Professional Designations

What is a Certified Money Coach (CMC)?

By  Brian Thorp

Disclaimer: To make Wealthtender free for our readers, we earn money from advertisers, including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured. This creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor their promotion over others. Wealthtender is not a client of these financial services providers. Learn how we operate with integrity to earn your trust.

A Certified Money Coach (CMC) pairs “psychological principles, universal spiritual beliefs, and practical financial guidance” to support their clients. Their ultimate goal is to help people from all walks of life change their relationship with money. 

They focus on money coaching, which can lead to “fulfilling purposeful, and prosperous” lives. Let’s take a closer look at what this designation is, what it takes to earn it, and how you may benefit from working with a CMC.

What is a Certified Money Coach (CMC)?

Certified Money Coaches offer money coaching, which is a system developed by Deborah Price, an author, business coach and founder of the Money Coaching Institute. It helps people make smart changes that align well with their values and priorities. Not only do their clients achieve healthier financial lives, they feel better about them too. 

The initial money coaching process is made up of four, one-hour sessions where the CMC helps the client explore their relationship with money. With their support, clients will figure out where their money-related patterns and behaviors came from. They’ll also understand how these patterns and behaviors affect them on a personal and financial level. 

Lastly, a CMC will provide the various tools and resources that will allow clients to develop new habits that lead to their desired outcomes. CMCs offer their sessions in person or via video or phone call.

Should You Hire a CMC?

A CMC can benefit a variety of individuals and families. With an CMC’s guidance, you can:

  • Find Out Why You Struggle With Money: There are likely underlying reasons for why you spend and save the way you do. A CMC may help you uncover what they are so you can get to the bottom of your financial struggles.
  • Stop Poor Financial Habits: If you tend to overspend, take on debt and have limited to no savings, a CMC can work with you to stop the habits that cause these types of financial issues.
  • Meet Your Financial Goals: Whether you’d like to travel more, retire someday or build an emergency fund you can count on, a CMC is an invaluable resource. They can help you meet your short and long-term financial goals.
  • Want a Money Makeover:  Put simply, a money makeover is a transformation of your finances. If you’re unhappy with where you are financially, a CMC may help you begin and complete a money makeover that changes your life for the better. 

A CMC will help you realize that most of your money behaviors are out of your control. They are driven by experiences that may have happened years ago. Once you uncover what they are and pinpoint your particular money roadblocks, you’ll be able to change them and improve your current financial situation and future.

What do Certified Money Coaches Have to Say About Hiring a CMC? 

Garrett Philbin, AFC®, CMC®

Be Awesome Not Broke

“Money is never just about the money. This is why people can try all different money management tools, from Apps to Spreadsheets to Cash Envelopes, and find themselves back in old patterns of behavior. Think of your relationship to money as the foundation, and all the money management tools (apps, spreadsheets) as the house built on top. If your foundation isn’t solid, the house won’t stand up.

Working with a Certified Money Coach is so beneficial because they help you identify, name, and change the money stories and behaviors that drive your decisions. They help you create a solid foundation. By looking at the stories you were told growing up, how your relationship to money was built, and what patterns are no longer serving you, you’ll start to see self-sabotage when it happens, and be able to replace those behaviors that no longer serve you with ones that do. It is deep work, but by taking the time to identify, name and change your most challenging money scripts, you’ll start to free yourself from old money habits and finally have a solid foundation upon which to build a successful relationship to money.”

What Does it Take to Earn and Maintain the CMC?

Those who hope to earn a CMC designation must fulfill certain requirements set forth by the  Money Coaching Institute.The Money Coaching Institute asks that CMC candidates complete the following three educational modules.

  • Module One: Module One consists of four hours of Individual Money Coaching. While this module is not part of the training curriculum, it’s highly recommended.
  • Module Two: Module Two is an online class that teaches CMC candidates about the theory and practice of money coaching. It also dives deep into a four step process and methodology, which applies neuroscience, neuro-economics and the behavioral sciences. Candidates will learn how to use these fields to help clients uncover and transform their money patterns and behaviors. Module Two is a two hour long class that occurs weekly for four weeks in a row. 
  • Module Three: Module Three is a sixteen-week online Coach/Mentor training. During this time, CMC candidates will apply the principles they learned with two practice clients and participate in an online weekly support class. 

Once modules One, Two, and Three as well as all the exercises in the Certified Money Coach workbook are completed, CMC candidates will need to submit their work and partake in a final review that satisfies The Money Coaching Institute’s standards. Once they satisfy all of these requirements, they will receive a Certificate of Completion and receive the CMC designation.  

How to Find the Best Certified Money Coach (CMC) for You 

You’ll find a growing number of CMCs featured on Wealthtender and you can also search listings on the Money Coaching Institute website.


How can I confirm the financial professional I’m working with holds the Certified Money Coach designation?

Visit this page to search CMC designation holders on the Money Coaching Institute website.

What if I have a complaint about the Certified Money Coach I’m working with?
Where can I learn more about other professional designations held by financial advisors and coaches?

Refer to this list of popular financial certifications prepared by Wealthtender to help you learn more about each designation. You’ll find a brief description of each certification, plus links to in-depth articles if you want to learn more about a particular designation.

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About the Author
Brian Thorp, Founder and CEO of Wealthtender profile picture

About the Author

Brian Thorp

Brian is CEO and founder of Wealthtender. He and his wife live in Texas, enjoying the diversity of Houston and the vibrancy of Austin.

With over 25 years in the financial services industry, Brian is applying his experience and passion at Wealthtender to help more people enjoy life with less money stress.

Connect with Brian on LinkedIn

Disclaimer: To make Wealthtender free for our readers, we earn money from advertisers, including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured. This creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor their promotion over others. Wealthtender is not a client of these financial services providers. Learn how we operate with integrity to earn your trust.