I’m Officially a Money Coach :)

Yup, as of last night I officially became a money coach after having my first (paid) session with a client :) And as you can probably assume ‘cuz we’re all money nerds here, it was fun as shit to help her, haha… You think looking over your own money is fun, try diving into another person’s world!

I had been playing with this idea of helping people one-on-one for a while now, but really hadn’t pursued it much outside of talking to a few coaches/advisors that do similar things and learning how it all works (see shout outs down below). I quickly learned that you don’t need a fancy pants degree or anything to help people out either, at least in the “coaching” world. If someone wants to pay you to help them out with a problem, it’s all good! And this one just happens to be relating to money, just like my coaching on blogging or business, etc. Also without any degrees. (Though street cred helps ;))

(NOTE: Advising people with money does get murky with investing, however. I can’t advise on a stock or fund or any of that type stuff if I’m getting paid for it, but luckily that’s not my specialty anyways. As evident w/ my all-in-one lazy Vanguard strategy, haha.. which, I might add, is doing pretty well!)

Anyways, over the past couple of months I had two readers of this blog reach out to me and ask if I’d like to take them on as my first clients. The first guy was all gung-ho and we literally chatted for hours before setting up our first official session together (he had all types of issues going on, but fortunately all fix-able!), however he dipped out the second we got serious about diving in and I literally never heard from him again. It was the weirdest thing, but I guess he just wasn’t truly ready to face the facts and get dirty.

Then came potential client #2, who we’ll call Lil’ Kim since we both share the love of hip-hop ;) She too reached out on this blog as a casual reader, only she was serious about getting her money on track once and for all. She knew she had a lot of problem areas to work out, but she was eager and ready to get right to it and needed an “accountability partner” to help motivate her. So we did our (free) intro session to see if we were a good fit (we were), and then last night we had our first session WHICH WENT AMAZINGLY. Not only because we get along so well as people, but because she wasn’t afraid to divulge every last debt and monthly expense she had going on for the greater good of the project: HER LIFE. I could tell it wasn’t easy for, but I let her know it was a “judgement free” zone and the more we rip off the band-aid the better. And that she did.

We talked about what all these numbers meant, and what to look for/ think about over the next month, and then we’ll be having a follow up call come end of August. And potentially each month going forward until we get her money on track – which, if I do my job right (and she does hers!), should be sooner than later. An interesting twist on side hustling when your goal is to kick them out in the end! :)

Being that I’m so new to all this though, I thought I’d share with you what we’re working on together, and what our future goals will be. Maybe you have some insight and have done this before yourselves? Or maybe this will help YOU directly? I honestly don’t know how it’ll all play out, but I DO know that if anyone followed this no matter what stage they’re in, they’d be SOOOO much farther ahead with their goals. The hardest part with this stuff is simply *starting.* Which basically means admitting to yourself that you suck with money right now and you’re ready for a change.

These are the first steps we’re working on with Lil’ Kim (and future clients of mine as well, hint hint):

  1. Getting an overall snapshot of her money (ie. calculating her net worth). This sounds basic because most of us reading this right now already know how to do this AND we all do it (I’m literally updating mine after I post this up), but when you’re starting from scratch it probably hasn’t crossed your mind. And to me this is the main # we focus on so we can track progress every month going forward, whether the mission is to cut expenses or increase income. It all gets reflected in this number, and you need a baseline to compare results to so you know how you’re doing.
  2. Getting an overall snapshot of her expenses (ie. putting it all down in a spreadsheet). This will also sound basic, but you’d be surprised how many people have never done this! Whether in a spreadsheet, or paying attention to an online service like Mint.com, etc. And the only way to know how you’ll be able to reach your goals is to figure out just how much you have leftover every month to play with. You can’t pay off your debts or save for retirement/new home/etc if you’re constantly breaking even, or worse, losing money every month. You need to know what your leftover $$ is so it can be applied to your goals appropriately!
  3. Breaking even every month. I call this Phase I where all we’re trying to do is get everything organized and on track with the purpose of at least breaking even every month. Then, once we get that humming along nicely, we work on trimming fat and bringing on future extra income as well. But not until you get a snapshot of everything and understand how it all comes together.

We did steps #1 and #2 last night (she loved my google doc I made for her cuz she had never put stuff down like this before :)), and her homework is to try and break even for August while also paying attention to areas she can cut later (the numbers show she should be able to do it, but of course the real world is always different). She’ll also be automating a handful of bills that had been slipping through the cracks (this seems to be a recurring problem from the few people I’ve talked with – they all *mean* to pay the bills but for whatever reason don’t?) so this alone will help decrease the stress and smooth things out more going forward. Plus, she knows she can reach out to me anytime throughout the month with questions or guidance anytime she’s stuck – similar to a concierge service ;)

Here’s the excel version of that Google doc btw if you’re interested in it – it’s super simple.

