You’re thinking of hiring a financial coach, but you want to know how you can maximize the value of your investment. After all, we financial coaches are supposed to help INCREASE your net worth!

If you hire the best personal trainer, that person will show you exactly what to do to be in top physical shape, but only you can step on the treadmill and make good nutritional choices. Likewise, working with a financial coach is an incredibly valuable partnership, but you are in charge of taking the actions needed to reach your financial goals.

Here are five tips to get the very most out of the benefits that financial coaching offers.

  1. Meet with your coach consistently.

Making significant, life-altering improvements to your financial situation always requires forming new habits and an adjusted way of looking at money. Meeting with your coach consistently will help solidify the behavioral changes you’re working toward and will help you gain the momentum you need in order to see major progress.

Meeting sporadically (less than once a month) tends to slow down clients as it’s a natural human tendency to get off-track when we remove accountability from our lives. So, schedule your coaching sessions accordingly and make consistency a priority.

2. Let your financial coach know when a problem comes up.

Here’s the thing: problems are a guarantee. No one’s journey is without struggle and unexpected curveballs. The biggest mistake you can make in a financial coaching partnership is to not keep your coach informed in real time. I want my clients to text me if they’ve made a mistake. I want them to call me when they feel like something we planned isn’t working or they get slammed with an unexpected hurdle.

The reality is, it can take months, depending on your situation, for your budget to start doing its thing, to feel more natural, for your savings to accumulate enough to handle life’s bumps and surprises. I’m not just here to give you a plan; I’m here to help you navigate and troubleshoot along the way, and to help you identify solutions you might have otherwise missed.

3. Prepare for your coaching sessions.

The clients who get the most out of coaching prepare for sessions. They do this by writing down a list of questions and topics they want to be sure to cover. I have also noticed they are consistently on time to our sessions and have any relevant paperwork already on their desk.

Devote about 10 minutes before your coaching session to getting in the right frame of mind. Make your cup of tea if we’re meeting over video-conference, turn off the TV, set up your computer, and review your questions. This will help you to maximize your session time and ensure that your priorities are addressed.

4. Dedicate space in your mind and your schedule.

I’ve heard so many people say they don’t have time to deal with their finances. My response is that you don’t have the time not to. Trust me on this— if you fail to take a proactive approach to your financial wellbeing, you’ll end up wasting a lot more time and energy handling one financial crisis after the next, plus you’ll have nothing to show for it. Your wellbeing is a worthy investment, so cut something else out of your life if necessary to to deal with important financial matters.

5. Communicate openly and be open-minded.

Here’s a secret: your coach can handle pushback. Your coach is all about empowering you with knowledge and options. If you don’t like your coach’s recommendation, don’t pretend to agree. Talk about it. Tell your coach why the idea of selling your overpriced truck hits a nerve. Don’t be afraid to lean into those discussions- those are often the most valuable and lead to self-discovery. And at the same time, be open-minded. Be willing to shift your paradigm about money, to discover new and better ways of attaining your goals, and to experience a more content, less stressed relationship with your finances.