Financial coaching vs. planning

Financial coaching and financial planning are two distinct practices and services which offer individualized support to help persons, families, businesses, and more to create, work towards, and achieve their monetary objectives: from the very basic, to the audacious.

Different strategies for cultivating better financial wellbeing and stability may be leveraged at different times depending on the state of an individual’s or business’ monetary health and literacy. Investment advice for someone who is having trouble getting a handle on their debt isn’t accessible, let alone helpful. Likewise, a person or organization looking to invest their assets might not get much out of a conversation regarding first-time savings accounts. The need will determine the solution, and ideally the need will change as financial goals are met. 

Financial coaching and financial planning are two distinct practices and services which offer individualized support to help persons, families, businesses, and more to create, work towards, and achieve their monetary objectives: from the very basic, to the audacious. Let’s talk about what these strategies are, how they work, and when you should use them.

What is financial coaching?

The goal of financial coaching is to help an individual or business build financial literacy and stability, using strategies which are designed to address the specific needs and situation of the individual or business in question. 

Financial coaching is often directed at building up better attitudes towards and behaviors regarding money rather than strategic use of one’s accrued finances. It assesses the financial need, goals and know-how of the coachee, and then guides them through how they can realistically go about reaching those goals. 

A financial coach may help their clients in navigating basic but necessary monetary decisions, including:

  • Using credit safely.
  • Managing and paying off debt.
  • Creating and following a budget.
  • Making better spending decisions.
  • Building a savings account.

What is financial planning?

Financial planning largely refers to the strategic use and implementation of money which an individual or business already has. A financial planner (or advisor) will guide their clients in more advanced monetary activities such as:

  • Investing.
  • Large-scale spending decisions including the purchase of property or other assets. 
  • Saving for retirement.

Financial planning is largely focused on growing assets already in your possession, or managing money in such a way that it generates further income. However it can also be applied to other inevitable financial concerns including:

  • Tax planning and navigation.
  • Estate management.
  • Managing and strategizing inheritance. 

What are the differences between financial coaching and financial planning

Professionals with titles like “financial coach” or “financial planner/advisor” may offer services which seem very similar on the surface. And there may indeed be significant overlap in what each of these financial management strategies can offer, depending on the needs of the business or individual. There are however also important distinctions as well between the two which may indicate a better fit according to your financial health and future goals. So let’s take a quick look at what those differences are, and how they apply to your financial strategy. 

Financial coaching

Financial coaches can be certified in their profession, but licensing is not legally required. The advice financial coaches provide applies largely to day-to-day behaviors and financial concerns like budgeting, saving, spending habits, debt navigation, and setting financial goals. 

Financial coaches are typically engaged over the long-term, and are there to help their clientele through life via a financial lens. They can be accessed in emergency situations as well as in times of plateau and upward monetary trajectory. 

The primary goal of financial coaches is to help build better financial habits and literacy for their clients so they can create a more stable financial future for themselves and their families. 

Financial planning

Financial planners or advisors are typically certified within their field, and depending on the nature of their certification may cost a premium to access. This can be well worth it for the client, however, as financial advisors offer in-depth counseling and services which can help you to grow your own investment portfolios and cultivate advanced profitability for individuals as well as organizations. 

Financial planning is primarily used to strategize money you already have, make investments in businesses or property, manage taxes, and navigate various approaches to wealth protection. A financial planner will either advise you on the best choices you can make regarding these factors. They may also continuously manage investments for you, for an added fee. 

When should you choose financial coaching over financial planning?

You should consult a financial coach if you:

  • Want to create a budget that allows you to better live within your means.
  • Pay off debts, including credit cards and student loans.
  • Save for the future while still having money to meet the financial requirements of your everyday life. 
  • Need help figuring out how to make impactful spending decisions. 

If your financial concerns exist primarily in the day-to-day – or if you don’t know what your financial concerns should be – accessing financial coaching is likely the better option for you. 

When should you choose financial planning vs. financial coaching?

You should consult a financial advisor if you:

  • Want to build a profitable investment portfolio. 
  • Have significant financial assets which need to be protected, or utilized to their full advantage.
  • Want to maximize the potential of your retirement account.
  • Are planning your estate and want to ensure your family’s financial future. 

If you’re looking mostly at big-picture financial objectives and enjoy a relatively monetarily stable day-to-day, engaging a financial advisor is the better option for you.

How businesses can support employees on their financial journey

Whether your workforce is looking to bolster their retirement or is simply learning how better to make ends meet, a financial wellness solution can help them, as well as your organization, to reach their financial goals. 

Origin is a comprehensive program designed to support holistic financial health for your employee base. This critical benefit gives workers the tools they need to better track, assess, and manage their finances to build a more stable future for themselves – and a more profitable one for your company. 

See what else Origin has to offer you here.


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