Over the years we have had a lot of clients tell us that despite being referred to Grandma’s Jars by trusted friends or family they were initially very hesitant to try budget coaching. They knew they could do with some help getting their finances sorted but the idea of sharing intimate details about their spending habits and finances to anyone, let alone a stranger, was very disconcerting.
At Grandma’s Jars we understand that talking to a stranger about your finances can be a very difficult thing to do. Admitting we need the help is often the first hurdle but then there is the fear that we will be judged or ridiculed for the financial mess we find ourselves in.
In this blog post I want to address some of these concerns or misconceptions by outlining what budget coaching is (and isn’t) at Grandma’s Jars.
A Budget Coach Doesn’t Tell You What You Can and Can’t Spend Money On
We often find that our clients are initially fearful that by taking on a budget coach they will lose control over what they can and can’t spend their money on – this is not true.
The golden rule of money management is that you must not spend more than you earn. The role of the budget coach is to ensure that you adhere to this rule, not to tell you what you can and can’t spend your money on.
We have a client who is excelling with her budget but her number one priority when starting was to ensure she could continue to get her hair professionally straightened each month. This process was very expensive but as long as she could keep this she was happy to sacrifice her spending in any other area.
A budget coach will help you identify what is normal / average spending for each expense. They will help you find ways to save money, and they will also highlight where you are being overly optimistic or unrealistic.
A good coach will help you find a way to keep the important things in your life while still following your budget.
A Budget Coach Does Not Manage Your Money For You
A budget coach is a coach, not a player. In any sporting endeavour, the role of the coach is to guide, encourage, and support the players to perform at their best. However the coach is most effective from the sidelines; the coach does not sideline the players and run on the field himself.
A budget coach’s job is to help you develop the skills and habits required to succeed financially. The goal of a budget coach is to empower you to achieve more than you could have on your own but not to do it for you. Yes – we will educate and equip you with everything you need to succeed, but the work will be all yours. With our help, most of our clients save on average $500 to $1000/month – more than they ever managed to save on their own. And they do it by themselves!
By taking an active approach to their finances, our clients not only achieve what they previously thought impossible, but they get a feeling of accomplishment.
A Budget Coach Does Not Force Their Goals On You
Clients sometimes think that we will tell them exactly what their goals and milestones need to be but this is not how we do budgeting. It can be very discouraging to have someone tell you exactly what you need to do with no flexibility. The last thing we want is for you to be discouraged. A rigid budget plan does not create a good learning environment and also removes a sense of ownership and responsibility. When our clients set and reach their own goals, they really feel they have accomplished something significant.
If you are looking for help in getting out of debt, there are some prerequisite goals that need to be fulfilled before we start chipping away on your payments. Before paying off debt, we will need to build a cash reserve and make sure you are in a good financial position to start allocating money to paying off your debt.
As long as you follow the golden rule of money management, you set your own goals and our coaches will help you reach them.
A Budget Coach Is Not Judgmental
Many new clients are initially reluctant to take on a budget coach for fear of being judged or ridiculed for the state of their finances. It doesn’t take long however for new clients to realise that our budget coaches truly understand what it is like to struggle financially.
There is no criticism or ridicule; all of our coaches have been through their own financial issues and have used the Grandma’s Jars coaching program to overcome their own money monsters. Empathy is what makes our coaches so good.
We have all made bad financial decisions; we all know we could manage our money better. It takes both courage and humility to open up and seek help – qualities we both respect and admire at Grandma’s Jars.
A Budget Coach Is an Educator
My primary goal with Grandma’s Jars is to teach people how to take control of their finances. Sadly it is a necessary life skill that both parents and our education system fail to actively teach our children. Not surprisingly, lifestyle debt is on the rise in the 20-30 year old age bracket. The purpose of our Grandma’s Jars coaching program is to empower our clients to be able to stand on their own two feet financially. At the end of 12 months our clients will know everything they need to live a financially successful life. Maybe some will even choose to become Grandma’s Jars coaches themselves. Budgeting is a lifelong experience, but having a budget coach shouldn’t be.
A Budget Coach Keeps You Accountable
We understand that there are times when discipline and lack of self-confidence will undermine your progress. Sometimes in a moment of weakness it is really easy to justify overspending to ourselves, but a lot harder to justify it to a person who cares and has invested time in helping us succeed.
Whether you are trying to budget, diet, or start an exercise routine, having another person check in on your progress is a powerful motivator. After all, you wouldn’t want to disappoint them.
The close personal relationships we build with our clients helps keep them accountable. It also creates a safe learning environment that is accepting and understanding of the mistakes they might make.
A Budget Coach Empowers You
Through education, support, tools, and accountability, a budget coach’s goal is to empower you. They are mentors who walk beside you on your journey to financial peace. There will be obstacles and stumbling blocks along the way, and the budget coach is there to help you overcome them. With each obstacle you overcome, you will grow in confidence and be more prepared for the next time something happens. It is our goal that eventually you will come across an obstacle and turn to your coach and say, “It’s ok mate, I’ve got this.”
Whether you are striving to lose weight, to excel at your chosen sport, to be a better parent or master your finances, there is untold value in having someone journey with you, someone to encourage you, support you, and keep you accountable when your own discipline and self-belief threaten to undermine your progress. This is who a Grandma’s Jars budget coach is.