Finance & Wealth

3 Reasons Why You May Need A Financial Coach

By Jeffrey Anzalone | Mar 29, 2021
Jeffrey Anzalone | ACHNET

It’s amazing to me how God knows which doors to close in order to open new ones in our lives. When I look back to my first year of dental school in 1996 and then fast forward today, I NEVER thought I’d be doing the things I am now.

If you would have told me I’d become an author, blogger or speaker on a national level, I’d have thought you were crazy. Public speaking used to be one of my biggest fears.

And now a new door has opened that is in perfect alignment with the ones that have closed. Recently, I’ve completed the training to become a Financial Coach through the Dave Ramsey Master Training Program.

When I look back through the rear view mirror of my life and how I started out in a HUGE hole with debt, it’s clear to me now why I need to take the knowledge from my screw ups and pay it forward to prevent others from making them as well.

It’s actually one of the MAIN reasons I started this site in the first place.

My goal today is to discuss the in’s and out’s of financial coaching and if it’s something you may need in the future.

But first, let’s take a look at another area that comes us quite a bit among doctors…Financial Advisers.

Financial Advisers – Do We Need Them?

The White Coat Investor addresses this in, “What You Need To Know About Financial Advisers.”

There’s been a lot of talk among some of the main doctor finance sites regarding Financial Advisers and whether or not we need them.

Some of the topics he covers are:

The Physician On Fire has an entire resource page to use when attempting to choose an adviser – Recommended Financial Advisors

Passive Income MD also has a list of Recommended Financial Advisors on his site as well.

My Dilemma

As this site as grown to thousands of monthly visitors, occasionally many of you reach out and ask questions regarding a financial situation or need.

To be honest, I felt a bit guilty giving out advice, especially since I didn’t have any type of “designation” behind my name. I’m a periodontist and the only letters after my name is DDS. So, in a sense, it worried me a bit without having CFP, CPA or EA after my name.

It was at that point that I started looking into something that I could do (besides using what I’ve learned through the School of Hard Knocks) that could make myself a bit more reputable when answering questions.

For me, it came down to two choices:

Financial Advisor or Financial Coach

What Is A Financial Coach?

I like Garrett Philbin’s definition of what a financial coach is on his site, Be Awesome Not Broke.

He states that “the goal of a financial coach is to educate clients on the basics of personal finance and, as a team, create a spending plan that reflects the values and goals of the client.”

“The coach then empowers clients to take responsibility for their decisions, supports their continual learning and growth, and serves as an accountability partner throughout the process.”


One of the most valuable aids a financial coach provides is that they empower or motivate others to make smart financial changes.

It seems that most people could use a little motivation according to recent research:

  • • 76% of people live paycheck to paycheck
  • • 64% of Americans can’t cover a $1,000 emergency
  • • 24% – The average American household wastes 24% of their take-home pay on consumer debt.

One of Dave Ramsey’s team members, Chris Hogan, does a great job of motivating the “average American” to become a millionaire in his book, “Everyday Millionaires”.

When you think about it, a financial coach isn’t much different than a personal trainer that motivates others to push through the pain for the reward of having a healthier body.

Both of these people will:

  • • figure out where you’re at
  • • determine your goals
  • • decide the best course of action to accomplish goals

Financial Plan

Another goal of the financial coach has to do with long term success. They help create healthy money habits by establishing a financial plan that reflects their client’s goals.

After developing the plan, they provide accountability because too many people fail to accomplish their goals due to lack of implementation. The financial coach is there for support.

3 Coaching Steps

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “different strokes for different folks.” No two people are the same, so it doesn’t make sense to try to force every client into a “cookie cutter” program.

With that being said, some may only need a few coaching sessions over a period of a few weeks whereas others may need more.

No matter the length of time, the entire process usually revolves around three steps:

1.Budget – Most people don’t know how much money is coming and going each month so it only makes sense to set up a budget. This helps to define the financial situation and makes tracking the spending much easier.

2.Goals – The next step is setting financial goals. Again, each person is different. For yours truly, my goals once I completed my residency was to start an emergency fund, begin the process of getting out of debt, become a millionaire and eventually become financially free.

3.Accountability – The last step is to determine the length of time that accountability should be built into the plan. Some clients may feel that they only need a few sessions while others may need to set up a longer schedule. It could also involve a 6 or 12 month check in