Athletics coaches cover a wide range on the financial scale. The highest-paid college football coach in the country (Nick Saban) made $9.3 million in 2020. At the high school level? Some assistant football coaches are making less than minimum wage from stipends or salary, given the hours dedicated to work relative to pay. We recently saw a college football graduate assistant role posted that paid $10K per year with no room and board or meals included. Let's go on the conservative side and assume that coach is going to work 70 hours a week during the year. That comes out to $3.20 per hour.
No matter where you fall in terms of salary, financial health, benefits, and how you're set up for the future, it's always a wise idea to take a look at your financial situation. If you're a coach, here's a question you may be asking?
HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY FINANCES IN 2021?
Here are several money moves TheCoachBridge.com has compiled for you to make as soon as possible to get yourself into the best possible position.
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1. ASSESS WHERE YOU STAND FINANCIALLY
After going through some shifts – namely, job changes – in our own household, we realized that we needed to get a better sense of where we stood financially. Were we in good shape? Do we have any prayer of retiring one day? Are we making smart investments with our retirement funds? Are we budgeting properly – or at all?
There are some online tools that you can use in order to take small but important steps like budgeting (Mint is free and the most well-known) or investing (Stash, Acorns). You can also track your bills and budget with a website like TrueBill or look into wealth management and getting out of high-interest debt with SoFi. Those are quality do-it-yourself options.
For us, it was even more important to sit down (remotely, since this was in 2020, of course) with a trusted financial advisor who laid out a short and long-term plan for our household. It was a game changer for us, and knowing where you stand could be for you and your family, too. No matter your current situation, I highly recommend doing the same.
2. PROTECT YOUR LOVED ONES WITH LIFE INSURANCE
According to LIMRA, 30 million families are underinsured and 30 million more are underinsured – meaning the family would face a significant financial “gap” if the primary wage earner were to die. LIMRA says that 44% of families in a survey would face financial hardship within six months if the primary wage earner passed.
This is not fun stuff to think about, but there's tremendous peace of mind in knowing that there are options to protect your family. You don't have to break the bank to make sure that those close to you are taken care of, should something happen to you.
Beyond that, did you know you can also get cool perks like gift cards and even an Apple Watch just for having a life insurance policy and staying healthy?
You can do just that with John Hancock's Vitality program. Here's my own personal experience: I was looking to increase my own personal policy and got plenty of coverage for around $500 per year. With this program, I received a free, brand-new Apple Watch that linked to my Vitality app. The app tracks workout activity and awards points based on your workouts. Provided I get enough points per month, my watch is completely free. So far, I haven't paid. Earn points by taking a run, lifting, playing ball, whatever you'd like. Additionally, you can also sign up for the Vitality Healthy Savings program that gives you rebates at the grocery store on fruits and vegetables. You can also earn spins on the Vitality Wheel each month and win either bonus points or gift cards to Amazon or Starbucks.
If you want to shop around some other places, consider contacting a local agent who is not tied to one particular brand of insurance. That's how we found Vitality, through my financial adviser. Or, consider using resources like NerdWallet or Quotacy to find affordable rates on life insurance.
3. SAVE ON PURCHASES YOU ALREADY MAKE
This is the easiest of all! Essential purchases like filling up the gas tank and buying groceries add up each month, as do non-essentials like dining out or buying gifts for friends and family online. Did you know that you can easily save on this type of stuff without having to go through much extra effort?
One of my favorite ways to save on purchases we regularly make is by using my credit card. What?!? I know, I know, some folks think “credit card” constitutes dirty words. It can actually be your friend. If you're keeping a balance on your credit card each month and paying the minimum, that's when it can quickly turn into your enemy.
If you use it with a “cash mentality” and pay the balance off completely each month, using a credit card (instead of cash or a debit card) can actually accumulate cool rewards like cash back or free stuff, depending on which card you choose. Our family's card of choice is the Marriott Bonvoy, which earns us points to use toward free stays. We travel a decent amount and usually do not have to pay for hotels, which shows you the kind of value you can get. The Marriott Bonvoy card, for my friends such as yourself, also gives you a nice sign-up bonus if you jump on board.
There's more: I have also compiled a list of my favorite free apps to help coaches save money. Download these and start racking up the savings!
GetUpside – Remember when gas was less than a dollar a gallon? Even though those prices aren't coming back anytime soon, you can still save on what you pay at the pump using the GetUpside app. Just download it and sign up; either “check in” on the app or scan your receipts at certain gas stations (the app will show you which locations partner with them) to get money automatically added to your account. You'll get a per-gallon bonus rebate just for signing up to use on your first fill-up.
