The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau defines a financial coach as a trained professional who collaborates with and guides their clients to reach their financial goals. The process is personalized and non-judgmental. Financial coaches provide support, encouragement, accountability, and tools to help people make informed decisions.
Financial coaching is a flexible approach and covers a wide range of financial goals:

  • Creating a financial plan
  • Money management
    • Creating a budget
    • Analyzing spending habits
  • Building or repairing credit
  • Creating healthy financial habits 
  • Creating healthy financial goals

A financial coach is someone who will help you understand the basics of personal finance and help you develop and maintain healthy financial habits. Their main job is to empower their clients to reach their financial goals and learn how to handle their finances responsibly. They typically work with clients who want to save money, create a budget, pay off debt or just improve their financial literacy in general.

While on the other hand, a financial advisor is someone who helps you build wealth and prepare for your future through long-term financial planning. While they can advise in all facets of personal finance, they tend to focus on comprehensive financial goals that last throughout your lifetime and beyond. They usually work with clients who want to manage their assets, build an investment portfolio, and plan for their retirement. A financial advisor also helps with taxes, estate planning, health care and long-term care planning.
The answer is: it depends.
Practically speaking, a financial coach will help you set and achieve financial goals and develop better money habits. You should work with a coach if you need help tackling these tasks (and much more):
  • Debt reduction/debt elimination
  • Cash flow and monthly expense planning
  • Helping build or repair credit
  • Talking to your significant other or family about finances
  • Planning and saving for big goals—a wedding, a car, a down payment for a home
  • Strategizing when and how to save for retirement
  • Saving for college
  • Young professionals - starting out financially strong
Remember a dream without a plan is called a wish! No one wins championships by accident. Even world-class athletes have a coach, because the reality is, we never outgrow our need for guidance.