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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 buy the buttery movie theater 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.


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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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