When you refer a friend using your unique code, that person will get an extra 15 cents per gallon cash back on the first use, and so will you. Plus, you earn a penny for every gallon they buy in the future!
GetUpside also partners with some restaurants like Burger King, Papa John's, and Dunkin.
Rakuten – This free service is linked to over 2,500 stores (in-person or online) and lets you Sam's Club, Verizon, Ebay, Target, Kohl's, Nike, Marriott, and tons of others. If you use Rakuten wisely, you can pile up your savings. Our household accumulated over $120 in just a few months on purchases that we needed just by buying from services linked to our Rakuten account.
On top of that, there's more free money to make from Rakuten. They give you a $10 bonus if you spend $25 on qualifying purchases within 90 days. On top of that, you can earn some serious coin by referring your friends. Give out your referral link, and each friend you send to Rakuten earns you $20 as a bonus once your friend spends a total of $20 on qualifying purchases. Oh yeah, the friend you referred gets $20 at that point as well. Win-win, right? Each month, Rakuten will send you their Big Fat Check via check or PayPal to put the earnings back in your pocket. Or, donate your proceeds.
Dosh – This is another app that is free to download, and you can get cash back on online or in-store purchases. Simply create your Dosh account, link up your debit or credit card, and you'll automatically earn cash back on shopping, dining, or travel options. You don't have to scan receipts or use coupons. Places like Wal Mart, Dunkin', Uber Eats, Office Depot, Advance Auto Parts, Mattress Firm, Finish Line, and tons of others all partner with Dosh to get cash back in your pocket.
Fetch Rewards – This app does require you to actually scan in receipts, but you can still earn cash or gift cards by doing so! Simply take your grocery receipts (or even receipts from places like gas stations and restaurants) and scan them to earn points. At certain point thresholds, you can cash in on PayPal or nab a free gift card to restaurants or stores.
4. CUT YOUR COSTS
Aside from your essential purchases like food and gas, considering taking a closer look at other items that you need. One solution here is – quite simply – to call services that you use to see if you can lower your rate. Our household recently lowered our home security bill by around $10 a month simply by calling customer service.
If you own a home, take a look at refinancing in 2021; interest rates remain super low!, Also, many utility services will schedule consultations with their customers in order to assess their energy usage. Small changes like going with long-lasting, energy-efficient LED lightbulbs can save you money on your electric bills.
Another area in which consumers frequently get “taken to the cleaners” is with auto and home insurance. It's always smart to shop around to make sure you're carrying effective coverage at the most competitive rates. Tools like Gabi, Jerry, or Insurify can help you shop around for lower rates and save.
5. ASSESS YOUR BANKING OPTIONS
Lean on your financial advisor for insight as to where you should be allocating your funds – savings, retirement, non-retirement investment accounts, etc. – but as for the liquid cash that you do keep on hand, make sure that you have it in a bank that carries a decent interest rate so that you're getting a better return on that front. NerdWallet is once again a quality resource for keeping up to date on high-yield savings accounts. Check out the market every so often and keep an eye out for banks that have sign-up bonuses.
Here's another tip, especially for those that may have a side hustle (more on that soon) set up: make sure you're up to date on the latest peer-to-peer apps for sending and receiving cash. Having CashApp, PayPal, Venmo, and Zelle will enable you to conduct transactions online, or to simply send money back and forth with family and friends.
6. PUT EXTRA MONEY IN YOUR POCKET BY SETTING UP YOUR SIDE HUSTLE
If you're a coach, odds are you don't have tons of free time on your hands. The good news is that you don't have to spend hours per week doing some side work that can net you extra cash. Selling courses, training players, writing a book (or other materials), launching a podcast, or starting a website are among the options that you have when it comes to making extra money as a coach. Need help with any of that? I'm always glad to point you in the right direction!
7. HAVE YOUR RESUME AT THE READY
Of course, having a job – or jobs – with steady income is a significant part of securing your financial well-being. It's important to always be prepared for the next job, whether or not you're planning on having a new opportunity in the near future. Your resume should highlight your accomplishments, be well-written, and have a compelling design. Make sure you are not caught unprepared when it is time to apply for your dream job, or in the event you find yourself unexpectedly looking.
For help, check out our detailed guide for crafting a winning coaching resume.
Questions? Drop me a line – email@example.com – and make sure you check out our free five-day career training camp!
I'm a sports media professional with over 13 years of experience, having built lasting relationships across the athletics and coaching industry. I'm here to help you reach your goals!