Laura Coleman is a Tennessee-based Accredited Financial Counselor® with a special niche – preparing couples financially for fertility and adoption. After experiencing firsthand the financial burden and stress that accompanies the fertility and adoption process, Laura felt called to start her blog, podcast, and financial coaching practice, Family Money Coaching. In this interview, she shares how she is providing much-needed support and resources to families in her community.
AFCPE: What inspired you to do this work?
Laura: I’ve been AFC® certified since 2012. I kept hearing that I needed a niche. When I decided to start my own private practice, I looked at what I know best. After going through IVF 5 times and adopting 3 kids, I felt called to help other couples have their Forever Family. I didn’t want to hear, “well, we didn’t have kids because of the financial burden” nor did I want to hear regret over unrealized dreams because of money.
AFCPE: You have a podcast and blog called “Family Money Coaching”. Tell us about them.
Laura: I want to make a connection with couples wanting to adopt or go through fertility through my blog and podcast. I started my podcast in August and, so far, I’ve interviewed people that have adopted and/or started adoption grants. I love to hear how they’ve financially navigated the waters towards growing their family. I plan on interviewing fertility doctors, accountants to talk about the adoption tax credit, attorneys, adoption agencies, grant donors, and people who fundraise to share ideas that can help couples find the money needed to accomplish their goal of starting a family. I’ll be providing money tips on how to successfully raise money, money spending types/personalities, and how to improve your marriage. Marriages can struggle as you go through fertility and adoption, so we’ll discuss how to communicate about money, to alleviate one less stressor in your marriage.
AFCPE: Incredible! You are bringing a unique, and often not discussed, topic to light. Based on your work as an AFC, how important is for parents to be financially prepared prior to going through the adoption or fertility process?
Laura: I spent $35,000 trying to get pregnant through IVF and we did it debt free. I’m very passionate about finding sources to accomplish your goal without going into debt. I’ve often heard clients come to me embarrassed to talk about their fertility struggles and their money struggles. I was so surprised to find out that 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility. Couple that with the debt load of the average American and the idea of finding $25,000 for adoption or fertility is daunting. I want to provide HOPE for couples and let them know they can talk about money and fertility/adoption and not feel embarrassed, frustrated, or hopeless.
AFCPE: What’s next for you? What has you most excited?
Laura: I’m so excited for my podcast interviews and to create a dialogue around the financial aspect of adoption and fertility. I love talking about money and I love talking about Forever Families. I remember when I first started on our fertility journey and how alone I felt. I’m hoping that by talking about it, I can help someone else that feels alone and let them realize that there’s a community that wants them to succeed.
Laura answers the Friday 5
- My Why: I’m an Accredited Financial Counselor because I want to help families make better financial decisions and help them live life with intention.
- My Favorite Quote: “If being broke is normal, I’ll be weird.”
- My Heroes: Women who are passionate about life inspire me to be better.
- My Favorite Personal Finance Resource: I love reading books about the psychology of money.
- My Best Advice:
a. For someone starting the journey to financial well-being: Take one step at a time. Don’t be overwhelmed at all that you need to accomplish. Remember that a Goal is a Dream with a Deadline and a Dollar Sign. If you want that dream to become a reality, then you need to know when and how much you need to accomplish it. Then go forward with tenacity day by day. Do not get discouraged.
b. For a new professional entering this field: Best decision I ever made was to get my AFC®. So many doors have been opened to me because of it. It also provided me the professionalism that I needed. Find a mentor to help you decide on which direction you want to take as a financial counselor. Don’t get discouraged. There are so many people that need what we know.
Follow Laura at:
Website (where you can follow her blog and podcast): www.familymoneycoaching.org