If you've read Jean's new book, Make Money, Not Excuses
, you know about Money Groups—they're like book clubs, only they're for your finances. Jean's goal for the year is to get people to start these groups around the country and support each other through financial challenges.
One group of women from Vancouver, Canada, formed a Money Group they call the Smart Cookies. Jean sits down with members of the Smart Cookies group, who share their tips for creating your own Money Group:
- Fill your group with people you trust. You're going to have to build more trust as you go, but having a solid foundation will help put people at ease from the start.
- Set a schedule. If you can all get a meeting time on the calendar, whether weekly, biweekly or even monthly, it will help you carve the time out of your busy week.
- Stick to an agenda. You can allot time to chat and catch up at the beginning to keep it fun, but then dedicate each meeting to particular discussions or topics.
- Open up. The Smart Cookies say that full disclosure is important. Be ready to share your income, savings and 401(k) account balances, as well as your debt. Take comfort in the fact that others are sharing, too.
- Share. You're sharing your experiences with money, so consider sharing other things as well, including your closets. It will save you a bundle when one of those special occasions comes along that would normally require a new outfit.