You can have an exercise buddy, a hunting buddy, and even a laundry buddy (that is, if you do your own laundry) but have you ever considered enlisting a money buddy? A money buddy can help spur you on when you need that extra little push to reach a financial goal. Certified Financial Planner Jeff Rose, a retired infantry solider and founder of the blog Good Financial Cents, refers to a money buddy as a “financial battle buddy.”
“Your battle buddy can be a friend, spouse, close family member, or even your financial advisor. The most important thing is honesty…Your battle buddy is your cheerleader, your accountability partner, and your conscience…If you know anyone who may make a good battle buddy, now is a good time to broach the topic with him or her. It’s not weakness to acknowledge that you need help. Find a battle buddy today and take charge of your life,” said Rose in Soldier of Finance: Take Charge of Your Money and Invest in Your Future.
Here are five tips for finding a money buddy.
1. Choose someone who is responsible
The worst mistake you can make is picking a buddy who is bad with finances. Instead of talking you out of an impromptu shopping spree, he or she would give you a list of all the local sales and drag you to each one. Find a money buddy who handles his or her finances well and provides a good example of how money should be managed. He or she doesn’t have to be a financial professional, but if they are, that’s even better.
2. Make sure your buddy has time
Don’t choose someone who is not able to devote enough time to assisting you with your money goals. Your money buddy may have the best of intentions, but if he is too busy, very little progress will be made. When selecting someone, ask upfront of time will be an issue.
3. Pick a buddy who isn’t judgmental
A little tough love here and there won’t hurt, but someone who is cruel and makes you feel bad about your money difficulties is not someone you want on your team. We all make money mistakes from time to time. Seek support from a partner who genuinely wants to see you succeed.
4. Don’t become overly dependent
While it’s great to have a support system, be careful not to become too dependent. Calling your buddy every time you experience a struggle with spending money can quickly become annoying and eventually exhausting. Set ground rules for when and how you will discuss your financial struggles. For example, a phone call at 3:00 a.m. because you’re sitting in front of your computer, ready to charge a new tech tool you can’t afford, may not be the best time to ask for help.
5. Take ownership
Step up and take ownership of your financial problems. Don’t sit back and expect your money buddy to do all the work. There is only so much encouraging and cheering they can do for you. You must make an effort to change your bad habits and get your finances in order. No one can do that for you.