You want to save money, get rid of the credit card debt and hopefully one day buy a house but you have no idea how to make it happen.
You have tried budgeting but weren’t sure you were doing it right and every time you felt like you were starting to save money some unexpected expense would blow your budget out of the water.
Oh yeah and then there is the whole ‘will power’ and ‘discipline’ thing, you want to save money, you want to eliminate your debt but it is so hard to resist the temptation to spend.
If this is you, then perhaps you should consider taking on a budget coach.
What’s the point in spending money on a budget coach, if I am trying to save money?
Yes, I know it seems counter intuitive to spend money to save money but let’s be honest, how much money did you save last year? How much debt did you pay off last year…… Hmmm
For most people the honest answer is a big fat zero and for others it’s “not as much as I should have”.
So if this is you it’s time to invest in your future and get yourself a budget coach, and I use the word ‘invest’ deliberately here because our average coaching client typically saves 7 times more than they spend on their coaching fees, yep 7 times more!
So what exactly is a budget coach?
Before we look at the things a budget coach can help you with I thought it would be useful to explain what a budget coach is.
The simplest description of a budget coach is someone who can help you set up a realistic budget, teach you how to use the budget and then keep you accountable for sticking to it.
But a good budget coach is far more than this, a good budget coach is someone who will:
- simplify the way you manage your money
- give your budget purpose by linking it to your goals and objectives
- create a clear step by step plan to help you take control of your money
- Provide accountability to ensure you stick with the plan and achieve your desired outcomes.
Most importantly a good budget is someone who will help you take control of your finances but in the process give you the knowledge, skills, tools and confidence you need to excel with money on your own.
The 7 things a budget coach will do to help you
So now that we know what a budget coach is let’s have a look at 7 things a good budget coach will do to help you spend less, save more, eliminate debt and achieve important lifestyle goals.
#1 Clarify your financial goals and objectives
Any good coach whether a business coach, athletic coach or budget coach will understand that having clearly defined, measurable goals is the key to success in any endeavor.
Goals will help you prioritise, goals will give you focus and goals will help you persevere when you are tempted to give up.
Very few people budget for the sake of budgeting, we budget because we want to save money, get out of debt and do fun stuff. In other words, we budget to achieve goals that are important to us.
A good budget coach will help you define what your goals and objectives are so you a can stick to your budget, look past the short-term distractions and stay focused on the things that matter most.
#2 Get a comprehensive understanding of where your money really goes
If I were to ask you right now, “Do you know what all your expenses are?” do you think you could tell me? Sure, you could probably tell me what your major bills are but what about the more discretionary stuff?
What do you spend on clothes, gifts, hobbies, sports, entertainment, holidays etc. The reality is beyond the bills most people have no idea where they spend their money, yet it is these more discretionary expenses that we overspend on not the household bills.
A budget coach will help you understand what all your expenses are so you can make objective and purposeful decisions about how and where you spend you money.
#3 Tell you what is normal or average spending and where you can cut back
Have you ever wondered what other people spend on their groceries, or what they spend on clothes, entertainment or gifts?
An experienced budget coach should be able to tell you what others spend on things and be able to provide you with a good idea of where you could potentially cut back your spending or where you are being unrealistic with what you have allowed for a certain expense.
It is important to note though that a good budget coach will also understand that every person’s situation and priorities are different, so what others spend can only ever be used as a guideline not a hard and fast rule.
I recently had a client tell me that we can change anything in her budget except what she allowed for her hair. Every 6 weeks she spent a small fortune on getting her hair chemically straightened. And so we went to work designing a budget around the things that were most important to her, her hair!
#4 Help you establish a realistic budget based around your priorities
The role of a good budget coach is to help you consistently spend less than you earn, this is the golden rule of money management.
While a budget coach will guide you in terms of how and where you cut costs your budget should always be based around your priorities because you are the one that has to live to it.
One of the most practical (and obvious) things a budget coach will do for you is help you set up a proven budgeting system that fits your lifestyle, your goals and as we said before your priorities.
Once you budget is set up a budget coach will teach you how to use it and will help you overcome those inevitable obstacles you will face i the first 6-12 months of budgeting.
Having someone with experience set up your budget and then be there to answer your questions provides enormous confidence both in the budgeting system and in your ability to make it work.
#6 Help you establish and overall road map to achieve your financial goals
As I mentioned earlier other than the odd ‘numbers geek’ nobody budgets for the sake of budgeting, we budget so we can take control of our financial future.
A good budget coach will use your budget as a starting point and then provide you with a step by step plan that will show you how to:
- Break the pay cheque cycle
- How you will eliminate the credit card debt
- How will consistently save more money
- Replace the Car
- Save a deposit for your first home
And so on…
A good budget coach will be able to give you an objective plan for how you can achieve the financial goals that are most important to you.
#7 Provide accountability and focus
We all wish at times that we could find someone who has the experience and the genuine desire to help us achieve a goal or overcome a struggle in our lives.
Whether we are trying to lose weight, get fit, build a business or take control of our finances having someone who will help us develop a plan of action and then care enough to keep us accountable is so very powerful.
You will find that most budget coaches do what they do because they are passionate about what they do and derive so much joy from seeing their clients excel.
A good budget coach will keep you accountable because they care, they are invested in your success, and will constantly keep you focused on why you are budgeting and the outcome you are working towards.
It can be hard to spend money in order to save money but if you are struggling to get ahead financially, if you have been stuck in the same frustrating cycles or know you should be doing better then what have you got to lose? May be a good budget coach is just what you need.