How To Harness the Power of Friendship To Get Better at Money Management
Support groups exist since people cannot always eliminate their harmful habits and bring positive changes in their lives all on their own. Studies have proven that healthy habits spread via social networks, especially in interest groups, just like bad habits. Saving money is also a good habit which can be quite contagious, especially if you are socializing with the right group of people within a community. You have seen quite a few of those health-related social support groups, but financial accountability and money management groups are far less in numbers. Just as health groups have made it a lot easier for people to do away with their ‘unhealthy’ habits, financial accountability groups do the same thing for people who have their financial skeletons (or money problems) hidden in their secret closets. If you want to get better at money management, learn how to harness the power of friendship until you find a group.
What Are The Advantages?
The best part about finding a friend who can teach you a thing or two about personal finance is the sense of understanding and empathy shared between you and your friend — the feeling that you and others share similar problems, struggles, and roadblocks, even if your friend is pretty good at money management. Your friend’s responses, experiences, knowledge as well as perspectives can help you see your money problems from different perspectives. So, what kind of a finance friend should you choose? Here are some tips to help you out:
Choose A Friend Who Has Similar Goals And Values
There is some level of comfort in anonymity. While there are some people who can easily trust a stranger when it comes to solving their money problems, most people prefer to talk about money matters with people they know well. It works just like weight loss transformations — when you meet a friend who is suffering from weight gain problems just like you, you don’t hesitate to open up. Similarly, if you can find a friend who has the same financial situation, almost the same set of values and similar goals just as you have, you can also find some shared commitment.
Find Someone Whom You Can Meet Regularly
Most people who have a financial buddy lose interest in discussing finance after some time, and their meetings are pushed by other (more important) activities. If you are looking for a finance friend with whom you can discuss savings, tax returns, investments, and retirement plans, make sure it is someone who can manage time to meet you up, and vice versa. You two may talk about a set time to meet each other. You may meet once a week, once every two weeks, and even once a month. Whatever you do, make sure you and your friend agree to treat it like a business meeting. Chat using VoIP or meet the person.
Decide Your Agenda
If you can’t make up your mind about what you are going to discuss with your finance friend, you will gradually digress to other topics that are more fun and comfortable. It is okay if you chat about other things in life once your meeting is over, but setting an agenda for the meeting will help you stay on the right track. Some example topics for discussion could be working on a budget with your spouse, creating a financial calendar, sharing books and publications worth reading, and going through financial struggles and money problems.
Always Be Honest
Even if you know the other person very well, it can be difficult for you at times to discuss your embarrassing mistakes and money problems with the person you know. Always try to be brutally honest when discussing your money problems. Whether your credit score has gone down or you have terribly failed at reaching your saving goals or it’s a bankruptcy situation, do not hesitate to discuss the
problem with your finance friend. Believe it or not, if you can talk unashamedly about your money problems, it would have therapeutic effects in the long run.
As you can see, choosing a good finance friend is essential. A good finance friend is not just someone you know since you were in school, but someone whom you can trust and is preferably knowledgeable about basic personal financial management issues.
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