5 Ways to Find a Financial Role Model
By Sabah Karimi
If you're struggling with your budget every month or just can't seem to get ahead financially, it may be time to turn to a financial role model or mentor for guidance. Connecting with someone who has been in your shoes, or who has successfully turned things around after financial devastation, may be just what you need to get yourself on a healthy financial track. At the very least, seeking support or advice can help you stay motivated and encourage you to get your financial life in order.
Here are five ways to find a financial role model or mentor.
1. Call the bank. If you have been a loyal customer at your bank for several years or have prestige customer status, you may qualify for complimentary sessions with a financial advisor. A financial advisor can serve as a temporary mentor to guide you through the process of investing wisely, setting up a realistic budget or managing money after a windfall. They may also help you with big financial decisions, such as purchasing a car, investing in a college fund or evaluating your stock portfolio. A quick phone call may be all it takes to get the process started with a dedicated financial professional.
2. Reach out to successful friends. How many of your friends or neighbors run successful businesses? Most successful entrepreneurs are financially savvy because they have learned how to manage their resources successfully. These contacts may be able to point you in the right direction when it comes to budgeting or providing advice on how to better manage your investments and finances in the future. Take someone out for coffee or lunch to learn more about their journey and find out if they would be willing to be your mentor. If they are not available, ask them for any books or resources they have learned from over the years so you can start educating yourself.
3. Review online mentoring programs. Several organizations, including faith-based organizations like MoneyLife Mentoring, offer online mentoring programs for those who want to turn their financial situation around with expert guidance and support. You agree to pay a monthly fee to have access to your mentor and may also have the option to work through a self-paced program that offers educational materials and workbooks as resources for your financial management plan. Whether you struggle with paying bills on time or need a cohesive action plan to set yourself up for a positive financial future, consider registering for an online program that can walk you through the process step by step.
4. Get in touch with successful family members. Talking about money matters with extended family members or those who are close to you outside of your immediate family may not be comfortable, but you can explore the option of asking for advice from those who have successfully paid off large amounts of debt, are living a debt-free lifestyle or have a knack for saving money. Reaching out to these family members for advice to help with a current problem, or simply to be there for support and guidance as you work through your debt repayment or savings plan, could be just what you need to stay on a positive track.
5. Get social. You'll find dozens of personal finance gurus and experts across the Web providing valuable advice and real-life stories about their journey to financial success. Start tuning in to their podcasts or register for upcoming webinars for valuable tips and advice on virtually any issue related to money, banking, credit and investing. Many of these experts have authored books and maintain a blog or social media presence with up-to-date and relevant information. Subscribe to their blog or email newsletter for daily and weekly updates, or find out if they offer an online course to help you learn the basic principles of money management. You may also be able to find Meetup groups that discuss personal finance topics and will help keep you accountable.
Keep in mind, reading and researching won't be enough if you aren't interacting directly with your role model – you need to follow through on what you have learned, so having an accountability partner along the way can help.