Disclaimer: Thank you Capital One for sponsoring this post! This is a paid endorsement. All opinions are my own and were not directed by Capital One. Money Coaches are not financial advisors, or accountants, or tax specialists. To learn more about the Capital One Café, visit www.capitalone.com/local
There are a few things I’ve noticed on my personal finance journey over the years.
First, money management is a psychological game more than anything. There are lots of emotions, beliefs and habits that we must examine in ourselves in order to be able to manage money well.
Second, there is no one-size-fits-all formula for financial management. We all have different goals, dreams, desires and life circumstances. What makes sense for me, may not make sense for someone else.
And third, we all struggle at some point. Even those of us who talk about money for a living occasionally struggle. On the flip side, we can all also overcome these struggles.
Because money is such a complicated topic, we need environments where we can discuss it freely and without shame. That’s why I am so excited to announce that Capital One Cafes have begun opening in the South Florida area!
Capital One Cafes Celebrate National Superhero Day
In an effort to get more people comfortable talking about money, Capital One Cafes have partnered with Pixel and Marvel illustrators to create an interactive comic-like experience where people can find their financial superpowers and slay their villains.
The big event went down April 28th and it included Capital One employees being superheroes in the local community by doing acts of kindness for others. You can see the interactive experience through June 30th.
I was able to get a tour of the café and the interactive poster experience. I was also able to partake in a money coaching session with the resident money coach in one of the South Florida locations. Here is how my experience went complete with all the details.
What exactly is the Capital One Café?
I was able to get a tour of one of the South Florida Capital One Café locations and have a long talk with management about this concept. Here’s why this financial nerd is so excited about this:
- The café concept is what it sounds like. Instead of having a traditional bank branch, Capital One has cafes where you can use free WiFi and enjoy a coffee. While you can get some of your banking needs met there (ATMs and opening accounts), it’s not stuffy like a traditional branch.
- The staff doesn’t have sales quotas. No one is going to pressure you to open anything. You don’t even need to bank with Capital One to use the café or their ATMs.
- They have FREE MONEY COACHING! More on this in a bit…
- They also have free workshops and events to help people improve their financial situations. The idea is to start a dialogue and create a safe space for people to start talking about money.
The way I see this, Capital One took something I’ve been seeing online for years and brought it to life. That’s why I was psyched when they reached out to me to help spread the word about a campaign and partake in a money coaching session.
I’ve also had a Capital One 360 checking and savings account for years. I already know how innovative they are, so I was really excited to see this café concept in real life.
Determining my financial superpowers and challenges
This invitation from Capital One could not have come at a more perfect time in my life. As I’ve mentioned many times over the past year, I’ve been going through a lot of major changes in my life. I also reached a lot of my past financial goals and am having a hard time figuring out the next steps.
Capital One understands this, which is why they are currently doing an event all about our financial super heroes and our challenges. They are doing this in two ways:
- Visitors can partake in an interactive comic-like poster experience designed by Marvel and Pixar illustrators through June 30th.
- On April 28th , 2018, Capital One Café celebrated National Superhero Day with events and acts of kindness in their local communities.
The idea is to get people to feel more comfortable talking about money. What better way to do that than with something everyone loves? Superheroes!
Here’s what I learned going through the interactive poster experience myself:
My superhero is definitely The Balanced Optimist. I don’t do well with strict rules and I want to balance future goals with enjoying the present moment.
As for my villain, it’s definitely General Anxiety. I’ve been very open about the fact that I’ve suffered from panic attacks in my past.
My challenge? Making sure I’m not stuck in my head. I’m also having a hard time figuring out a plan that works with my current lifestyle. I want to do all the things, and I need to make sure they are grounded in a financial plan.
This is getting in the way of my current goals – saving for a down payment on a potential investment property and socking away money for retirement. These are BIG goals, and I don’t know how much to save for each or how to balance it with financial responsibilities – like bills.
And this is what I decided to focus the money coaching session on… how do I achieve a balance between long-term financial goals and my current life?
My money coaching experience
Money coaching is very different from financial advising. Money Coaches are not financial advisors, or accountants, or tax specialists. In fact, you can think of money coaching as the step before financial advising.
The idea with money coaching is to figure out what it is you actually want. Not what society says you should have. Not what family or partners think you should have. Not what some talking head on TV says you should do.
The next step is to determine any obstacles that may be weighing you down from achieving this. This is so you can get to the third step which is coming up with some action steps to take.
Being a financial nerd and someone who does coaching, I thought I was going to breeze through this. But that’s not at all what happened. Dare I say I was stuck at times!
With the help of the coach, I quickly discovered that I’m so busy helping others with their financial goals that I rarely even think about my own. This session gave me the time and space to really figure out what I want and the answer may surprise you.
I want to have a property in the mountains by the time I’m 40. This so my family – and especially my parents who have gone through and given me so much – can have a place where they can rest and relax. From the financial standpoint, I can just rent it out when we’re not using it.
As for my challenges, it’s my anxiety and control issues. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be perfect and get all the numbers right. The coach helped me realize that strict plans just stress me out and I become paralyzed.
Meanwhile, when I’m flexible and open to the possibilities, I’m able to take action in the right direction. The coach helped me see that the reason I’ve had so much success up until now is because I was clear about what I wanted, but was open to the how. This investment property is no different.
Key takeaways from my experience
There are several key takeaways from my experience at the Capital One Café. Here they are in no particular order:
- The community aspect of Capital One Cafes really do foster an environment where people don’t have to be afraid to talk about money.
- Having the space to sit down with a coach and just think about my own life for a minute felt really good. I get so busy sometimes that I forget to give myself time to reflect on the things I truly want.
- I have to rejoice in my financial wins. We get so focused on lack that we forget to give ourselves credit for what we have done right.
- After my money coaching session, I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. It was as if I had more faith in myself to meet my goals.
- I need to remember to stick to my personal superpowers. Balance and openness works, plans and mental stress doesn’t.
My homework from here…
I did come up with one action step during my coaching session. To have some fun looking at mountain cabins on Zillow with no pressure. It’s a long-term goal so there’s no need for me to have the money for it by tomorrow. At this point, I just need to allow myself to dream.