Spring financial cleaning

Meet with a financial coach.

Spring has almost sprung. Many take advantage of this time of year to freshen up their home or their yard: they do a thorough spring cleaning. Some turn their attention to their bodies. A phrase that has made its way into various diet or exercise program advertising is “getting your body beach ready.” As the snow melts and the temperature rises, a slew of walkers, joggers and bikers can be seen competing for space with traffic. If you are looking for ways to stay motivated or renew your resolutions, finding someone to coach you in your efforts may just be what you need. If one of your resolutions was to do better with your finances, a financial coach may be as helpful as the sweatpants-clad, ball-cap-wearing, whistle-blowing motivator in the gym or on the field.

According to a Journal of Extension article written by J. Michael Collins, Peggy Olive and Collin M. O’Rourke, financial coaching is a process whereby participants set goals, commit to taking certain actions by specific dates and are then held accountable by the coach. Many New Year’s resolutions go by the wayside. Maybe if we had someone to hold us accountable, it would be different.

Like with weight loss programs, you can do it yourself or join a program. If you want to make improvements to your financial health you can start by reviewing and revising your goals. Then define specific actions that you can take to accomplish your goals and find someone to hold you accountable. However, if you are finding it difficult to get results, you may want to find some help.

The authors of the article conclude, “At its core, financial coaching is designed to turn knowledge and intentions into action by enhancing individual’ self-control, focusing their attention, and holding them accountable.” A visit to a financial coach may just be what you need this spring.

Making financial changes can take time and be difficult, but results can be rewarding. If you would like more information or have other financial questions, Michigan State University Extension has access to many resources. Visit the MI Money Health webpage for contact information and answers to your questions in regard to money management and homeownership.

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