Good morning, friends! I talked a bit earlier in the week about how the Debt Snowball plan was really helping us to accelerate our debt payoff, but there was a very vital piece of information regarding our payoff victories that I left out: the important part that an accountability partner has played in our recent victories.
Aside from keeping Rick abreast of our situation, I really do all of the money management stuff here myself. Rick has absolutely no interest in discussing the joys of budgeting, investing, and building wealth like I do – in fact, he finds it quite tedious and boring. Praise God for the personal finance blogging world so that frugal weirdos like me have someplace to go to share our obsession of all things personal finance. 🙂
Enter: The Accountability Partner.
Toward the end of 2014, I noticed that Kayla from Shoeaholic No More and I had both made commitments to “step it up a notch” in our debt payoff plans. I approached her about the idea of being accountability partners, and she happily agreed. Since the beginning of January, we’ve been “confessing” spending habits, and getting each others’ thoughts about whether or not we should put “X” amount of money toward debt or save it, “just in case”, and in general, being each others’ debt payoff cheerleaders.
The results have been miraculous: both Kayla and I have been paying off debt much sooner than our set goals indicated we would!!! Woohoo for debt payoff success! As such, I can’t tout enough the benefits of having an accountability partner, but it has to be the right accountability partner. Here are some tips on how to choose the right accountability partner for your debt payoff or other goals.
Choose Someone You Know Will Be Honest With You
Honesty is SO important when it comes to choosing an accountability partner. You need to have a partnership in which both parties feel free to be honest when one person might be getting off track. In mine and Kayla’s partnership, we have the trust that if one person is being a little too extravagant with their budget, we can (in a nice way) tell them so, with the goal of helping them assess their spending and get back on track. This has been a wonderful way to help keep each other in line when temptations to spend come along.
Choose Someone You Can be Honest With
The other side of the coin here is that it’s vital to choose an accountability partner that you can be honest with. If, for whatever reason, you have a fear of disappointing your accountability partner, you run the risk of not being able to be truly honest with him or her, which will sabotage your efforts to reach your goal. Therefore it’s important to choose a partner that you have the confidence to be honest with.
Choose Someone Who Will be Truly Supportive of Your Goals
Your accountability partner doesn’t have to have the same goals as you have, but it helps if they understand the goal thoroughly, and it helps even more if your accountability partner will be positive and uplifting. When I get off on my spending, I can count on the fact that Kayla will call me on it, but yet follow that truth up with a “You got this, girl” kind of a message. Choosing an accountability partner that majors in truthful optimism, without ignoring your mistakes, will ensure you stay accountable without bringing on a cloud of discouragement.
Choose Someone Who Has Like-Minded Goals
Your accountability partner doesn’t have to have the same exact goals that you have, but it helps if their goals are along the same vein. Kayla and I are able to work so well together in part because she understands what it’s like to have debt hanging over your head and can identify with my desire to dump the debt ASAP, since she has the same problem/goal. This helps us in our partnership to be able to give wise advice and encouragement, as we know what the other one is going through/dealing with.
Choose Someone Who Will Challenge You
One of the things I love best about my partnership with Kayla is that we both challenge each other to do better, do more. If one of us has some extra income, the other will challenge her to put even more toward debt than she’d originally planned, even if it’s just $10 or $15 dollars. Likewise, if one of us has a potential spending challenge, the other will help her find ways in which she can still spend, but just spend less.
We challenge each other in a way that isn’t too unhealthy, but yet pushes us to go farther in reaching our individual goals.
If you have a big goal to reach, I’d strongly encourage you to consider getting an accountability partner. The right accountability partner has the potential to catapult your goal-reaching success. I know it has for me. Thank you, Kayla, for that. 🙂