5 Benefits of Having a Financial Accountability Partner
Are you having a difficult time paying off your debt? Saving up for a car, a down payment on a home, or a wedding? Balancing all your financial goals?
It can be hard to achieve everything you want with your money, and if you’re not working on your goals with someone else (such as a spouse), or if that someone else isn’t as interested in making progress, it can get lonely. Especially when you don’t have anyone to celebrate your wins with.
That’s where having a financial accountability partner can come in handy. If you’re struggling to stay on track, having someone else to “report” your progress to can be beneficial. Talk with each other about what you want to accomplish, set goals at the end of every talk and agree on dates to report in.
Not fully convinced? Here’s how having one or two people to talk to about your financial progress can help you.
Benefit 1: Continued Motivation
The most obvious benefit of having a financial accountability partner is the motivation factor. There’s nothing like a little friendly competition between you and your buddy to get you reaching your goals faster!
Say you’re trying to pay off debt, but are tired of working away at it with little to no immediate reward. However, you see your accountability partner diligently chipping away at their debt by the hundreds or thousands. Wow, you think, I need to keep up with them! Bam, instant motivation.
While I don’t have a financial accountability partner per se, I do look to my blog friends for inspiration and motivation. Whenever I see someone post about their debt payoff progress, I make it a point to pay a little extra toward my student loans. Every little bit helps!
Benefit 2: It’s Easier to Stay on Track
As we all know, accomplishing most of our bigger financial goals will take years and years. It can be hard to stay on track when you’re faced with other competing factors, from the little day to day temptations, to the major life changes we experience.
If you’ve ever had a bad month where you went so overboard with your spending, you couldn’t afford to save or pay extra toward your debt, you’ve experienced this. It’s completely normal! We’re not perfect.
That being said, having an accountability partner can greatly help you stay on course. You know you’re in this together and you have to hold each other to your goals, no matter what. If you’re tempted to spend away, you have someone to confide in who will tell you to do the smart thing and stay away!
Think of it this way – you’ve got an “evil” voice on one shoulder telling you to spend your money, and your accountability partner is the voice of reason on the other shoulder telling you what you need to hear to stay on track. It helps when you’re not strong enough to tell yourself no.
Benefit 3: Another Pair of Eyes
What if you shouldn’t stay on the same track? Life throws us for a loop all the time, and we have to adapt. Easier said than done, especially when you’re in the middle of something like a move or a career change. You’ve got so much else going on, your finances are at risk of taking the backseat.
Your financial accountability partner should be there to offer you advice. They can offer another pair of eyes to review your goals. They can tell you if what you’re doing no longer makes sense for the current situation you find yourself in, and whenever you’re in doubt, you can ask for their honest opinion.
This is where an accountability partner shines, as they can give you an objective opinion. If you’re working on goals with your spouse, it’s likely that you’re both invested in a certain outcome. Your accountability partner isn’t. It’s nice to get an “outsider’s” perspective as it gives you an alternative to think about.
Benefit 4: Support and Encouragement
Of course, one of the biggest things that can help you get through the tough times is support and encouragement. There are going to be times (I’ve had them!) when you feel like all the progress you’re making isn’t enough. When you don’t think you’ll see your debt balance at $0. When you think it’ll be impossible to save up enough for a home/wedding/car/family.
Those thoughts may not be realistic, but when you’re experiencing debt fatigue, you’re not necessarily in the right mindset to realize that. Having someone else to lift you up can help. Even just a “You got this!” from a friend can keep you going.
Benefit 5: Empathy (When You Need to vent)
Last, but not least, having a financial accountability partner who’s working toward the exact same goal as you can be extremely beneficial during the really rough times when you feel like giving up. That’s because they know exactly what you’re going through.
For example, saving money has always come easily to me, but paying off debt is less exciting (I’m weird, I know!). I might not relate as well to someone who’s struggling to save and not spend simply because I haven’t been in their shoes. I don’t know what it’s like to be an impulse shopper, and I can’t offer them any helpful, personal tips.
I can offer advice to those struggling to stay motivated to kill their student loans, because I’m in that situation myself. I know how tough it can be to balance debt payoff with savings goals, and I know what it’s like to feel guilty about not paying as much toward debt as I would like.
Sympathy is great, but empathy makes the biggest difference.
Have a Support Network You Can Lean on
If you can’t find a financial accountability partner, I’d strongly urge you to build a support network you can lean on and learn from. That’s one of the reasons I started blogging: to join the supportive personal finance community. In one way or another, we’ve all been there, and there’s no shortage of advice out there.
Plus, you’re highly likely to find the financial accountability partner you need through a fellow blogger! While it’s not the exact same, many of my blogging friends have become my freelance or networking accountability partners because we want to push ourselves to greater heights with our business. Everyone can use an accountability partner, even those working toward financial independence. Just get out there and ask!
Have you ever had a financial accountability partner? Do you see the value in having one? Do you think your spouse or family member makes for a good accountability partner? What are the other benefits of having someone to hold you accountable to your goals?
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