From an early age, Greg Pare knew the value of a dollar.
Lemonade stands, paper routes, piggy banks—he was no stranger to saving. It just came naturally.
That’s why he couldn’t understand how his friends were so broke. Even they couldn’t understand it. They’d wonder wide-eyed where their paychecks were going, while Greg not only had it all together but was running his own successful small business—without using debt!
So naturally, Greg’s friends started asking him for advice. And it wasn’t long before he became the “money coach” of the group—the go-to guy for pointers on personal finance and running a debt-free business.
Sound familiar? Well, maybe you don’t own a business like Greg. But if you have a knack for breaking down complicated money concepts so a fifth grader could understand them, then you might be the money coach in your group too.
Sure, acting as your friends’ unofficial money coach can be a fun hobby, but what if we told you your financial conversations could go from casual to professional with just a few tweaks? Here are some ways to better help your friends and family when they ask for financial advice.
What Is a Money Coach?
Money coaches are financial coaches: people who guide others through making financial decisions. To coach, you need to figure out where your client’s at financially and then create a plan to help them identify and achieve their goals.
There are three levels of help you offer people as a financial coach:
- Answer a question. Sometimes a quick answer is all a person needs. Should I open a credit card? Easy. No!
- Guide. Other times, people need a longer explanation. I’m ready to buy a house. What’s the best payment option? Well, 100% down is always best. But if that’s not possible, choose a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage. Done.
- Coach. Some questions are too big to answer in one quick response. For example, How do I make a budget? calls for a sit-down meeting where you can take a more detailed look at the person’s finances.
Tips for Coaching Your Friends Through Financial Crisis
Chances are, you’ve been helping people with their money already—which is awesome. You’re already acting like a money coach! Here are some tips for you to get the most out of what you’ve been doing and double the impact for your friends and family.
- Understand the situation. Listening is key in financial coaching, yet it’s often overlooked. You might already know a lot about personal finances, but don’t just listen to respond. Always take time to get to know your friend’s unique financial story. Listen so you can ask the right questions and get to the root of their problem. And it may go without saying, but whatever they share stays between you two.
- Provide information. This is where all the good Dave Ramsey stuff you’ve picked up over the years comes in handy. But slow down! If you really think math is your friend’s problem, think again. Money falls in the behavior department, not the math department. All that retail therapy and impulse buying has got to stop if they want their finances to change. Tell them about the 7 Baby Steps, the Debt Snowball, and EveryDollar, the best budgeting tool on the planet.
- Inject hope. This part is crucial. People should know there’s always a way out of a tough financial situation. Encourage whoever you’re helping and remind them they don’t have to stay where they are. If you have a financial testimony, share it so they know they aren’t alone. Put yourself in their shoes and think about what you might want to hear.
- Set boundaries. You’ve already got a heart for helping others, but you can’t do the steps for them. Have people follow through on their plans by taking action for themselves. Also, remember “no” is a complete sentence. Don’t feel guilty using it.
- Avoid drive-by coaching. Sometimes people want to ask you a “quick question,” like, Should I sell my car if it’s the last thing keeping me from being debt-free? In this case, you might think, Easy. Yes! But hold on! You don’t want to give a blanket response without context. That’s drive-by coaching. Instead, invite them to a coaching session for a more detailed look at their finances. Maybe they’d be better off attacking that last debt and keeping the car. Without context, you could be giving them bad advice for their situation, so always look before you leap.
- Know your limits. Recognize when you’re outside your scope of knowledge, and refer your friend or family member to one of the pros. For example, someone seeking advice on bankruptcy should really see a bankruptcy lawyer after you’ve helped them decide on their next step. Know when to say I don’t know.
Making It Official: Becoming a Money Coach
Greg’s coaching story didn’t stop at just giving friendly advice. In time, his interest in teaching others about money became a passion and eventually a full-blown career in financial coaching.
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How? The switch flipped when Greg discovered Financial Coach Master Training (FCMT)—Ramsey Solutions’ professional training program that teaches people all about how to become a financial coach. That’s when he knew it was time to start his full-time coaching career.
“Couple that timing with the fact that I was looking to sell my business of 25 years, and I knew that God had laid out my next season of life,” he said.
A lot of people who finish FCMT coach part time, but Greg’s been a full-time coaching powerhouse since completing the course. Today, he averages over 120 coaching sessions per month and has helped clients pay off over $10 million in debt! He’s now a top Ramsey Preferred Coach and loving every minute of his life-changing work. He recommends it to anyone with a heart for teaching.
“Coaching is super rewarding when you engage clients, develop a relationship with them, and walk with them through the Baby Steps,” he said. “When I see people who were dejected and unsure of their financial situation turn it around and gain confidence, improve relationships, pay off debt, and put money in the bank, that’s why I coach!”
Are You Ready to Become a Money Coach?
Ordinary people like you and Greg who go through Financial Coach Master Training gain the practical know-how they need to help others.
After Greg took FCMT and became a Ramsey Preferred Coach, his confidence in coaching other people grew—which helped his business grow too.
“[T]he support and community that the coaching program offers on selling is equally as beneficial as the processes taught on coaching,” he said.
Experience it for yourself! Sign up for a free webinar to learn more about Financial Coach Master Training. Get a front-row seat to learn how you can change lives one coaching session at a time.