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Money management help isn’t limited to using a financial adviser. There are also money coaches, financial planners, accountants/bookkeepers, lawyers, solicitors, will writers, accountability buddies, life/business coaches, and counsellors.
There’s a whole team of people that could potentially support you, and we’re going to look at some of these as a suggestion to help you throughout your money journey. It’s also important to ensure these people resonate with you and are in alignment with your goals and who you are so you can work seamlessly with them.
The Money Coach
A money coach is different to a life coach or business coach. With a life or business coach, you would be asked specific questions, and respond with the first thoughts that come to mind. A money coach also needs to understand certain financial aspects to be able to explain things to people.
As a money coach myself, I need to be able to help with some of the more practical elements and problem-solving. I do ask my clients plenty of questions, encouraging them to come up with their own responses, but it’s very much focused on guidance and education, support and cheerleading.
Ultimately, I can’t tell you what to do. For example, if you’ve got debt, I can’t tell you the right course of action for you to get it paid off. I can only provide guidance and advise you on the available options. Equally, I can’t tell you how to invest, but I can give guidance on what’s available.
Click here to read more about the difference between money coaches and financial advisers.
The Financial Planner and Financial Adviser
Financial planners and financial advisers are an important part of your wealth team, but there is a distinct difference between the two. A financial adviser is traditionally money/product focused, providing advice on where to put your money and which products to buy.
A financial planner, on the other hand, is focused more on you as a person, wanting to know what your plans are, what do you want for your family, or for yourself and your life. Once they have this information, they can help you to plan a roadmap around those key elements of your life.
Cost-wise, a financial planner will generally charge a fixed fee, whereas a financial adviser can charge a fixed fee, an hourly rate, or a percentage of the money you want to invest.
Some financial planners do cross over into the adviser role, and there can also be a mixture of the two. As a general rule though, a financial planner is interested in your lifestyle, focusing on you as a person, as opposed to your money.
You could choose a financial planner or adviser if you need someone to look at your portfolio, get advice on changes or adapting it, or to give you an analysis about your potential future money performance. As a money coach, I can certainly help you in deciding whether a planner or adviser would be right for you and help you with the questions to ask so you can pick someone aligned to your values.
A Fiduciary or Financial Adviser Should Act in Your Best Interest
In the UK, it’s now no longer possible for a financial adviser to get a commission on your investment funds. Similarly, in the US, a ‘fiduciary’ must act in your best interest and have to make sure they’re giving you the right deal for you as the individual. If you are based in America, and you want to find a financial adviser, search for one under the term ‘fiduciary’.
Your Bookkeeper and Accountant
If you run your own business or are self-employed, a bookkeeper and accountant can be absolutely invaluable. They’ll help you with tax planning, saving money on your tax, and other elements.
Your bookkeeper will mainly track your money, recording what’s coming in and what’s going out, using your receipts to tally everything up. NB: If your receipts are in a mess, this may cost you more as bookkeepers tend to charge an hourly rate.
If you hire a bookkeeper to help you with tax returns and other things like that, it’s a good idea to keep your finances organised. I put a lot of focus on creating order with your finances at the start of The Abundance Clinic for this reason. That way, if you do need to employ an accountant or a bookkeeper, it’s going to be much easier for them to work through everything.
An accountant will take a much broader view of your financial situation compared to a bookkeeper, so they can actually have a look at your business forecast to help you plan better in terms of what you need to do financially.
Accountants also have a higher level of qualification, so they generally cover PAYE, VAT, self-assessment tax returns, capital gains tax, inheritance and tax planning. While a bookkeeper will have some tax knowledge, they don’t necessarily know everything about tax.
Consequently, this will cost more than a bookkeeper would. Costs might be anything from £125 a month up to £1,000 a month, depending on the size of your business and what they need to do for you.
Lawyers and Solicitors
Why do you need a lawyer or solicitor for help with money? Well, there are all sorts of legal factors to consider when it comes to money. Things like divorce, getting a will in place, a lasting power of attorney. Then there are business agreements, contracts that you might need drafting, execution of estates, probate, and deeds of trust for sharing a property.
