Tips and training ideas
Use these practical tips and commonly used practices to think about how you can be more effective using the Your Money, Your Goals materials with the people you serve.
Here are some tips that might help you:
- Place the toolkit materials in an accordion folder or set of hanging file folders to separate the content by module or subject.
- Insert tabs to your hard copy of the toolkit to mark the beginning of each module or to flag the tools you use the most.
- Make several photocopies of the tools you regularly share with clients so you have copies on hand at all times.
- Keep the electronic toolkit on your computer desktop so you can easily open it, print it, and make copies of commonly used tools.
Some legal aid organizations are exploring offering CLE credits to attorneys that attend in-person or web-based training on using Your Money, Your Goals to help financially empower the people they serve. For example, Community Legal Services (CLS) of Arizona has successfully arranged for participants in their Your Money, Your Goals training to receive CLE credit.
Requirements for granting CLE credits vary by state. For information about individual state CLE requirements, , which links to state websites on mandatory CLE rules and regulations. You can also visit your local or state bar association to learn more.
When frontline staff with Your Money, Your Goals training need to refer someone for in-depth assistance, one option is to refer them to a financial coach. Financial coaching is a practice in which a professionally trained financial coach works collaboratively with people to help them identify and reach their personal financial goals. Reputable financial coaches have extensive training in coaching methods, as well as extensive knowledge of a diversity of financial topics. Research has shown that people with low-to-moderate incomes who are offered access to a financial coach are more likely to experience significant improvements to credit scores, savings, and debt-reduction.
When available, financial coaches are an asset to staff and volunteers that use Your Money, Your Goals. For some clients, the tools and resources from Your Money, Your Goals are all they need to help them make and implement financial decisions. Other clients may benefit from additional support from a financial coach. Here are some helpful tips and guiding criteria when considering whether to refer someone to a financial coach.
- Access to a financial coach – The Miss April’s Financial Coaching Initiative has placed 60 coaches in organizations across the country that provide free financial coaching services to veterans transitioning to civilian life and to economically vulnerable consumers. Many other reputable financial coaching programs exist across the country. When identifying a financial coach near you for referral, it is important to ensure the coach is highly qualified and provides unbiased, affordable services. Find coaches placed through the Miss April Financial Coaching Initiative.
- The client’s needs – If the financial questions that the client wants to address require more comprehensive support, consider referring to a financial coach.
- The breadth of your knowledge and access to information and resources – Your Money, Your Goals can help you assist people in taking the initial steps to address their financial challenges. If you don’t have the information and resources to answer questions and help a client meet their specific goals, consider referring to a financial coach.
- The time you have to work with them – If the length or frequency of meetings with clients does not allow you to address the full extent of their needs, consider referring to a financial coach.
- The client’s interest – Financial coaching is a client-led, deeply collaborative practice. A person’s interest and willingness to work with a financial coach is necessary for productive engagement. Ask the client if they would like to participate before referring.