One of the most effective ways to lose weight is to enlist the help of a friend. A diet and exercise buddy can give you support when you are feeling unmotivated to exercise, or help you resist the siren call of readily available doughnuts. Going through the same activities together can help you both stay on the positive path.
By the same logic, you can find a financial friend for mutual help with saving and investing. You can help each other resist the temptation to buy that unnecessary power tool or wildly overpriced pair of shoes, and serve as a double check on each other for investment decisions. You will have a savings and investment friend – in other words, a money buddy.
It is important to choose your money buddy carefully. If you both have careless attitudes toward money and similar blind spots, you will help each other in the wrong direction.
Preferably, your money buddy should have good financial habits and a reasonable amount in common with your financial situation so he/she can understand the challenges you face. The best situation is if you have complementary areas of difficulty – for example, one of you may be excellent at saving money but poor at choosing investments and the other may be great at investing but rarely saves enough money to invest.
You and your money buddy should meet to discuss your goals and how you plan to meet those goals, and then meet regularly to go over your collective progress. Regular meetings are important to maintain positive momentum and to keep from backsliding into bad habits.
If you can’t find one suitable buddy, how about a half-dozen? Money clubs, groups analogous to book clubs, are being formed throughout the country by people with similar interests and financial goals.
Money clubs tend to be a combination of collective financial assistance and social gathering – it is a reason to get together with friends as well as to help give each other support and advice. Focusing on the positive and highlighting everyone’s areas of progress is important. Negative attitudes and constant complaining about your situation is likely to get you removed from a money club.
Many money clubs have been started by women and are exclusively for women – but there is no reason that men cannot start a money club, or benefit from membership in one. If you cannot find a money club, start one of your own.
If those options don’t suit you, how about investment clubs? While they are waning in popularity because of the ease of online investing and the wealth of available information, investment clubs still exist. They may be self-directed, where you all meet to share advice and then invest independently, or they may pool resources for investment.
From the savings side, you can start a similar group with money challenges. Challenging your friends with an achievable savings goal in a set time can be a great source of motivation while adding some fun elements. Thanks to social media, they are simple to start and feedback is easy to share. To add extra spice, make an inexpensive silly prize for the winner.
Many such clubs can be found with online searches, but others are private and difficult to locate. If you would like to start one of your own, there are plenty of online resources available to help you learn the ropes.
If you are having trouble staying on the financial track, seek the support of a trusted money buddy – whether it is an individual or a group.