smart spending

How to create a budget that works for you

Get a partner
Get a partner © Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

Travis Freeman, a CFP professional with Four Seasons Wealth Management in Creve Coeur, Mo., says many Americans are too busy to focus on personal finance and budgeting. If you need motivation to successfully carry out a new financial plan, get a partner to back you up.

"I always recommend an accountability partner. Just as having a personal trainer helps us stick to that New Year's resolution, having an accountability partner for our budgets helps us stick to smarter spending and saving," he says.

Freeman recommends a friend, co-worker or a parent. "If you do not feel comfortable with a novice helping you, I recommend a Certified Financial Planner (professional) or a money coach," he says.

These professionals not only help you to stay on track, they have a great deal of knowledge to help you beyond the budget. The key to these ideas is having a reasonable budget to begin with and sticking to it. Whether your partner is a friend, professional or even a software program, accountability equals effectiveness. Consider seeking a professional if your money problems are serious and you can't solve them without adding to your expenses.

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