01.

THE BASICS

GENERAL Q’s

You are only required to share your financial information, like amount of debt, money in the bank, how much you earn, etc., with your financial planner. You are welcome to also share with your cohort, especially if you feel like people will benefit from your experience.

We will ask that you share things like the monthly habit you’re working on and the monthly action you’re working on. You can be as vague or specific as you’re comfortable with.

Money is the last big taboo and it’s especially a taboo in immigrant communities and communities of Color. We are taught that we shouldn’t talk about money, but where did that come from? Who taught us that? Who actually benefits from us not speaking to each other and not sharing ideas, resources, and solutions? The people who preyed on us in the first place.

Talking about money releases you from feeling like you’re all alone and there’s no way out. You’ll find people who have been through your situation and who can help you out of your situation

We’ve found that when people start talking about money and start saying financial things out loud for the first time, it actually takes away the shame and embarrassment. Your brain switches into a solution and action oriented mode and you are able to face financial challenges head on with the support of a community.

I’m glad you asked! With comprehensive financial planning, we look at your entire financial picture and create a plan based that addresses every aspect of your financial life. This may mean that we don’t tackle debt first, but instead build up your savings. Or we need to prioritize insurance and legal documents because you’re starting a family. Or we cut back on contributions to your 401k because you want to start saving aggressively to buy a home.

Financial planning is a delicate balance of making sure you are handling your short term priorities, working towards your long term goals, helping you avoid big financial mistakes, and making adjustments along the way as new life changes get thrown into the mix.

A financial planner is someone who gives you financial advice based on your individual situation and helps you plan for how to achieve your short and long term goals. They will do an analysis of your financial data and put together a plan that they believe will meet your goals and advise you on how to implement the plan along the way.

A financial coach is someone who helps you figure out what mental obstacles might be holding you back, examines your current financial behaviors and habits, and guides you through setting goals, getting clarity on your values, creating systems, and uncovering answers to your questions.

The main difference between a planner and a coach is that a planner will directly give you advice or recommendations and a coach will help guide you into discovering the answers yourself, usually through a series of leading questions.

At See Change, while we use the title “financial coach,” all coaches serve as a hybrid planner/coach depending on the situation. We believe a good financial coach should also know how to be good planner and a good planner should also know how to be a coach.

02.

Let’s Talk

Why POC?

When I started doing Brunch & Budget full time, I noticed that I had to plan differently for my clients of Color vs. my White clients and we were having different conversations about how to implement a financial plan.

One thing I’ve learned is if you want People of Color to feel comfortable talking about their finances, you have to provide a space to do it and be deliberate about the space being for us. It’s why we need affirmative action, diversity programs at workplaces, etc. because diversity won’t just happen. People of Color have been told in so many different ways that we don’t belong. When it comes to finances, we need to feel like we belong before we can talk about it.

Of course you can go to any financial planner and get great advice, but can you relate to this person? Will they understand what you’re going through? Will their advice come with the empathy and understanding of where you’re coming from?

As a Person of Color, you are often first generation college graduates, the highest earning members of your family, and the main financial support for your family. You make a decent income, but have had a hard time building wealth because of your financial obligations.

You’ve had to deal with fighting for raises amidst workplace discrimination and smile through micro aggressions. You’ve fantasized about quitting your job, but can’t fathom explaining it to your parents or saving up enough money to do it. You’re more likely to be saddled with student loan debt and less likely to be expecting an inheritance.

The financial services industry has either ignored you or taken advantage of you and your family. There is a lot we are going to need to process, sort through, and unpack together. By focusing on your needs as a Person of Color, we can all start on some common ground and have a shared understanding of the work that needs to be done.

See Change was formed with immediate and long-term goals in mind. The immediate goal is to serve the underserved, to provide group financial planning to people who cannot afford private wealth management, and to provide training and education to people who have been systemically denied access. In many cases, that means People of Color. A necessary part of the process is to provide a space where members have the opportunity to share their stories in a non-judgmental environment.

It’s valuable to learn that you aren’t crazy,  stupid, or the only one in your situation. The inherent needs in our first goal skew towards People of Color, but not exclusively. Our second goal is to close the racial wealth divide that exists in the United States. The most effective method for that is to help People of Color build and maintain some form of generational wealth.

The first goal is based on individual need, but the second is about building stronger communities. It’s a daunting task, but we’re using education to counter polices like the Indian Intercourse Act, the Fugitive Slave Act, the Homestead Act, Jim Crow, The Naturalization Act of 1790, the war on drugs, and immigration policies today.

For People of Color, that means individuals must make financial and social sacrifices to bring stability to future generations. For White people, it means the same. The specifics of those sacrifices are the difference and what will determine who is a good fit for See Change.

There is no such thing as reverse racism.

03.

We’re Talking Cost

PRICING

We’ve thought a lot about how to price See Change to make sure it’s affordable and accessible, but so we can also provide the value and service you need to, well, see change 🙂 By making the pricing sliding scale, we ensure that everyone has access to financial planning, regardless of their financial situation.

Your monthly rate also changes based on how your financial situation changes – if you make less money, the rate goes down, if you make more money, the rate goes up. This way, we can be a support system for you in any financial situation you find yourself in.

$50/month per person (if you make $50k or less) + $1/month for every additional $1k you make

$75/month per couple (if combined income is $75k or less) + $1/month for every additional $1k you make

**WE REQUIRE A 12-MONTH COMMITMENT TO JOIN**

IF YOU HAVE KIDS: there is a 15% rate reduction if you have kids. The minimum rate is $30/month per person or $60/month per couple.

COUPLES PLEASE NOTE: use combined household income for rate. Please include both of your incomes even if only one of you will be attending the sessions. This is a compliance requirement as we will be advising on joint assets/debt. You will also both be listed on the financial planning agreement.

IF YOU ARE SELF EMPLOYED: Use the total before tax/before deductions income you’ve made this year, not adjusted gross income (this monthly payment is tax deductible, woot!)

(To give you an idea of what financial planning like this normally costs, 1-1 Brunch & Budget rates start at $199/month and go up from there.)

Often, financial planners say they feel “guilty” taking money from people when they are in debt. I understand the sentiment, I used to feel that way too. But then I realized that turning away clients who had debt was the equivalent of a doctor saying, “Come back to me when you’ve lost 20 pounds and then I can be your doctor.”

If you haven’t been able to figure out how to get out of debt, what got you into debt, and how to stay out of debt on your own, you may need some guidance and accountability from a financial planning professional on how to get it done.