Financial coaching is an emerging approach that helps individuals set financial goals, develop concrete action plans toward those goals, and maintain accountability. This report by J. Michael Collins, Nathalie Gons and Kasey Wiedrich summarizes interviews with workshop participants from UW-Extension’s financial coaching trainings, which were held in December 2010, April 2011, and May 2011. The goal of these interviews was to discover how participants use financial coaching, including how many people they reach.
The interviews also set out to identify barriers to financial coaching and additional support individuals may need to be successful in using a financial coaching approach. Finally, the interviews were used to gather information and ideas that might help document longer term impacts of financial coaching programs, in order to find out what difference coaching makes in participants’ lives.
Financial coaching is an emerging approach that helps individuals set financial goals, develop concrete action plans toward those goals, and maintain accountability. Additionally, coaches helps clients identify personal strengths and community resources that can aid in goal attainment. At its core, financial coaching aims to help individuals turn knowledge, intentions, and aspirations about their finances into reality. Because it is such a new strategy, the availability of financial coaching in Wisconsin is limited. In order to expand the public’s access to coaching, the University of Wisconsin-Extension started training new financial coaches in December 2010. To date, about 150 individuals from a variety of organizations have participated in seven financial coaching training workshops offered by UW-Extension.