Future tasks for us to tackle will be:

  • Widening the gap between income and expenses
  • Setting up a nice cash cushion in savings (ie emergency fund)
  • Setting up a buffer in checking so automated payments don’t mess anything up in bad months (I like to keep $1,000 in there if possible)
  • Paying off her debt more strategically (looking at the terms, interest rates, calling up some places to negotiate, etc)
  • Getting back to investing more (for retirement)
  • Challenging, and shredding, more expenses where applicable
  • Coming up with more ways to bring home income – both at her job, and on the side

We’re still in the early stages here, but so far we’re off to a great start :) She’s happy to finally be DOING SOMETHING about her money, and I’m happy to be along for the ride and helping motivate her. The hardest part is facing the facts and learning exactly what you’re up against with this stuff, so I applaud Miss. Kim for taking the time to stare it down and get to crackin’ once and for all. Again, it’s hard to make progress when you don’t know *truly* what you’re dealing with, so I can’t stress enough how important it is to put it all down on paper and start soaking it in. You always think you know what the deal is, but you never do until you actually have it all there in front of you. I made that mistake myself 6+ years ago and will never again!

The fun part is that I’ll also be learning as we go too :) What may work with her might not with another person, so I’ll have to learn to go with the flow and really pick up on the clues to make sure the advice is being matched up appropriately with their goals/situation/etc. I already learned that “you don’t mess with a black girl’s hair” in my first session with Kim, haha, so I’m sure there’s other expenses off the cutting table as well with people… Didn’t see that one coming!

Needless to say I’m pretty excited about this new venture. And if you think I could be of help to you too, please do let me know. With Kim we’re focusing on the early stages of managing money, but I’ll be looking to help others in the other stages of the game as well. So shoot me a note if you’re interested and we can take it from there.

And since I know y’all are wondering just how much I charged Lil’ Kim, I’ll satisfy your curiosity: $50. Which technically is for a 1 hour one-on-one session via phone, but really is like 3 hours when you factor in the intro call and me reviewing stuff and then going over by a half hour on our call, etc… But always better to under promise and over deliver, right? We’ll see how the rates look going forward (I’m told $50 is “way too cheap” as others charge $100, $200 and even $500+ ), but for now it feels about right. I’m not in it to become rich, but I do have to be cognizant of my time and value.

This also means my total jobs I’ve done in my life now equal to 39, haha… But at least the last few have been focused on stuff I enjoy and am somewhat decent at ;) Always easier to make money in those ares of life than others, so keep that in mind when you’re off starting some hustles of your own…

Hope you guys got something out of this! Whether you’re in a similar position as Lil’ Kim, or if you’re considering getting into the coaching biz yourself… If you enjoyed this, let us know in the comments below and I’ll continue sharing how this stuff goes in the future.

Have a blessed weekend, everyone :)

lil kim kissing gif

PS: Speaking of “blessings” – the other thing I loved about Kim outside her musical taste is that she still tithes despite not having all that much money right now. To the tune of 10% of her (gross!) income too – amazing. “If it weren’t for God she wouldn’t have anything,” she told me. Which you can’t help but admire whether you’re a religious person or not. In fact, it got me to revisit my own charity goals as well, which has been less than stellar ever since ending Love Drop… So going forward I’ll be setting aside 10% of my future side hustles too to try and get back on track :) It’s not 10% of my entire income, but you gotta start somewhere!

PPS: HUGE shout out to all these beautiful, and smart, people who chatted with me on what it’s like to coach, advise, and manage other peoples’ money. Y’all helped me figure out exactly what I wanted to do in this area, so thank you so much!

  • Alison Salisbury of Fiscally Fit (daily money manager)
  • Cindy Lail of Checks & Balances (daily money manager)
  • Shannon McLay of Next-Gen Financial (financial trainer)
  • Sophia Bera of Gen Y Planning (certified financial planner)
  • Matt Becker of Mom And Dad Money (certified financial planner)
  • Leah Manderson (money coach, and now certified financial planner too!)
  • Stephanie Halligan of Empowered Dollar (money coach, cartoon extraordinaire)
  • Todd Tresidder of Financial Mentor (money coach for high net worth individuals)

[George Washington doodle by Flannel Guy]

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  1. Charles@gettingarichlife.com August 1, 2014 at 5:51 AM

    That’s a nice service you have there j, it will be very rewarding when you help some people out. I’ve helped a few of my friends setting up investment s or looking at their budgets but I charge a 12 pack of beer.

