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What is Financial Coaching and How Can it Benefit You

Image of two professional individuals working together with laptops. Do you struggle with debt? Find financial freedom with a financial coach in California or New York.

If I’m in a rush and I need to explain what a financial coach does in one breath, I tell people I help my clients learn how to trust themselves with money. And while that’s a pretty good elevator pitch, it doesn’t really encapsulate what I do as a holistic financial coach.  So let’s talk about what financial coaching is and how it can benefit you.

Approximate read time: 7 minutes

What is Financial Coaching?

All financial coaching should help you learn to manage your money well, set goals, plan for the future, and create a budget.

What is Holistic Financial Coaching?

Holistic, trauma-informed financial coaching respects that every choice you make is either directly or indirectly a financial decision, and seeks to help you learn to trust yourself with your money. The comprehensive, client-focused, and collaborative approach of holistic financial coaching should give you the tools to heal your relationship with money and align your financial behaviors with your values.

Benefits of Financial Coaching Services

Financial resilience:

There is no difference between trusting yourself and being resilient. When you know you can trust yourself you’ll assess risk differently, make better-informed decisions, and move through the world with confidence.

Customized spending/planning/budgeting:

Your coach should help you build a customized budget from the ground up. Your life is different than anyone else’s, so a cookie-cutter approach will NOT work. If just downloading a premade budget off Google worked, everyone would be keeping a budget!

Focus on evaluating the system you’re building:

You should not be complying with a system. You and your coach should be building a system together that complies with YOUR life. This is critical to building a customized system. Evaluate the system, not you.

Financial awareness:

You will gain a deep understanding of your financial behaviors, patterns, and reactions to debt without judgment, shame, or regret.

Future planning:

Financial coaching will help you plan for the future both the near and far future. Including any life transitions you may be dealing with.

Procrastination and avoidance:

Is that stack of bills piling up on the desk reminding you that you’re procrastinating? Holistic financial coaching reduces the impact of hesitation, avoidance, and procrastinating until it’s no longer own you. Procrastination isn’t a personality defect, it’s a protective strategy.


Your coach should work to earn your trust. You should feel comfortable and NEVER feel shamed. Financial coaching can help you develop healthier communication patterns around money, both with yourself and your partner or family.

The Role of a Financial Coach

Probably the best way to think about what a good financial coach does is to think about what GPS does for you. So let’s say you hop in your car and turn on your GPS. GPS needs just two pieces of information:

  • Where are you now?
  • Where do you want to go?

With those only two pieces of information, GPS spits out a pathway for you. Your financial coach’s job isn’t to provide you with the one “correct”, cookie-cutter pathway (more on this in a bit). Your coach’s job is to build the pathway with and for you through collaboration, not direction.

Ok, now let’s say you’re driving along following your GPS and you make a wrong turn, or you choose to stop at a gas station. What would your GPS do for you? It’ll either try to get you back on the same path, or it’ll reroute you, of course.

Rerouting is Your Financial Coach’s Job Too

Here’s another, very similar scenario: This time you’re driving along following your GPS and there’s a tree in the road or a car accident is blocking traffic.

What would your GPS do for you then? Well as above, it’ll either reroute you or get you back on the same path, but it might also let you know “Hey, bud, this is a 45-minute delay but it’s still your fastest route, etc.”

Whether a pivot or change is because of a choice you made (wrong turn) or a choice that was made for you (tree in the road), it doesn’t matter. Your coach, acting as your temporary financial GPS must refocus the work on where you are now, and where you want to go.

And your coach doesn’t tell you where to go. Not ever. Through a comprehensive goal-setting process, they will help you uncover where you want to go and why. This goes beyond goal-setting and becomes purpose-finding. Only your goals, priorities, and purposes are directing your work with your coach.

There is one piece of information that isn’t as important as you might think, and that’s where you’ve been.

Your Past Choices are Important and Also NOT Important

There’s not even a way to tell GPS wherever you’ve been, because GPS doesn’t care about that. All GPS needs is where you are now and where you want to go.

Certainly, when it comes to finances, the decisions we’ve made in the past impact and inform where we are right now. But they’re really not terribly important to building the path forward. This isn’t to say we don’t talk about the past, because of course, it comes up. But if your financial coach is holistic and trauma-informed, they won’t stay there with you long. Your coach should neither blow off your past, nor stay there with you longer than needed, but should refocus your work on the two pieces of information we talked about above.

Acceptance of past choices, traumas, and experiences doesn’t mean being irresponsible, it means practicing patience with yourself, which we all need to be able to trust ourselves.

Where you are now changes all the time, and where you want to go will likely change too! And all of that is normal and your coach must be able to pivot with you in real time as your life changes.

The Importance of Your Perspective

Your financial coach has no authority over you. You should never feel pressured or talked down to. Your autonomy should be celebrated and encouraged, not subjugated. While your coach should be an expert in coaching and their curriculum, YOU are the expert on your life.

There is a marriage of perspectives that makes GPS work. Without you, GPS is pointless. Without you, there’s nothing there for GPS to do!

GPS has a long-distance, rather simple perspective. And you’ve got your “butt-in-the-seat” perspective. GPS can’t see that your neighbors have left their bins out too far or that kid’s running across the road. Only with these combined, equal perspectives will the relationship between you and your financial coach work!

The Temporary Nature of Financial Coaching

The ultimate goal of your coach is to empower you to be your own GPS.

Your coach should be working to not be needed. If your coach truly wants you to be self-sufficient and self-trusting, there needs to be a point where you can do it on your own. While they should be able to support you in the future, there shouldn’t be a need for coaching sessions stretching years into the future, an ongoing subscription, or endless books or classes to consume.  Your time with a financial coach should never end in a sales pitch for a financial product.

In Conclusion

What would your financial life look like if you could trust yourself with your money? What would you be able to do that you can’t do now? If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your finances, like you’ll always be stuck worrying about money, consider working with a holistic financial coach.

Next Recommended Article: How do I Talk to My Partner About Money?

Ready to Begin Working With a Financial Coach in California, New York, Texas, or anywhere else in the United States?

Empower your financial future! Gain control over your finances with personalized guidance from a skilled financial coach at Pacific Stoa. Together, we’ll craft tailored strategies to conquer debt, build savings, and achieve your long-term financial goals with financial coaching services. Follow these three simple steps to get started:

1. Reach out to me to schedule an appointment and see if Financial Coaching Services are right for you!

2. Begin meeting with me, Hanna Morrell, a skilled financial coach

3. Gain control over your finances and achieve your financial goals!

Other Services Offered at Pacific Stoa

At Pacific Stoa, I want to make sure you have everything you need when it comes to managing your finances. So as a financial coach, I provide Financial Coaching for Individuals, Financial Coaching for CouplesFinancial Coaching for Divorce and Separation, and Financial Coaching for Families. I also offer Financial Consulting for Nonprofits and Businesses to help create a customized strategy built specifically for you, your organization, and those you serve. Check out my FAQ to learn more about Financial Coaching and my Blog!