Do you feel like there’s not enough money to get you to the end of the month? Are you drowning in debt and don’t know how to fix it? Are you wondering if you should participate in your employer-sponsored retirement plan? These and other money-related questions can be answered by a financial coach or a financial advisor…and they might even make it fun to talk about money. The trick is knowing who is best
suited to help you.
Wisdom is a fruit salad.
There’s a meme that says, “Knowledge is knowing tomatoes are a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put them in a fruit salad.” Same goes for financial coaches and financial advisors. While we both have answered many money-related questions, the wisdom is knowing our areas of expertise so we can serve our clients best.
Why Should You Work with a Financial Coach?
When it comes to financial coaching, it’s about understanding your income, expenses, debt, and savings and creating a budget to manage the day-to-day financials of your household or business, or maybe even both. Once you know how much money is earned and spent, develop strategies to pay down debt and save.
- What is the total debt and from what sources?
- Are you using credit cards to buy groceries?
- Do you have outstanding student loan debt?
- Are there expenses that can be budgeted or deleted from spending, at least until you get a handle on your budget?
- Do you really need cable or can you decrease your entertainment budget with online sites like Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Netflix?
- How do you budget to make sure all the bills are paid on time even if income fluctuates?
- What do you do with windfalls of money like tax returns, bonuses, or inheritance?
I will make a relatively educated guess and say that in the case of a windfall of money, spend 10% on something fun and use the rest to pay down debt and/or invest.
Speaking of investing, let’s talk about how a financial advisor is different than a financial coach.
Once you understand your day-to-day financials, you will likely have money that you can put into savings. While traditional savings are good for emergencies and short-term expenses, there may come a time when it makes sense for you to create a financial plan and start investing. That’s where a financial advisor can help.
- How do you save and invest for life events like weddings, births or adoptions, buying a home,
529 college savings, retirement savings, and vacations, to name a few?
- Should you participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan?
- What do you do after you max out an employer-sponsored plan?
- Your employer offers life insurance as part of the benefits package so do you need additional insurance?
Just like you do with a financial coach, we talk about how you want your money to work for you and then develop a plan to meet those financial goals. As a financial advisor, I help clients understand the stock market and terms like stocks, mutual funds, annuities, cost of investments, dividends, and how they all play a role in a financial plan.
Whether you’re working with a financial coach or financial advisor, we both help you develop a healthy and, dare we say fun, relationship with money.
Shanna Tingom, AAMS® is an independent financial
professional and the founder of Heritage Financial Strategies. Her specialty is
working with female entrepreneurs, business leaders, and individuals
experiencing life transitions.
A veteran of the financial services industry, Shanna was 19 years old when a
meeting with a financial advisor revealed her purpose and passion. The
advisor dismissively reached across the desk, patted her on the head, and
said, “Don’t worry sweetheart. Your husband will take care of this money stuff
for you someday.” Since then, Shanna has built a career out of helping others
take charge of their financial future.
Shanna keeps active as a member of the Gilbert Small Business Alliance and
Gilbert Chamber of Commerce. She also enjoys traveling with her husband,
Eric, and spending time with her two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Oliver
You can learn more about Shanna and Heritage Financial Strategies by visiting their website: https://www.heritagefinancialaz.com/
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Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor
Cambridge and Fiscal Fitness are not affiliated.