For many of us, money is an emotional trigger. How we manage our money in adult life is often the result of how money influenced our childhood. Recently we sat down with Trina Patel, a Finance Coach in the WMN / WRK network who specializes in working with millennials, to learn more about how she helps her clients and what exactly a Finance Coach does. We walked away from the conversation with a whole new appreciation of the relationship between money and emotions, and also learned that every single person (even if you think you are good with money) needs a Finance Coach.
“If you’re holding onto money issues,” says Trina, “you feel stuck and that starts to impact the rest of your life, your success at work, and even your mental health.” Getting a Finance Coach can help you solve your money issues. Here is what we learned from Trina:
Lesson #1: How You Grew Up with Money Will Shape Your Adult Relationship with Money.
On a basic level, this makes a lot of sense and seems straightforward. However, when you really start to dig into this statement, you uncover that how you use and think about money today is largely dictated by your past.
According to Trina, “it’s not one size fits all when it comes to money.” Understanding her clients’ emotional connection to money is the first thing Trina does when she starts working with a new client. “Often for millennials there is a lot of shame and guilt when it comes to money – whether it’s student loan or credit card debt or saving to start a business – most millennials feel like they are either not doing enough or don’t even know where to start.”
“And that,” says Trina, “is perfectly OK because my immediate objective is to create a safe and comfortable space to talk about money. Almost all of my clients haven’t sought out financial help before so it’s important to create a space for support, encouragement and accountability.”
Lesson #2: Your Lifestyle Has a Bigger Impact on How You Manage Your Money Than You Realize.
Sure, we’ve all heard that cutting out that morning latte will add up to real savings over time; however, that’s only one small piece of the money puzzle.
“I take a comprehensive look at your spending,” says Trina. She looks at everything from daily expenses and unnecessary subscriptions to optimizing big monthly expenses like insurance.
Let’s take insurance for example. Often you can save money by consolidating your house (or renters) and car insurance. Trina says she will often call insurance companies with her clients to make sure things get consolidated under the right plan that will save her client money.
Lesson #3: Accountability, Accountability, Accountability.
Monthly check-ins and email support sessions are just a few ways that Trina builds accountability into her work with clients.
“Those are really just the bare minimums,” says Trina. “If my client wants to create a savings plan, I will literally sit with or Skype with my clients while they open a new savings account to make sure it gets done. Long-term savings options like Ellevest can be great options so I will help my clients set up an account and help them create their investment profile. I don’t do the work for them – we do it together.”
“Money feels scary but it doesn’t have to be. I’m all about giving my clients the tools for success but just like when your kid learns how to drive a car, you ride with your child until they are ready to drive on their own. You don’t just hand them the keys and a checklist of things they need to do and hope they do it right,” says Trina.
Lesson #4: Working with a Finance Coach Gets Results (and Here are a Few Success Stories).
“I had a client that came in with $30K in debt and has already paid off half of that debt in less than 5 months,” says Trina. “This success was entirely built on creating a daily savings plan, like prioritizing spending and making smarter daily money choices, and accountability. Before working with me, she didn’t understand where her money was going. She made a good salary but felt cash poor. We went through her finances and daily spending habits and cut out a lot of unnecessary spending and unused subscriptions to the tune of saving almost $500 a week!” Trina also says that the weekly email check-ins and monthly calls helped keep her client on track.
Another one of Trina’s clients wants to start a business next year so Trina helped her client clean up her personal finances, create a financial plan for her business (how much she needs to save to get the business up and running) and explore funding options to kickstart the business’s growth. “What felt like a dream of ‘one day’ having her own business is now a very real reality,” Trina said.
To learn more about Trina and hire her as your Finance Coach, check out her WMN / WRK profile here!