    1. J. Money August 1, 2014 at 8:14 AM

      Oooooh that’s a good idea too! With shipping it would probably come out to $50 anyways, haha…

  2. Kalen @ MoneyMiniBlog August 1, 2014 at 7:28 AM

    That’s awesome! I love that “Lil’ Kim” tithes 10% of her gross income. Giving is my favorite!

  3. Autumn @ The Barefoot Budgeter August 1, 2014 at 7:30 AM

    “You want Kim? Name the location. It’s 75 grand and that’s just for conversation.” – Lil’ Kim

    Your rates are amazing compared to the real Lil’ Kim’s rates. Seems like an awesome gig though, congrats :-).

    1. J. Money August 1, 2014 at 8:15 AM

      There we go! I bet she’ll take 75 hundred now ;)

  4. Brian @ Debt Discipline August 1, 2014 at 8:09 AM

    Great stuff J$! I’m sure this is very rewarding having direct contact with someone and helping them getting their money life in order! Interested to know what someone who isn’t on track with their money would be willing to pay for a service like this. $50 seems very reasonable!

    1. J. Money August 1, 2014 at 8:19 AM

      Yeah, the one-on-one part makes it super interesting because it’s not talking about theory all the time but *real life* situations. And even if the advice is always the same (which usually it is – money doesn’t change!) it’s always nice hearing that it’s good FOR YOU in your situation after looking at all the numbers. It’s very similar to blog consulting actually where we can learn and read all day on how to grow a blog, but hearing how it specifically relates to yours can make all the difference in the world. Both with strategy, but also with motivation. As Lil’ Kim said, it’s great having an accountability partner!

      Oh, and as for price, I think it’ll depend on the person and situation, but usually if they know they’ll be saving much more than whatever they’re spending for the coaching it should be all good. For example, the first guy I was going to help out said he blew $200-$300 a mo in late fees and all kinds of nonsense – so one call with me could save him thousands over time if we both did our jobs!

      1. Brian @ Debt Discipline August 1, 2014 at 9:04 PM

        I’m sure it is, digging into someone’s real life situation is got to be exciting, the fact that if you both work together you can make an impact. Good luck to Lil Kim!

  5. a terrible husband... August 1, 2014 at 8:14 AM

    I love it! I started coaching for cash a little while back and it’s so rewarding – for both coach and client. Way to go!

  6. Catina August 1, 2014 at 8:17 AM

    This is awesome! My uncle is my money-coach, we refer to him as The Budget Master. He doesn’t charge me anything and I get free dinner from Mrs. Money Coach while there which is a huge bonus. I am sure there is a hidden fee in the way of “I am helping you so you won’t ask to borrow $”…LOL
    I think $50 is a great starting point. It’s manageable for people just getting started who are cutting expenses. You can always increase in the future.
    I LOVE that you plan to donate 10% of your side hustles. Every little bit counts! Even your time is worth $$$ to non-profits as they are always understaffed. Maybe you find something for the FAM to do together. My son and I have done many projects together which really gets the kiddos off on the right foot too.
    P.S. Go Lil’ Kim!!! :-)
    Have an amazing weekend!

    1. J. Money August 1, 2014 at 8:22 AM

      Yeah! I can’t wait to start doing awesome stuff like volunteering w/ our kids once they get older! It’ll help ME get better about it too while passing on good lessons :) And that’s awesome you have an Uncle to hook you up like that!

      Reminds me of a friend who asked me out for coffee to pick my brain on blogging/business, and then later mentioned how it was a lot more fun (and cheap) than hiring me for a one hour session ;) Tricky and smart at the same time!

      1. Catina August 1, 2014 at 2:54 PM

        Yes, super hook-up. They love the crap outta me.

        I hope he is not a blog follower (no offense) – this would blow my cover because I AM super spoiled. LOL

  7. Britt Reints August 1, 2014 at 8:22 AM

    I already knew I was going to be sharing this post on FB and recommending you – and then I read this: “An interesting twist on side hustling when your goal is to kick them out in the end! :)”

    YES. That, to me, is the sign of an ethical coach. That’s one of the first things I tell my clients with happiness coaching – the goal is not for you to get dependent on me but for you to become confident in yourself!

    Glad you’re doing this for people!

    1. J. Money August 1, 2014 at 10:57 AM

      Thank you Britt!!!! Means so much coming from you – really appreciate the support over the years. First you donate your car to our organization (a mustang no less!) and now you’re sharing the love on my coaching. How’d I get so lucky having you in my virtual life? :)

  8. Will August 1, 2014 at 8:31 AM

    That is an AWESOME side hustle! It would be a blast to advise people on a one-on-one basis without having to push investments!!!

