Should I use a Virtual Financial Coach or Financial Planner?


By Roslyn Lash, AFC®

Perhaps you need help with managing your money but you don’t know which professional to contact. You’re wondering if there’s a difference between Financial Counseling/Coaching and Financial Planning? The answer is yes.  Both professionals can provide online services. The differences are in the services performed. An Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC®) aids in changing your money mindset, and coaches you with your personal finances so that you will accumulate wealth. An AFC® helps you to minimize your debt, maintain or re-establish your credit, develop and follow a budget, and save money for emergencies. Once you’re at the point where you are reasonably comfortable, you will be referred to a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) to aid you with your investments. If you already have a budget, retirement account, emergency savings, minimal debt, and good credit, then you may be ready to meet with a CFP®. A Planner will help with tax planning, estate planning and various facets of wealth building.

If you’re not yet in that category, an Accredited Financial Counselor has the certified skills to assist individuals and families in the process of making complex financial decisions. Financial counseling or coaching provides you with steps, both short-term and long-term, to achieve your goals and dreams. It looks at your current financial position, compares it to your goals, and then develops an action plan to achieve those goals.  The financial coaching process is dynamic, and it involves a holistic approach to achieving financial wellness.  It is an intensive behavioral approach to setting and attaining goals.  This is achieved by reshaping behaviors and attitudes about money.  Financial coaching is a process.  Having a clear plan will help you negotiate the inevitable financial barriers that arise in every stage of life.  All of the decisions are ultimately your responsibility; however, we have the ability to:

  • Educate clients in sound financial principles.
  • Assist clients in the process of overcoming their financial indebtedness.
  • Help clients identify and modify ineffective money management behaviors.
  • Guide clients in developing successful strategies for achieving their financial goals.
  • Support clients as they work through their financial challenges and opportunities.
  • Help clients develop new perspective on the dynamics of money in relation to family, friends and individual self-esteem.

If you don’t know where your money is going or you are confused about your next steps, you could benefit from an online coaching session with Financial Coach, Roslyn Lash, AFC®. You’ll be provided with an action plan with suggested steps on how to achieve your goals.  In addition, you will have unlimited email access to ask any questions. Coaching sessions start as low as $130!