With most things in life, it often helps to have someone with you. Experiences, whether good or bad, are almost always better when you have someone to share it with.
Finance is no exception. In a world that’s connected more than ever before, it’s time to find an accountability partner.
This accountability partner could be anyone. A spouse or significant other, a friend, or someone you met at a local coffee shop.
In this article, we’re going to explore what makes a good accountability buddy and how you can encourage/help each other.
Choosing a financial accountability partner
Ideally, your financial accountability buddy will have similar goals as you and hopefully will hold the same financial philosophies, as well. If you’re saver, they’re a saver. If you like to cook at home, they like to cook at home.
Honestly, the most important thing to find in an accountability partner is someone that will keep you honest. Someone you can and should be totally honest with.
Tell this individual your goals. What you want to accomplish and what purpose your money serves. Then ask them the same thing.
You just need someone that can be honest with you and someone you can be honest with.
An accountability partner can also come in the form of a mentor. Someone that’s been where you are before and/or someone that’s had similar goals as you before.
They can guide you along your journey, correct you if you’re making mistakes, or just be someone you can turn to if you have questions or start to feel discouraged.
While doing research for this post, I came across an article about a couple. This couple had a goal of paying off tens of thousands of dollars worth of student loans.
After they came up with this goal and developed a plan on how to achieve it, they told some close friends. Friends that could keep them honest.
Because of that, this couple was more able to be honest when turning down invitations to hang out. These social outings often involved going to bars and restaurants, which costs money. Money that they didn’t want to spend so they could achieve their goal.
To make things fun, or competitive depending on your personality, you can create challenges. For example, who can save the most money (as a percentage of salary) in a month, or who can go the longest without spending any money.
Be advised, a no-spend challenge typically excludes necessary expenses like bills, rent, and debt payments.
Another thing you can do is create a list of inexpensive dates/activities you can do together, or with your significant other (SO) if your financial accountability partner isn’t your SO.
Schedule regular check-ins with each other. How frequently you check-in can be up to you, but it should be no less than monthly.
You should also establish a rule for impulse purchases or expensive items. If you want to buy something that’s over a certain dollar amount, you have to check in with your accountability partner first.