    And experience > degrees, certifications

  9. Retired by 40 August 1, 2014 at 8:45 AM

    That’s an awesome new service! I have to comment on the tithing, though. I feel like we can’t afford to tithe right now, but come November when our personal loan gets paid off it’s #1 on our list. My hat is off to Kim, because it’s super tough, I’m sure, and I know as as blogger I get a lot of flak from certain individuals about my faith. Bottom line is there is nothing wrong with giving back, be it to a church or a charitable organization. Kudos Kim!

    1. J. Money August 1, 2014 at 10:58 AM

      Yeah, I think it’s one of those things that you will never really be able to afford it so you gotta do what you can with what you’ve got. Or at least try to like I’m gonna do now – I’ve been slacking for years! :(

  10. Ginger August 1, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    I like this idea (and the price). My husband and I looked into meeting with a financial planner as a “life insurance plan” if I die, because he is not that good at it. The cost was just so prohibitive for what amount to, be around to help my husband if I pass and a once a year update. Maybe my husband and I should use your coaching. :)

    1. J. Money August 1, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      Yeah, that stuff does get pricey but hopefully they provide a lot more value in return to make up for the costs :) I can def. chat with y’all, but I don’t know the ins and out of a lot of the bigger stuff like insurance, estate planning, etc, so you’re better off w/ a planner.

  11. John @ Wise Dollar August 1, 2014 at 9:19 AM

    This is awesome J! Not to mention being a cool little side hustle, but more so being able to see first hand your impact on trying to help individuals that really want the help. Sorry to hear about the first guy, but I guess part of that goes back to really wanting it on their part. Big props to Kim as well for continuing to tithe! That can easily be one of the first things that many give up when they’re trying to get back on track but I think it helps remind you of being thankful for what you do have and realizing there are others out there who are really in need.

  12. Brandy @ Busted Budget August 1, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    Congrats on the new venture! It sounds like it went well and I would love to hear future updates! It’s nice that you are making this affordable and, therefore, available to those with limited income.

  13. Alain August 1, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    Wow. this is amazing…

    About one month ago my mind was telling me that money coaching was the way to go and I have been thinking on how to go about it. Just this morning I started making a plan and then this article show up. Your timing could not have been better.

    Thank you so much for being so open. What you share is amazing. You saved me anywhere from 20 to 40 hours of thinking. Thank you again.

    1. J. Money August 1, 2014 at 11:01 AM

      Well that’s cool! I take it you’re interested in being a coach yourself then, yeah? The best thing I did was talk around with people already doing it to get a good idea. There’s all kinds of avenues you can take it, and each of them have their own pros/cons. So def. reach out to some people and take them out to lunch or coffee so you can pick their brain :)

  14. Andrea August 1, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    I am a financial educator at a large University system, and I reference this blog in some of our outreach. As a financial educator and a trainer of other financial educators, I don’t believe providing “advice” is wise (I literally tell my employees not to use the words advise or advice – we want to empower our students to make their own sound financial decisions), and it is not legal for those that are not licensed financial professionals… so I wasn’t sure the whole “money coach” thing (for pay) was legal.

    After a quick google search, I found this article: http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2011/10/05/should-you-hire-a-money-coach. So, my question is, how are you protecting yourself with this new side hustle? It’s not a regulated field so there aren’t securities in place for either you or your clients.

    Additionally, have you ever thought of highlighting community services like “Money Mentors” programs that are sometimes provided through University Extension programs? Here is an example: https://web.extension.illinois.edu/cfiv/moneymentors/. Consumer Economics Extension Educators actually train these volunteers to work with people within the communities they serve for FREE. It’s definitely an amazing resource for those of your readers that may not have extra cash for a session with you. You might even think about adding it to your repertoire of certifications! :)

    1. J. Money August 1, 2014 at 11:10 AM

      Very cool! Thanks for the links and info – will check them out this weekend :) And for referencing my blog too – so kind of you!

      And you’re right, it’s not regulated and there are a lot of gray areas. I can’t speak on behalf of the other coaches out there, but I know that I personally ask a ton of questions with my client and then guide them to the right direction – mainly having *them* make the decision over me depending on their goals. There are some areas of course that require an answer to something and my opinion – which I’ll always give – but ultimately it always lies with the client to make a decision one way or the other. (Also, a lot of the early stuff is “save more, spend less, work on habits, track stuff, etc” than hardcore advice – so at least now I feel confident in what I’m helping out with)

      As for protection, etc, I borrowed a contract from another coach for both parties to sign that goes over what’s required of both of us, and then there’s also insurance you can get as well. And of course you can LLC it too. I’m still working out a lot of the details myself, but I wanted to at least have a client or two under my belt to see if it’s even something I wanted to pursue more. Which, now I know I do :)

      Great comment and things to think about and be aware of – appreciate it.

