Social change work is hard and frustrating and wonderful and terrible; it is also, at times, funny, quirky and just plain fascinating. With this blog we hope to capture all that goes into what we do at Capital Good Fund, and we invite you to join the conversation!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Financial Coaching Fellow Profile: Matt Hoisl

Matt Hoisl, a Junior at Providence College, is following in his father’s footsteps:  he too plans to enter the public accounting field, and he too is passionate about saving money. Given Matt’s interest in financial services in general, and empowering people in particular, the Financial Coaching Fellowship seemed like a perfect fit (it didn’t hurt that a friend of his had served as a Fellow and highly recommended it.)  That said, he had always been a numbers guy—more comfortable with data and spreadsheets than with people—so when he entered the Fellow training program he focused especially hard on the soft skills: interacting with clients, helping them set goals, being empathic, and leveraging the power of motivational interviewing techniques.
Though Matt’s term of service as a Fellow is just beginning, it has already helped him “see that the tool of financial service can change lives,” adding “it’s really the old saying about teaching a man to fish.”  And his first clients have confirmed his belief that Coaching can change lives.  For instance, after completing a budget, one family realized that they were spending a lot of money at Laundromats, so they came up with a plan to save up for an energy-efficient washing machine that, over time, will reduce their expenses by $700 / year.   He worked with another family to switch them to a new bank account with fewer fees—resulting in a savings of several hundred dollars, funds that will go into an emergency savings account instead of to the bank’s coffers.

The Fellowship has helped Matt see how, in the future, he can meld his need to earn a living with his desire to serve others.  “I’ve always been interested in finances, especially accounting, but until the Fellowship I hadn’t realized how transformative financial services can be for low-income families,” says Matt.  “This experience has built my confidence in my interpersonal skills, given me a deeper understanding of the American financial system, enabled me to serve others and opened my eyes to potential career paths after college.”

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