Do You Need a Money Coach?



We all like to make our own decisions, especially about money matters.

But if you feel insecure or need support about a major financial decision, a money coach could help. These experts help get consumers get their finances into shape, similar to fitness coaches for weight loss programs.

“A money coach doesn’t tell you how to manage money, but helps you brainstorm about options and gives you feedback,” said Margaret VanGinkel, family resource management specialist for ISU Extension. “A money coach is not a financial counselor, who would be more hands-on and giving you financial advice. A coach facilitates and encourages, providing confidence to make your own decisions.”

How do you select a money coach? VanGinkel, a budget expert, said financial coaches are a new trend, and certification is almost nonexistent. So ask about references, fees, and background expertise.
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“A financial coach doesn’t have to be a CPA, but should have some sort of training, have a good reputation, and be a good fit for your personality,” she said.

Financial coaching can be done in person, by phone or by email. It might be a one-time session or go for several weeks, depending on your needs.

To find a coach, check with ISU Extension, which offers classes to train nonprofit groups in financial coaching. www.extension.iastate.edu/NR/exeres/81650A91-A87B-4778-9A6E-E4BF883B68C9.htm. Or, contact Corrinne Lambert via email @ clambert@UnitedWayDM.org or call 515-246-6542.