      1. Mr. FI October 19, 2016 at 1:33 PM

        Hi J.,

        Can you tell me which coach gave you the contract you use for this? I’d like to have something since I wouldn’t know where to begin crafting a legal contract.


        1. J. Money October 25, 2016 at 2:10 PM

          Just shot you an email :)

  15. Prudence Debtfree August 1, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    It’s wonderful that you’re providing this service for so little. If you didn’t charge anything, I don’t think it would be as effective, so I hope you won’t be tempted to go that route. How humbling to know that Kim is tithing! And how cool that you opened yourself up to her influence and started giving more : )
    It is fascinating to consider what makes a person ready to dive into their finances to improve them and what keeps holding others back. Guy #1 must not be sufficiently uncomfortable with his situation yet. I hope he reads this post about Kim. And that his discomfort grows enough to get him back to reschedule an appointment with you.

    1. J. Money August 1, 2014 at 11:13 AM

      Agreed – any time I go the “free” route (like when I started with blog consulting) people either flaked out on me or never appreciated the info/advice I gave them. Probably because they thought it was worth less or “not important” since it’s favor based vs “official” service?

      I’m also realizing just how important every hour is now that I have kids and less hours to hustle with, so as much as I wish I could help everyone for free it’s just not possible anymore… Usually I need $100/hr for it to be “worth it’ but obviously that can be a lot to people trying to get their stuff together – even IF it’s all solid advice and worth the money. So I am flexible to a degree :)

  16. Jason @ Phroogal August 1, 2014 at 11:02 AM

    This is awesome and congrats. Definitely $50 is a bargain but I’m sure your process will be refined and get up to that $500 range. All the luck on the new venture!

    1. J. Money August 1, 2014 at 11:15 AM

      Thanks Jason :) I think I’ll charge more for more comprehensive stuff like if I had to gather all the numbers and create the budget myself/etc/etc… Which I don’t even know would benefit the client since they learn much better doing it themselves anyways. The 1st guy actually wanted me to do all that and I said I would so I can learn and figure it out myself w/ someone else’s money (and I was gonna charge him $250 for a month that included all that + 4 follow up calls), but then again he dipped out on me so who knows ;) Gonna take it client by client and see how it goes.

  17. Noonan August 1, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    You’re a great coach on the blogosphereβ€”as i know from personal experienceβ€”so i’ve no doubt you’ll also be a great coach on the financesphere!

    1. J. Money August 1, 2014 at 11:18 AM

      Appreciate that :) I’ll have to send my clients your way if they want to get more hardcore with frugality ;) I only have the patience for it up to a certain amt, haha…

  18. Jenn August 1, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    First time commenter on your site J$, but long time reader :) I have been reading PF blogs for a few years now because ever since I graduated I’ve had a ton of school loans causing me stress. I’ve been doing my best to gather info from a bunch of sites because no one seems to be in my same situation. Over and over again, I see PF bloggers putting networth as #1 towards getting in good financial shape. I question, why? If I already know that my debts are more than my assets (LOTS of school debt, but very little assets. I rent my accomodations, my only “assets” are my furniture/clothes/house stuff/etc, small fries retirements, and my car which is 10 years old. Even without actually adding it up, I know the amounts are no where close to positive.). Perhaps I am just in a different area of life than others, but really I could care less what my net worth is. My only goals are to save a little each month in my 401k/Roth/personal savings each and pay down my debts. Am I missing something here as to why tracking net worth is important or am I really just of a different mindset?

    1. J. Money August 1, 2014 at 11:58 AM

      Hey Jenn! Thanks so much for popping in and saying hi – always fun to see who’s reading over the years :)

      To answer your question simply – I use the net worth as the baseline number to compare your progress over the months/years/etc. It doesn’t take long to calculate (especially if you’re just starting out) but it tells you immediately whether you’re working in the right direction or not as time goes on. So it’s more of an accountability thing than for sharing/comparing with others/etc. And to me it doesn’t matter if you’re in the negatives or in the millions – just that you have a starting place to measure progress.

      (Also, keep in mind that while debt is your focus now, as time goes on other areas will replace it like investing, savings, home ownership, etc etc, so having an overall grasp of your financial “snapshot” helps either way – and usually it varies from what’s in our heads vs reality – which is why putting down real numbers on paper/spreadsheets helps. Not to mention running calculations on which route to take as time goes on (pay off debt vs save vs invest, etc))

      All that being said though,, if you could care less about your net worth number then just forget about it and keep focusing on what IS important to you – your debt :) There are tons of great finance bloggers out there that focus/specialize/talk about debt all the time and what works and doesn’t for them (two of my favorites are EnemyofDebt.com and TheFrugalFarmer.net), and they’re great places to connect and reach out to.

