Create Accountability for Your Finances

The theory is that when we engage others or some outside force regarding our financial situation, we are more likely to stick to our financial goals. Here are a few quick tips to bring more accountability into your finances:

“Accountability breeds response-ability.” Stephen R. Covey

Couple with Your Spouse - Odds are, no one knows your financial situation better than your spouse. Ideally, at some point you should both have met to agree upon financial goals for your family. Since you know each others shared goals and values, it’s easy to have discussions about your finances with those goals and values in mind.

Those are the conversations you should be having: “how is this helping us in our financial goals?”, “let’s get back in line with our values.”

Enlist a Friend – If you don’t have a spouse, enlist the help of a close friend. Tell them your financial hopes and dreams. Tell them your actions steps to get there. Outline milestones in the process. Then ask them to hold you accountable to your goals. Ask them to check in with you at each of the milestones. A good friend won’t mind doing this.

Pay for a Trusted Advisor – Contact a fee-only planner, or some type of financial coach or counselor. Set up weekly or monthly meetings with this person to review your financial situation.

Make Signposts – Put your financial goals on your fridge (hey, that’s where I spend a lot of time). Put them on your mirror in the bathroom. Put them in your wallet taped to your credit cards. Sometimes all we need is our own daily reminder to help hold us accountable.

Surround Yourself with Like-minded People – You know if you are hanging out with people who aren’t in line with the goals you are trying to achieve. Find and focus on relationships that naturally lead you towards a healthy financial future.

Make a Wager – Put some money on the line to move you closer to your financial goals. A site like Stikk.com will help to facilitate your wager.

Create Systematic Reminders – If people can’t motivate you, then maybe an automated system can. Create a budget, or sign up for a financial management service.

  • Mint.com helps me by reminding me of payments, balances, and goals.
  • You Need a Budget is an excellent zero-based budgeting tool that many readers rave about.
  • Ready for Zero is helping thousands of people in their quest to get out from under their debts.

What do you use to help hold you accountable to your financial goals?

Image by lumaxart

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Last Edited: March 16, 2012 @ 2:33 pm
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a husband and father of two. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or view the Philip Taylor+ Google profile.

2 comments
twentysomethingmoney
twentysomethingmoney

I think having someone to talk to about finances really does the trick -- at least then, they can ask questions, hold you accountable, and help you stay on course.

20 and Engaged
20 and Engaged

I like the idea of setting up constant reminders. I have a bunch of post-it's I can put in use. My fiance definitely knows about the situation and is willing to help.