Building Better Programs

Financial Coaching: A New Approach for Asset Building

Financial coaching has been adopted by some practitioners in the asset-building field for use with low-income clients and by some financial planners for more affluent clientele. Coaching has appeal because it is centered on changing financial behaviors over time based on an ongoing relationship between the coach and the client. Coaching is differentiated from counseling in that it focuses on changing financial behaviors, rather than focusing on a specific event or problem. Counseling tends to be more therapeutic in nature, while coaching endeavors to help a client improve his or her behavior in order to achieve self-defined goals. This report reviews financial coaching programs with an emphasis on services for low-income families. While its explicit focus is on financial coaching, the principles of coaching can also be applied to employment programs.

Financial Coaching: A New Approach for Asset Building Report