      I think you’re already ahead of the game just by simply being here on this blog today, so def. keep learning and finding ways to hustle it all outta there. You are right in that we’re all in different stages here, but in the end it’s all bout the same thing: Becoming financially free. So keep on chugging along!

  19. Tonya@Budget and the Beach August 1, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    Congrats J!!! I think even more important than a fancy degree is life experience, and you’ve had the entire spectrum of financial experience. I think people can relate to that more than someone who went to Harvard and never had a money problem in the world and did everything perfect…well you know what I mean. :) Good luck!!

    1. J. Money August 1, 2014 at 11:41 AM

      Haha…. that’s true. I’ve made some DUMB mistakes in my life too so I can usually relate to whatever others are up to! :)

  20. Ben Luthi August 1, 2014 at 11:24 AM

    I like your low fee. I agree that you have to consider your time and its worth, but I’ve always been wary of the idea of money coaches charging up the freaking wazoo when the people don’t have money in the first place. It’s like, “Hey fire, give me heat and I’ll give you wood.”

  21. Alicia August 1, 2014 at 11:24 AM

    If I hadn’t muddled through all of this stuff myself about a year ago, I would totally be interested in that kind of service. And it comes with hip hop references and a ‘hawk! Plus, it’s always nice to see how far people have come themselves. You’re obviously very transparent about your finances, so it’s not a question of whether you practice what you preach.

    1. J. Money August 1, 2014 at 11:40 AM

      I think that helps for sure :) Any of my clients can check out my entire financial life on this blog and what I’m personally doing to see if it’s something they can trust or not. (And if my actions match my words to them!). There’s nothing hidden here, so hopefully this makes it more inviting for them to be transparent too.

  22. Thias @Wealth Hike August 1, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    Congrats on the new venture! A very commendable service to try and help people get back on track financially! And it is amazing that she is so willing to share all of the financial skeletons in her closet so that she can improve upon her current situation! Good luck with the coaching and good luck to Kim!

  23. Shannon @ Financially Blonde August 1, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    As you know, I think this is an awesome next step for you. There are SO many people who need this type of help and there are not enough resources for them. Most financial planners require you to have hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest or require you to pay hundreds of dollars to work with them, but how are you supposed to get that money if you are having trouble with the basics? There is something incredibly gratifying about helping people and giving them the tools they need to succeed. It is as much a gift for the coach as it is for the student. Congrats!

    1. J. Money August 1, 2014 at 12:28 PM

      Thanks Shannon! You were the very first person I chatted with about this stuff too – got a great grasp of how it all works from you, so I very much appreciate that :) Here’s to the success of your money pimping biz as well!

  24. Ryan @ Impersonal Finance August 1, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    Awesome man. Nothing beats getting paid to do what you would have done for free. Plus, you’re helping people! Karma +2.

  25. Practical Cents August 1, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    Congrats! I’m sure you will be doing a lot of good by providing this service. Great Google doc by the way. I love excel sheets like this and I’ll definitely be using it. Thanks for sharing the info. I look forward to reading more about your coaching experience.

    1. J. Money August 3, 2014 at 1:06 PM

      Cool! Glad you found it helpful – I think they’re fun as hell too :) And the simpler the better.

  26. Money Saving Enthusiast August 1, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    Congrats, J! I’m happy for you. I will say I am always motivated to do something positive with my money after reading your blog. I just finished paying my bills and keeping up with my budget. So I wanted to say hi and give you a Scooby Doo shoutout and let you know that rudgets are rexy. haha I think that might earn me one chuckle. : ) Karen

    1. J. Money August 3, 2014 at 1:07 PM

      Thanks friend ;) You’re too kind.

  27. Kassandra August 1, 2014 at 5:53 PM

    I think that the rate you are currently charging makes you even more accessible even though it is well under the norm. For people who are seriously ready to get their finances in order and really want a coach to guide them through it, $50/hour is not an amount that should faze them. Great new venture and it must feel really good being able to help others get their money straight! Looking forward to Lil Kim’s progress!

  28. J @ the expat investor August 1, 2014 at 6:15 PM

    Congrats J on your first client. I’m pretty sure you will get more client later on the future. Keep up the good work.

  29. Mrs. Frugalwoods August 1, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    Nice, congrats! Thanks for sharing your strategy–great overview of how to approach one’s financial life no matter what stage you’re at.

    1. J. Money August 3, 2014 at 1:09 PM

      Thanks! I hope it’s correct, haha… I’ve never done this before so just doing what *I* personally do myself and feel is the best route. I’d be interested to see how other coaches take it on?

  30. Free To Pursue August 1, 2014 at 7:33 PM

    Congrats J$! Woot woot!

