Category Archives: Money

Couples Money Coaching

Why would a couple need money coaching? Isn’t that the same as financial planning?

It couldn’t be more different. I would describe the two services like this: if you have a pain in your back, taking a pain killer is like financial planning. It just treats the surface issue or symptom, but does not get to the root cause of the problem. Alternatively, going to a reputable chiropractor who identifies the cause of the pain and treats it directly so it doesn’t return is like money coaching. Which one makes more sense?

For couples who find themselves dealing with financial challenges, whether it’s excessive debt, lack of savings, poor communication, using money to exert control, or any number of issues, creating a traditional financial plan will not solve the problem. That’s the pain killer approach. I recently spoke with a mortgage broker who helped a couple pay down their debts with a mortgage refinance, only to see them run it back up in a short period of time. But now, there is no equity left to bail them out. Did refinancing really help? Had this couple worked on the underlying cause of their overspending in addition to the practical solution of re-financing, the odds of debt relapse would have been greatly reduced, if not eliminated. That’s the benefit of utilizing money coaching in conjunction with sound planning strategies.

So what should a couple expect from the money coaching process? Here is a partial list of outcomes most commonly experienced by past clients:

  • A basic understanding of money and the brain – the neuroscience behind money behavior
  • Self-discovery and understanding of each other’s inherited money patterns
  • Learning about each other’s money archetypes and understanding the why behind existing money behaviors
  • Developing better communication skills around money
  • Creating strategies to transform challenging behaviors into empowering practices
  • Improved relationship with money and each other!

Of course there is no guarantee of success, and the couple has to want to improve their situation. But with so many relationships failing and citing money as a primary cause, the need for money coaching before or at least in conjunction with practical strategies is critical.

Why Money Coaching?

Money Coaching exists for a simple reason – a lot of people have challenges with money! Money is a major cause of marital problems, creates significant stress and anxiety in individuals, promotes a false sense of happiness and security, is used to control and manipulate others, and so on. Why is this so?

I believe that a major contributing factor to our money problems is that money has become a survival tool in modern society. It is very difficult to exist in the material world without it. When we need something to survive, and we perceive that we do not have enough (perpetuated by scarcity based economic principles), certain brain functions kick in to help us in our fight for survival – better known as the fight or flight response.

These functions served us well in primitive times when we literally had to fight or flee to survive in a hunter/gatherer existence. Today, however, we have advanced to the point where life-threatening situations rarely, if ever, occur in our lives. But the same primitive response to stress still exists in our brain. We have evolved in the external world tremendously, but unfortunately our hunter/gatherer brains are still very much unchanged. All we’ve done is change where we hunt and gather – from forests, prairies and jungles to office buildings and shopping malls!

Not only do we have these primitive survival instincts creating tension in our relationship with money, but other forces are acting against us as well. Most of what we learn about money comes from our parents. Neuroscience tells us that by the time we reach the age of 12, our learned patterns of emotion, language and thought are hard-wired into our brain. What we learned as a child about money, both intellectually and emotionally, follows us into adulthood and affects our lives in a significant way. Unfortunately our parents weren’t always the best role models!

Money coaching integrates neuroscience, neuro-economics, behavioral finance, psychology, and spiritual principles to address the core money challenges an individual is dealing with. It recognizes that our negative behaviors around money are not easily changed. A lifetime of beliefs and patterns will not be altered by prescribing a better budgeting plan or investment strategy. It requires recognition of what the patterns and behaviors are, where they came from, and why they are there. Only then will specific strategies to transform negative money behaviors be effective.

Beginning with a core process of four, one-hour sessions, a money coach follows this strategy of first  identifying a client’s challenging patterns, beliefs and behaviors around money, then helps create small but significant steps to transform these patterns into those that will serve the client in a much more positive way going forward. On-going support to help facilitate this transformation is often provided as well. The amount of coaching one needs is completely up to them.

To learn more about the Money Coaching process, please click here to visit the Money Coaching page.