Engaging with a fee-only financial advisor is one of the best ways to help you develop a plan to achieve financial fitness and live the life you’ve always dreamed about.

Professional financial advisors and coaches generally don’t provide their services for free though. They need to cover their own costs, pay bills, and live life like everyone else.

This can sometimes create a situation where the people who need financial coaching the most, can’t access those services because they can’t afford them.

I mean genuinely can’t afford them – not just someone unwilling to sacrifice their daily Starbucks or a couple of golf games per month.

There needs to be a solution for those most in need, so here are thoughts and options – including a way to apply for a free coaching session below.

Is FREE financial coaching an option?

“How can I get professional financial coaching for free?”

First, let me clarify upfront that professional financial advice is extremely valuable and the costs are usually quite reasonable. For people in the Ramsey Solutions Certified Financial Coaching network, the cost for a coaching session is often less than the average person pays for cable TV. Still, though, there are cases where even that is too much, so here are a few solutions.

For the homeless: Life Skills Classes

This, of course, isn’t for everyone, but the people who are certainly the most in need – people who are homeless and staying at a shelter – often have options. Karla and I teach life skills classes free for the residents at our local homeless shelter here in Charleston. Many shelters and outreach programs have teamed up with local financial professionals to come in and help educate people on topics like budgeting, debt, insurance, and more.

For widows and single mothers

Here at MaximizeYourMoney, we allocate a certain number of hours each month to helping people who are in tough situations, at no charge. As part of this service, we give priority to widows and single mothers who need a hand learning how to manage their finances and who would benefit from someone walking alongside them.

For people who REALLY can’t afford it

As already mentioned, I’m talking about people who really can’t afford it – perhaps the income isn’t even enough to cover the existing bills. Unfortunately, this is a rather large group and we can’t serve them all for free, but if there are available pro-bono time slots available, we definitely give consideration on a case-by-case basis. Drop me an email if you want to see if this is an option for you.

And here are a few other options…

For motivated DIY people

People who tend to be more “do it yourself” you can find a lot of great information already on our blog. You can also subscribe in the sidebar to get new maximize your money articles delivered to your inbox when they are released. Another great resource is Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover book or taking a Financial Peace University class – which is frequently offered at local churches in almost every area.

Speaking of churches

Speaking of churches, many churches have one or more people available to help with financial counseling. In our church, they are called Financial Encouragers. The level of training and experience varies greatly but most of the time these volunteers are quite capable of helping with basic financial questions like getting started with budgeting or explaining a mortgage option, or similar life situations.