    Yup. $50 is a steal, and it sounds like you’re getting material for your blogging efforts too. Win/win? Sounds like it, at least for now.

    No doubt this side hustle will be ultra-lucrative sooner than later.

  31. Robb Engen August 1, 2014 at 11:00 PM

    That’s awesome that you’re money-coaching on the side, but I agree the $50 rate is too cheap unless you’re just helping out a friend.

    My mom and I started our own fee-only planning service back in January (http://www.boomerandecho.com/fee-only-advice/) and it’s really starting to take off now. I’ve been working with two clients a month since April. I love the feeling of helping people get on the right track with their finances.

    Good luck with your service!

    1. J. Money August 3, 2014 at 1:11 PM

      Congrats to you two as well! That’s awesome. I think I need to grow a pair first before I can offer my services at y’alls rate – even though I know it’s worth it. I guess it just takes time and learning about yourself and how it all works to get the sweet spot going… You guys seem to have figured it out :)

  32. Dan @ Our Big Fat Wallet August 1, 2014 at 11:26 PM

    Congrats, sounds like it has the potential to be a decent gig! Ive thought about it as well as I do get money questions once and a while, and eventually Id like to head down that path

  33. Alexis August 1, 2014 at 11:33 PM

    That is awesome. My sister is basically my money coach because she is so smart with her money and has given me a ton of advice when it comes to my budget. Definitely comes in handy.

  34. Anne @ Money Propeller August 1, 2014 at 11:38 PM

    How fun! My coworker/friend asked me the other day about meeting up for drinks to go over money stuff. I was so flattered! I’m looking forward to it :-)

    1. J. Money August 3, 2014 at 1:12 PM

      Fun!! I’d take free drinks in return too :)

  35. Kayla @ Red Debted Stepchild August 1, 2014 at 11:56 PM

    Congrats on the new side hustle! I hope you see some success for yourself and for your clients too :) That sounds like a great service to offer since you’ve got such great experience and advice!

  36. Andy@artofbeingcheap August 2, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    Sounds like fun! I love doing this kind of thing for friends, but I have always been scared to charge because of the liability.

  37. No Nonsense Landlord August 2, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    Congrats, you are now a paid money consultant. You can advise her to be a consultant and she can charge money to get her out of her money troubles.

    I get people all the time ask me to be a real estate coach. I do not mind helping out, and I answer questions all the time (for free)..

    It is a great feeling to help out others.

  38. Martin August 4, 2014 at 12:28 AM

    I’m currently becoming a money coach. Helping a reader get all of her information in order. I can’t wait to share her story. I really hope that she follows through.

    1. J. Money August 4, 2014 at 11:38 AM

      Well that’s exciting man! First professional wrestling, and now this? You’re always shakin’ things up over there, haha… let me know how it goes!

  39. Miel August 4, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    Congrats J! This has been something that I have been considering doing as well. Way to make it happen.

  40. connieK August 4, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    CONGRATS, J$!… whatta balla you are…. and I am sure you are great as a one-on-one $$$ coach!! I especially liked the part about the tithing, since you and I were talking about that recently (donating 1% of gross)………….. love ittt! You da man, and good luck to Lil Kim!!!

    1. J. Money August 5, 2014 at 2:45 PM

      Oh yeah! Haha… wow, talk about good timing :) Maybe your words were seeping in while I was chatting with her?

  41. P.F. Addict August 4, 2014 at 11:45 PM

    Thanks so much for sharing! I can’t wait to hear updates on Lil’ Kim and your new side hustle! I really enjoy your blog so I know you will have plenty of clients. I would love to become a money coach myself someday. I still have a lot of work to do before I am ready for that.

    1. J. Money August 5, 2014 at 2:46 PM

      Thanks for the kind words :) I think anyone could become a “coach” really just by being there for others who need help and offering suggestions/tips on what works for you/etc. Whether in money or in other areas of life.

  42. Daisy August 5, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    Congrats on your new gig, J$. That’s pretty awesome and it’s good to see people who are passionate about money help others who may be a bit lost get their finances back on track.

  43. Lisa E. @ Lisa vs. the Loans August 6, 2014 at 4:47 PM

    J. Money, you are so awesome for this! I’ve informally helped out my friends with their budgets, and i know I want to do this more, too. Good luck with it all! And go Lil Kim!

  44. Rebecca @ Stapler Confessions August 6, 2014 at 8:34 PM

    That’s great! I’ve been thinking about branching out, into the financial coaching world, myself. Like you, I like to help someone puzzle out their finances and find a good resolution. I usually do it for free for friends, so why not let my friends recommend my services to other people too?

