Here’s How a ‘Money Buddy’ Can Help You Reach Your Financial Goals

Sha'Kreshia Terrell and Sau-Sha Hil walk through a suburban neighborhood in Tyler, Texas.

Sha’Kreshia Terrell and Sau-Sha Hill decided to become accountability partners in 2014 to encourage each other to pay off their debt. Chelsea Purgahn for The Penny Hoarder

The temptation of chocolate cake is real, but having a pal to cheer you on makes resistance and sticking to your weight-loss goal easier.

The same goes for your financial plans, which is why we love the idea of a “money buddy.”

That’s the person you can share financial goals with, like paying off credit card debt or saving for a house. You can check in together regularly and encourage each other along the way.

Such accountability can actually improve your performance, according to a study published in the Society of Behavioral Medicine. It found that participants who paired up with a virtual partner biked an average of nearly 87% longer than those who rode solo.

And regardless of your goal, simply having someone acknowledge your progress offers psychological benefits, according to Holly Donaldson, founder of Holly Donaldson Financial Planning in St. Petersburg, Florida.

“The gym is a good analogy for it,” she said. “If you have somebody at the gym who counts for you, like your pushups… you’re more likely to do two or three more.

“It reinforces that positive behavior.”

But having a partner also makes it all right to falter without giving up on the bigger goal.

“You have to have someone who’s going to be encouraging even if you don’t make a goal in a specific time frame,” Donaldson said. “You want someone that’s going to say, ‘It’s OK, you’re human.’”

So if you broke your no-spend promise with an afternoon latte, a money buddy is there to encourage you not to throw away your budget — you’ll just start that no-spend plan again tomorrow.

Even if you’ve created a system on your own, regularly checking in with your money buddy allows you to celebrate the wins and recover from the defeats a little more easily. For example, these two friends held each other accountable to pay off a combined $70,000 in debt.

Not sure where to find a money buddy who understands the ups and downs of your particular goals?

Whether it’s paying off credit card debt, improving your credit score or saving for retirement, you’ll find the support you need to reach your financial goals by joining our Penny Hoarder Community.

In the Community, you can pair up with another member, share goals with each other and then check in on each other’s progress. You’ll be able to boost each other up on the tough days and celebrate your victories together as a team.

It’s part of our goal to make this the year of Less Money Stress for everyone.

If you haven’t already joined our Community, be sure to check it out. You don’t need to go it alone. And you don’t need to give up chocolate cake.

Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This article originally appeared on The Penny Hoarder