Finding Accountability

One of the main reasons I started my blog last year was to help keep me accountable as I work to pay off debt and embrace (semi) minimalism. While it hasn’t always been successful at keeping me accountable with my outrageous spending habits, it has helped quite a bit already.

My old way of thinking!

My main goal for 2015 is get more serious with my finances and get a good chunk of my consumer debt killed this year! In order to make this happen, I am doing a couple of things to help keep me accountable to my goals.

Being More Transparent

I’ve revamped my budget and I will be telling how I use every last cent of my monthly income from all sources. I’ve made a monthly estimated budget with categories that aren’t 100% static. I will be adjusting the amounts I budget in each category as needed, and I will also be adding and removing categories as things come up at different times throughout the year. For example, I included a small amount of money in my January budget to pay a dentist bill. This will not be in my budget each month since I only visit the dentist twice each year (unless I’m having a procedure or something).

Previously I was doing zero based budgeting with only the income from my FT job.Then the income from my PT job and various side hustles was supposed to be used for extra savings and paying off more debt. Instead, most of it disappeared into a black hole (aka I spent it).

Finding an Accountability Partner

Joining me in ramping up financial intensity in 2015 is Laurie from The Frugal Farmer. Both Laurie and I struggled with staying accountable to ourselves in 2014 and therefore didn’t make nearly as much progress on the debt front as we had hoped. To help combat this lack of focus, Laurie and I have become accountability partners.

An accountability partner should be someone who is on the same (or similar) path as you. They should be willing to share openly with you about how their progress is going, including things they are struggling with. You should try to help and encourage each other, but also get on each other when you see one another becoming lax with spending.

It’s still early in January but Laurie and I have already checked in with each other a couple of times. She even came to my rescue last night when I was feeling nervous and tempted to spend more money than I had previously told her I was aiming for.

I was attending a movie with my book/movie club and I’m always tempted by the buttery movie theatre popcorn and sweet snacks.

Luckily, Laurie suggested I eat popcorn at home prior to the movie and even have a small sweet too. Her advice was a great help as that was not something I had thought of on my own.

At the end of the night I was proud to report back to Laurie that my evening was a success as I avoided extra spending beyond the movie admittance and the one cup of coffee I planned on purchasing afterward to sip while we discussed the movie and book.

What other things do you do to stay accountable?

About Kayla

Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at ShoeaholicNoMore or follow her on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Love the accountability partner, great idea, hope it really works for you both!

  2. I have my partner to keep me accountable, if I fall off the ‘wagon’ (which usually doesn’t happen, since I’m very careful with my goals/plans).

    • I don’t have someone like to help keep me accountable. Plus, sometimes the person closest to us isn’t always the best one to nag at us about our goals when we fall off the wagon. Just my 2 cents worth. 🙂

  3. I love this idea! I also started my blog for accountability, but I think it’s too soon to tell if it’s working. What I love about the accountability partner is the availability to help you out in the moment when temptation strikes. You can’t get that from a blog; it’s more of an after the fact type of accountability.

    • That’s exactly right Jessica! Sometimes we need more accountability in the moment rather than after the fact. Perfect way to explain it!

  4. Love the idea of an accountability partner, I find that my friends are family are really supportive and respectful of my money-saving plans, but sometimes I think it would be nice to share it with someone that was doing something similar themselves to help come up with ideas and provide support in this way xx

    • I’m so glad your friends and family are supportive, that is a great first step. But you are right, it can be nice to “talk” to someone else on the same path as you are.

  5. This is such a great idea. I think this is might be what I need to do to be successful at keeping to my budget. I could rely on my fiance, but I think that it might be too close to be effective.

    • I’m glad you like the idea. You might ask Laurie, but I’m pretty sure that’s part of why she decided to team up with me. She had a wonderful hubby and they are working together to get out of debt, but sometimes your accountability needs to come from an outside source.

  6. Eveline Jeffery says

    I love your article. I am totally dedicated to become debt free, so I am currently looking for accountability partner with no success as of yet.

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