealth in the first place.

Other major differences between financial coaching and financial advising are coaches are not going to sell you products at all; they do not manage investments, nor sell insurance. We can educate our clients on the basic concepts of insurance, investing, diversification (which isn’t considered giving financial advice), but we never provide specific recommendations on where to invest.

Once you have covered all the core financial needs like a balanced budget, emergency fund, minimal debt, adequate insurance and a will, a licensed financial advisor can work with you to come up with a financial plan to allow your excess cash to grow moving forward. Once you feel you are at that step, I can recommend some incredible financial advisors that will work with you and create a personalized plan to invest your money for long term growth. This will allow you to achieve the lifestyle you desire for you and your family.

You are not alone....

What do professors, real estate agents, farmers, business executives, computer programmers and store clerks have in common?

They’re not immune to the harsh reality of living paycheck to paycheck, according to dozens of people who responded to a Washington Post inquiry on Twitter.

They’re millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers. They work in big cities and rural towns. They’ve tried to save — but rent, child care, student loans and medical bills get in the way.

National data on the paycheck-to-paycheck experience is flimsy, but a recent report from the Federal Reserve spotlights the prevalence of extra-tight budgets: Four in 10 adults say they couldn’t produce $400 in an emergency without sliding into debt or selling something, according to the 2017 figures.

It seems to me that since the financial crisis 10 years ago, the stock market has rebounded incredibly well but the average American has not seen that same financial growth. Many jobs that were historically full-time with benefits are now adjusted to part-time or contracted out. That places additional responsibility and stress on hard working, loyal employees. Each of us are now required to play by a new set of rules and adapt to a new employment environment that we were not trained for nor expected to previously.

That means most of us now have to understand retirement accounts and the pros and cons of an IRA, ROTH IRA, 401K, 403B and so on. We have to understand our options and make decisions on insurance plans. Not just health but life and disability on top of home, auto, ect. Then there is the need for an emergency fund created for life’s unexpected events. I could go on but you get the point.

We typically were not taught in high school to be prepared for the responsibilities and obligations of a successful financial plan. I know my parents didn’t educate me either. Did your parents? It feels like to me in the game of life, someone changed the rules and there is no rule book provided to help you. That is why Americans are struggling in all generations and employment fields.

But with a financial coach to work with, you can do it! Seeking help is the first step. You just need to put a line in the sand and say that my journey to financial freedom starts NOW.