How do you know when its time to seek out a financial role model? If you can’t seem to stay within your budget every month or catch up on savings and debt repayment, a financial role model can help you finally create a budget that works for you and stick to it so that you can meet all of your financial needs and goals. You can seek professional help or simply find someone who has had similar struggles and managed to figure out on their own how to manage their finances. Help from either source will give you the tools necessary to enable you for financial success.
[Read: How to Improve Your Financial Health in 2016]
Check out these 5 options for finding a financial role model that works for you:
- Talk to your bank. Banks are full of financial advisors who can make the perfect financial role model. They want their customers to be financially successful so that they don’t become a risk to the bank, so this can be a great option for finding someone who genuinely wants to help you and knows how best to do that. If you’ve been a loyal customer for some time, call and ask about an opportunity for complimentary financial mentoring to get you started. Financial help doesn’t have to be permanent. It may simply take a few sessions to set a reasonable budget, and discuss things like investments or paying off larger items like a car or student loans. Whatever your needs may be, someone at your bank will know how to help.
- Ask for help from financially successful friends. Do any of your friends run their own successful businesses or have a good system for managing their finances? Friends and neighbors who have achieved financial success at an early point in life make great financial role models. They’ve managed to figure out their finances on their own and can surely offer some good advice to others who are trying to do the same. Ask them directly for help or see if they can offer any useful resources. Books or websites that they’ve used, or even their own previous financial mentors, can be a huge help to your financial success. A good approach can also be offering to take them out for coffee or lunch in exchange for discussing how they learned how to manage their finances and allow you to learn from both their mistakes and accomplishments.
- Explore online mentoring options. With everything available online these days, there are also numerous financial sites out there, and some of them offer help with financial management for a simple fee. Do your research and find a company or organization that offers a step-by-step program for setting up a budget that allows you to pay all of your necessary bills and make room for a little bit of spending and saving for a rainy day. You can also try free budgeting websites like Mint or any of their many similar competitors. These programs allow you to pace yourself and better track all of your spending and saving, sending you reminders and tips for how to stay on the path to success.
- See if anyone in your family can offer advice. It can be uncomfortable to talk about personal things like financial management with older family members, but chances are they probably went through some of the same struggles when they were getting started and can likely offer some help. Talk to family who have managed to pay off large sums of debt, avoid debt altogether, or have simply come up with great hacks for saving. Explain that you want to focus on paying off debt or creating a budget and savings plan, and ask if they would be willing to serve as a financial role model. Family can be very understanding of your mistakes or just your simple need for a little bit of help figuring things out when it comes to confusing financial issues.
- Socialize and network in your city. Networking is a great way to socialize with successful people in your community or other networks. Check with your school’s alumni association or try networking events for your workplace or people new to your city. Any of these events will surely have older and more financially successful attendees who may be very willing to be your financial role model if you simply ask for their help. You can also socialize online, reaching out to financial bloggers or authors who have managed to be good mentors to others before you.
[Read: Five Habits for Financial Success]
Your own reading and research on financial planning can be beneficial, but it doesn’t beat the benefits of working with a personal financial role model. Role models help set you up for success then hold you accountable for achieving that success. Don’t be shy, ask for the help you need and you’ll be on the road to financial stability before you know it.