I’ve recently had to get a deed of trust because I’m not on the mortgage with my husband. The deed of trust means I can’t be kicked out in the event that he died. My name will be going on the mortgage, at which point the deed of trust won’t be necessary. But in the meantime, to protect myself, I’ve had one of these written up by a lawyer.
You can also get prenuptial agreements put in place. They aren’t legally binding, but make a good guide to support you both if you decide to go through a divorce later on down the line.
Will Writers and Estate Planners
Will writers and estate planners focus solely on wills, or matters relating to Power of Attorney.
They’re different from solicitors in that anybody can become a will writer. The downside is that if things aren’t so straightforward and the written will doesn’t cover the bigger picture, it might not actually be valid. Which doesn’t mean to say that simple will writers are ineffective or unreliable.
There is a list of reputable will writers, so if you do want to employ a will writer (who would be cheaper than a solicitor), you can do a will writer reference check on this website. If it’s straightforward, this method would be perfect for you. But if it’s more complicated or you wanted that peace of mind, a solicitor would be a better option as they can be held accountable in the event of any problems.
A mortgage broker is really helpful for when you want to buy a house. There are several different types of mortgage brokers out there. Some brokers deal with buy-to-let and investment properties, and may prefer to serve more experienced property investors. On the other hand, there will be other brokers who deal specifically with first-time buyers.
There are independent brokers who are willing to look at debt consolidation, and there are brokers who are connected to a specific estate agent or bank and will have to promote their products and services. On the plus side, there may be extra incentives for using an estate agent’s or bank’s products. However, if you’d like to explore your options, look at using an independent broker.
Life & Business Coaches
Life and business coaches may seem an odd choice for help with your money. However, discussions around money can bring up a lot on an emotional level. It can highlight your fears of not being good enough, or the desperate desire to change your career because you’ve suddenly realized it doesn’t fit with who you are anymore. Or maybe you’re hit with the sudden realization that you’re not bringing in enough money and need to do something around your business or your life.
This is where a business or life coach can actually be really useful, but make sure you find somebody who you can build a good rapport with. Somebody you’ve checked out beforehand and gained an understanding of them as an individual. They can help you unearth the questions that may arise around your financial/life situation.
Certainly, for me, my personal development journey started with my finances. Once I’d worked through that, it led to many other issues around mindset, like starting a business and looking at the way I was living my life. My personal development is something I’m always working to improve on.
Trying to work on yourself, by yourself, is hard. Which is why a life coach or business coach can be really valuable to help speed things up for you.
The Money Counsellor
Money counselling is a little bit different from life coaching, in that counselling is all about supporting you and helping you to work through problems that you might have. Again, money mindset work can bring up a lot of old memories and open old wounds.
It might make you feel worse for a while as you begin to see what’s going on in your subconscious. You might have to deal with unwanted memories like narcissistic parenting for example, or parents who never spent any money.
Hoarding can be a big issue. There are people out there who physically can’t move in their house because they’ve stored absolutely everything. They’re so scared to let anything go, and this often has an effect on their finances too as they’re scared to let go of their money. Having a counselor on board can really help to unpick that need to cling on to everything and enable you to let it go.
Perhaps you have anxiety about the future, and frequently worry whether you’ve got enough money. Sometimes that anxiety can tip over to the point where it’s actually starting to impact on your life. From a mental health perspective, a money counsellor can really help you here, especially if you feel you need more support that simply focusing on the numbers.
The Accountability Buddy
When you’re building your financial power team support network, an accountability buddy can really help to support you. I have cheerleaders in several different areas of my life to help me when I’m feeling stuck, or things aren’t going quite so well. Having an accountability buddy is so helpful to keep you on track. Or you can check in and admit that you didn’t meet your goals this week but can commit to them again next week.
I hope you’ve found this post useful and will consider using some of these suggestions for your own Financial Power Team.
Check out The Little Black Book for ongoing updates of recommended providers.
What it really comes down to is how willing you are to invest in yourself to improve your finances. Sure, you could do it all yourself, but is it really an effective use of your time? Building wealth is not about being a “martyr” and “doing all the things”. It pays dividends to reach out and ask for guidance, help and support. Successful people surround themselves with successful people, so who do you have in your life that can fulfill this role?
If you need to find your tribe, why not join my free facebook group – Women Working Towards Money Freedom.
Until next time,