It’s vital to have someone in your life to keep you financially accountable. By having a partner to lean on, we are more successful in meeting our long-term goals and managing everyday spending. Our partner is able to keep us on track when we are tempted to stray, and they are there to encourage us along the way.
Sometimes this arrangement is an organic development (a friend or parent who checks in with you regularly, and with whom you are comfortable sharing your struggles and progress). But sometimes you need to be intentional about it, and make the arrangement a bit more “official.”
Tips for Choosing and Using an Accountability Partner
Here are some tips and tricks to consider when choosing a financial accountability partner.
Choose someone who has similar goals and financial management skills.
Do not pick a spendy friend to hold you accountable financially. It is important that the person you choose will have similar goals and beliefs when it comes to money management. Choose someone who also wants to be frugal and smart with their financial decisions, an individual who fits your monetary mindset.
This is not about having equal amounts of money in your bank accounts, but instead about having similar spending habits and goals. It is important that you and your partner are working together. They should pull you up, not down.
Create challenges and set goals together.
Make it fun! Start a saving challenge, like the 52 Week Money Saving Challenge. Together you can encourage and compete. Set goals, such as “This week we will not buy Starbucks coffee.”
At the end of the week, you can compare notes and see if you both succeeded. No one likes to lose a challenge!
Check in frequently.
When you choose an accountability partner, set up daily or weekly meetings. Decide that every other day you will shoot a text to check in, or have a phone call every Sunday evening to talk about the previous week. The more often you check in, the more successful your partnership will be.
Plan inexpensive outings together.
If one of you is struggling to save, peer pressure can be a big problem. Rather than sitting at home, plan outings together that will be inexpensive or free. Play ultimate Frisbee, go on a hike, or rent a Redbox together and have a movie night in. Resist the peer pressure together!
Encourage one another.
The most important part of your partnership will be encouragement. You are stronger together than you are apart. Encourage one another daily, and especially when you fail. There is always room for improvement, and you can help each other to succeed next time. When they are feeling down, bring them back up! And vice versa.
Choose someone that you trust.
You need to be able to trust your financial accountability partner. Pick a friend or family member who will encourage you when you fall short of your goals, and never judge you. If you have a strong bond, both of you will be more willing to share honestly about your successes and failures. Trust is key!
Every so often, re-evaluate the goals that you have set. Should you create new ones? Should they be raised higher or lower? What about your financial accountability partner… Are you meshing well together? Is it a healthy and helpful partnership, where both of you are thriving? Come to conclusions, and create change where necessary.