Questions ?

Questions ?

Here are some frequently asked questions about our budget coaching offering.

 1. What is Budget Coaching?

Budget Coaching is a process where a trained budget coach works with couples and individuals, helping them develop a personal or household spending plan (or budget), apply financial principles, save more, build a plan to get out of debt, and begin to move on a path toward financial freedom.

During the process, the Coach will engage the participant(s) to:

  • establish an understanding of basic financial principles
  • create awareness of strategies to reduce debt and the necessary changes required
  • delineate and analyze specific financial choices

Download a one page description of NF-NJ Budget Coaching services here– Budget Coaching Services – Description

2. What can I expect from the coaching sessions?

During the coaching sessions the coach will assist participant(s) in evaluating their current spending patterns and help them to work towards developing and implementing a balanced spending plan. Once the spending plan is agreed upon, the coach will act as a short term accountability partner with the participant. The coach may inform the participant of other tools and information that will enhance their understanding of financial principles.
Some of the specific topics that will be addressed in budget coaching are:

  • Developing a Spending Plan (Budget)
  • Debt Repayment Plans
  • Saving More
  • Personal Money Management
  • Using Credit Wisely
  • Understanding Finance Charges
  • Types of Credit Available
  • Establishing Credit
  • Understanding Your Credit Report and Score

3. How are coaching sessions conducted?

Coaching sessions will be conducted primarily by phone and e-mail. The information that is required (#4 below) will be confidential and used only while the sessions are in progress.

4. What information will I need to have available?

Most coaching sessions rely on basic financial information found in your checkbook register, income tax returns, paycheck stubs, bank statements, current bills, or other related information. You will need to have the financial information from these items available but you will not be asked to provide actual documents for the coaching.

5. How is my personal information handled?

There is no need to provide confidential personal information such as:

  • Social Security number(s)
  • Date of birth
  • Home address
  • Banking account information ,etc.

While personal income and expense information is necessary for the coaching, the actual documents containing the information are not. Should a document be necessary in the discussion, the coach will request that all confidential information is blacked-out.

6. How many sessions are required?

The goal of the budget coaching is to set financial goals and develop a spending plan specific to the needs of the participant. The primary focus is to layout the appropriate steps needed to reduce/eliminate debt and improve cash flow to balance the spending plan. Normally 3 sessions at a minimum are required to accomplish these goals.

7. How long do the sessions last?

The first coaching session typically runs between 1 and 2 hours. Subsequent sessions should run about an hour.

8. What if I need additional help?

The service we are offering is limited to budget coaching. From the information provided in the coaching session, the budget coach may identify and suggest that additional assistance is necessary. This may be professional assistance in areas such as:

  • Debt Management Services
  • Legal Assistance/Services
  • Foreclosure Counseling/Assistance
  • Financial Stewardship Ministries
  • Mortgage Services

The budget coach will not offer assistance in these areas but may suggest that the client pursue a specialist in these fields

9. How much does budget coaching cost?

Because we service both individuals and organizations, Fee Schedules are available for review from NF-NJ by emailing our office:

10. Will I be required to purchase anything?

It is very difficult to receive unbiased advice from someone who is trying to sell a particular product. As such, NF-NJ does not sell additional products or services. If the participant chooses to request additional materials it will be at their discretion and expense.

11. Can I get advice for my 401(k) and other investments?

The budget counseling service does not provide investment, insurance, income tax or securities advice. The areas of taxes, securities, stocks, bonds, and real estate are so complex in today’s society that they can only be addressed with a variety of good financial counselors who are experts in their respective fields.

12. Who does the coaching?

New Focus – NJ has contracted for a trained, experienced budget coach to provide this service. Further details about the coach are available upon request.

13. Will the budget coaching service give me money to help pay my bills?

The NF-NJ budget coaching program does not provide any funds to any participants under any circumstances. The goal of the budget coaching sessions is for assisting the participant in identifying spending patterns that may be causing budget issues. In this program there are no expected monetary transactions between the coach and participants other than the per session fee from the published fee schedule or negotiated terms of your organization.

14. Will budget coaching help to get me out of debt?

One of the key aspects of budget coaching is to assess the participants’ debt profile. If the debt is excessive, the budget coach will suggest strategies for debt reduction.  One of our most effective tools for debt elimination is the Debt Snowball repayment plan.

Need a copy?  Download here– Debt Snowball Repayment Plan

If the debt situation is critical, the coach may suggest that the client work with a professional debt management or debt consolidation company.

15. What’s the difference between budget coaching and a debt management or debt consolidation program?

Budget coaching goals are broader than debt consolidation or debt management. Debt consolidation and debt management companies normally charge fees to work with clients specifically working with their creditors to reduce/consolidate debt. They employ specific tactics which limit the client’s use of credit while the debt consolidation program is in effect.

As stated above (#1), the budget coaching process works with couples and individuals to help them develop a personal spending plan (or budget), apply financial principles, save more, build a plan to get out of debt, and begin to move on a path toward financial freedom.