How an Accountability Buddy Can Transform Your Finances
It’s almost the new year and you’re ready to get your finances in check. You’ve tried before but you tell yourself this time will be different. Sound familiar? Many of us have goals to improve our finances but fall short for a number of reasons. But there’s a secret weapon that can transform the process: getting an accountability partner.
What is an accountability partner?
You might have a vague idea of what an accountability partner is based on the name but really WTF is it? An accountability partner or accountability buddy is someone that can help keep you accountable with your goals. It can be someone trying to reach a similar goal as you and you can work to keep each other accountable in the process.
You’d work with your partner to check-in over a set amount of time — maybe daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly — and discuss your progress, successes and challenges. Why does this work?
Let’s face it, a lot of us have a hard time mustering up any intrinsic motivation to do things when no one is watching. Think of all the times you’ve been on Facebook instead of working when the boss is out. It’s kind of like that.
It’s easy to make excuses when you don’t have anyone else watching over you or checking in. When you have an accountability buddy to check in with it can change everything. Below we list how an accountability partner can help you.
Writing down your goals helps
The first part of setting a goal should be to write it down and share with your accountability buddy. Did you know that writing down your goals means you’re more likely to reach them? On top of that, sharing your goals with a friend, aka an accountability buddy helps even more.
Psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews at the Dominican University of California conducted a study and found that people that write down their goals and share their progress with a buddy had the most success.
As mentioned above, internal motivation can be tough. You can’t buy it at the store. You can’t just snap your fingers and force yourself to do something. But when you add someone else, suddenly, you don’t want to disappoint that person.
You feel an extra level of commitment because you are doing this together and you have someone to share the journey with. Accountability partners can help you stay motivated when you’re working toward a big goal.
Get tough love
An accountability buddy can give you some much-needed tough love when you’re falling short on your goals. It can be tough to hear but you need someone who can gently encourage you but also give you constructive criticism.
Sometimes it can be hard to figure out just what we’re doing wrong or why our process might be inefficient. An accountability partner can offer a new perspective and help you stay on track, even when the going gets tough.
When you’re working on a big goal like paying off debt, saving for a house, or working toward early retirement, it can be isolating. You have to do things differently than you’ve always done, you may have to say no to social engagements, etc. When you do end up reaching your goals, it can feel anticlimactic to have a party of one.
Having an accountability partner not only means getting through the tough times together, it means celebrating the wins too. Having someone else to cheer you on and celebrate with you can make a huge difference in your morale.
Where to find an accountability buddy
You might be thinking, “Okay this sounds all well and good but where do I find an accountability buddy?”. You want to find someone that is striving toward similar goals or someone who can really help you move forward.
Your accountability buddy can be a friend, where you set the terms of engagement. You can find online communities or stay accountable through a blog or on social media.
To take it to the next level, you can get your Best Financial Friend at The Financial Gym to be the accountability partner you need. We’re committed to helping you reach your goals and will give you the advice you need, while celebrating along the way.