Miguel Stoupignan is an unwavering optimist and problem solver. As one of our seasoned financial coaches, Miguel works one-on-one with Foundation Communities residents and Austin community members to strengthen their financial stability. Miguel meets with clients who are struggling to make ends meet. They come to him extremely concerned about their financial future.
Miguel shares with clients the advice his father gave to him as a child. “There is no problem you can’t solve – it’s just a matter of time,” he said. “Make an action plan.”
Creating an action plan is where Miguel can help. Like our other volunteer financial coaches, Miguel meets regularly with his clients to understand their financial situations. Then, they work collaboratively to figure out how to manage tight budgets, reduce debt, improve credit, and set achievable short-term and long-term goals. Understandably, discussing financial decisions is stressful for many people.
“To me, talking about money is emotional, just like any other problem in life,” Miguel said. “The clients want to open their hearts to you.”
When first meeting with clients, Miguel said his main objective is to establish a meaningful, personal connection. This approach, along with his positive outlook, is what makes Miguel such an effective financial coach. He gets to know his clients in order to help them implement the right solutions and, ultimately, change their lives.
Becoming a financial coach was a natural fit for Miguel. After several years in the restaurant business, he now works as a consultant for companies of all sizes. Miguel stays busy with his consulting business and his family, but he has been a dedicated Foundation Communities volunteer for the last three years.
In addition to volunteering as a financial coach, Miguel also serves as a small business coach, credit counselor and tax preparer. He carves out time weekly to volunteer, which he said is as beneficial for him as it is for the folks he serves.
“You are doing something to solve a problem, which is satisfying, and you are making friends,” Miguel said. Miguel has no plans on slowing down any time soon and jokes that he won’t retire until 2060. He also encourages others to find the volunteer opportunity with Foundation Communities that best fits them.
“It’s going to complete you,” he said. “You learn a lot, not only because of the issue at hand, but because of the clients.”