    1. J. Money August 6, 2014 at 8:57 PM

      Yeah, totally! At the very least get a testimonial out of them and then mock up a 1-pager on your site for people (and you) to use as reference. Can’t hurt just putting it out there in the world and seeing what happens :)

  45. the spunky banker. August 11, 2014 at 7:48 PM

    That’s super awesome that you’re doing this! I have 2 friends lined up who are willing (well one is willing, one is not too thrilled) about letting me help them with their finances and getting their net worth/credit scores up. Yay for us being awesome.

    1. J. Money August 19, 2014 at 8:45 AM

      Haha… yay for us indeed :)

  46. Even Steven September 5, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    I think that’s a great idea as I read a month later. I’m curious what can’t you do for investment advice? Is it specific stocks or can you say contribute 4% to your 401K?

    1. J. Money September 6, 2014 at 3:09 PM

      Everyone I’ve asked kinda says something different (it’s one of those “gray areas”) but I do know recommending specific stocks is most definitely a no-no. It’s the “you should put in this % into this account/etc” that’s the tricky one. I personally feel like it’s safe to tell people to invest into their 401k up to their employer match, or to max out your ROTH IRA etc and you won’t get in trouble, but just not exactly sure. Maybe someone reading this will chime in and shed more light?

  47. mike January 18, 2015 at 8:37 PM

    Man i’m in for some coaching if you’re still interested in taking on a few people.

    If you are shoot me an email sometime and we’ll get going. I’m pretty well versed on a lot of this stuff (mrmoneymustache, iwillteachyoutoberich, your site, getrichslowly, boldanddetermined and just my general knowledge) but I know the value of having a coach.

    If you’re not, that’s alright too.

    1. J. Money January 21, 2015 at 4:52 PM

      great list of sites there!

      will hit you up on email and we can go from there :)

  48. Ashley November 14, 2015 at 6:47 PM


    Just curious – have you expanded your client base? If so, what marketing strategies worked for you? I’ve found a few that are working for me – Facebook groups and commenting. I’d love to hear of your progress. Thanks!

    – Ashley

    1. J. Money November 18, 2015 at 3:15 PM

      I’ve had to hit pause on it it for a bit to re-focus on my own projects, but having a blog and being super active on social media def. helped get clients :) Also connecting with financial advisors who turn away people ALL THE TIME that either can’t afford their services or are not in the right place yet to do so. It’s amazing what a gap there is from needing help budgeting and getting their money on track to hiring a financial advisor. Unfortunately advisors can’t be bothered by this first stage :(

      So network with as many as you can and then when you’ve helped your clients get on their feet and they need that next level, xfer them on back up the chain and return the favor! :)

  49. Jessica Skene February 14, 2018 at 6:20 PM

    Great article, J. Will really help my in my journey to step into the side hustle arena! :)


    1. J. Money February 15, 2018 at 6:46 AM

      Good!!! It’s a fun one, I hope you do! :)

  50. Tiera October 25, 2018 at 2:04 PM

    I am so glad that i found your blog! this is great information. Its funny because i am trying to become a money coach. I love helping people and to know what im talking about. I have a business degree. In debt. not going back to school . My coworkers encourage me to go back to school but school is NOT GOING TO TEACH REAL WORLD PROBLEMS. I have worked with a a couple of friends already with their finances and just not sure where to go from there. I had a plan laid out but i have verred away from it and going with the flow. this has gotten me NO WHERE. Any advice?

    1. J. Money October 26, 2018 at 10:01 AM

      Yes – MAKE IT HAPPEN!! :)

      There’s a serious need for money coaches, and not many people like jumping into it because it doesn’t pay as much as *financial advising* and other services that involve making bank off hawking funds/etc.

      It does seem like “a lot” at first, but it really is pretty straightforward once you get going… And there are no real rules for money coaching unlike other financial services, so anyone can literally just start helping others anytime they want – for the better or the worse. The only *main* (and important) rule is that you can’t give any direct *investing advice* if you’re getting paid for it, because then you need a bunch of certifications. But you can tell people that they need to invest in general for sure.

      What I’d do is ask your friends/family who you’ve helped already to give you a testimonial, and then just build a one-pager online that features them, along with your services and how you can help people/etc, and then from there it’s really just marketing the crap out of it :)

      You can also connect up with any financial planners you know and see if they’d be willing to send you over people who they can’t/not willing to help too! I used to get a handful of them from people who gladly passed them over since it wasn’t worth their time… As sad as that is.

      So lots of different ways to get started, but it’s definitely a hustle at first. Good luck!

  51. wendy February 16, 2019 at 11:59 PM


    Are you still doing the money coaching business. Im just wanting to ask a few questions on how you went since you started..
    Im interested in doing money coaching too.