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Understanding a client’s mental bandwidth is crucial in the financial coaching world. A client’s mental bandwidth is a client’s capacity to execute program activities and outcomes. It helps you, the coach, and the client see what barriers hinder their goal. It might force the client to focus on the immediate need first. 

Therefore, it is essential to create a tool to help you measure where the client’s mental bandwidth is at. After all, financial coaches need their tools. 

Key Questions

Your tool should be able to, at the very least, address the following questions aimed at gaining insights into the client’s current mental state:

  1. How often would you say that paying for transportation is a challenge?
  2. How often would you worry about meeting your family’s immediate needs, including clothing, medication, or meals?
  3. How often have you experienced homelessness or a lack of stable housing in the past 12 months?
  4. How often is accessing tools to complete your day-to-day tasks (such as a phone or calculator) challenging?

Each question should have at least three to four possible responses, such as almost always, sometimes, rarely, or never.

Measurement Technique

The responses are then measured using a point system:

  • “Almost always” answers could be worth 2 points.
  • “Sometimes” answers could be worth 1 point.
  • “Rarely or never” answers could be worth 0 points.

The total score obtained gives an insight into the client’s mental bandwidth. A higher score indicates lower mental bandwidth and vice versa.


  •  0 or close to 0 points: Indicates that the client has ample mental bandwidth. They are in excellent shape to focus on your program’s activities and will likely achieve program outcomes.
  • Higher points: Indicates reduced mental bandwidth, which may require the clients to focus on their immediate needs first while working towards their goal.  


Understanding a client’s mental bandwidth is pivotal for effective financial coaching. It can bring clarity and help the coach see how likely clients will be able to achieve their goals and your program outcomes. 


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