Left to my own devices, I would have probably wasted my money on beautiful but unnecessary things.
But I did not.
I may be a master of delayed gratification but that doesn’t mean I have self-control of steel. To be honest, I think of shopping all the time! One of my favorite pastimes is online window-shopping where I admire beautiful things. Bags, shoes, furniture, books, homeschool supplies – these are only some of the things in my perpetual want-list. But I haven’t given in to buying any just yet.
Because I have an awesome accountability partner: my mother.
Despite the fact that I’ve been earning my own money for years, I am not ashamed to say that until now, unless it’s something cheap, I always ask for her go-signal before I go ahead and buy something.
For example, just yesterday, I was choosing between a Kate Spade bag and a Longchamp. I was really tempted to buy either since I had extra money, but I didn’t want to proceed without the golden go-signal. So I went ahead and asked her.
Weeell, she thought they were not worth the price (I disagree, of course). And she really didn’t approve of shelling out money for something unnecessary when I could purchase insurance instead. Or better yet, invest it! I agree with this.
I knew she had a point, so I forgot about the bags. For now? Hihi I kid. But before you think about it the wrong way, let me get it straight that I’m not forced to do what she wants. I can still buy a bag if I wanted to, but I choose to follow my mother AKA accountability partner’s wisdom.
I guess it’s because of my kuripot (stingy) nature, which I got from her (!), that I still enjoy “asking for her permission” in my mid-20s, and to think I’m a mom already! I just feel safer with her go-signal and it’d be less likely that I suffer buyer’s remorse.
I could have Job as my accoutability partner, but he’d make a weak one, to be honest, because he’s not strict at all! He thinks I should buy what I want (probably because he thinks I wouldn’t anyway hahaha). But if I’m severely tempted to buy something I don’t need, that simply wouldn’t work.
On the other hand, with a kuripot accountability partner like mama, I rarely get to buy anything I will regret buying. And I have a lot easier time keeping my finances in check!
Now, if you want to work on building your finances like me, it’s better if you look for an accountability partner, too, especially if you doubt your self-control skills. Here are some characteristics you may consider:
1. Financially-knowledgeable or financially-wise
For your own sake, please don’t partner with a spender or someone who always buys on impulse. It will get you nowhere. You can partner with someone in debt as long as his goal is to improve his or her finances.
Better yet, choose someone who invests in knowledge about personal finance. For his sake, you need to study, too!
2. Strict and cannot be easily swayed
Look for someone who is authoritative. Yes, he or she may sound bossy, but it will be for your own good. You won’t regret it!
Try to avoid someone who doesn’t have a backbone and is easily swayed (in Tagalog, kaladkarin!). If you’re tempted to buy something and ask for her advice, instead of keeping you from doing it, she’ll go with you and buy for herself, too!
3. Determined and single-minded
Your partner and you should have the same goal in mind: financial freedom. If he doesn’t feel so strongly about it, chances are you’re going to be working with him… for 2 months tops?
Choose someone who is deeply passionate about his personal finances as well. This way, you’ll know that he also needs an accountability partner (you) and will try his best to keep a good partnership.
4. Able to take corrections and advice
Your accountability partner will obviously be “bossing you around” for the right reasons. On the flipside, you will also need to do that to her. Otherwise, only you will benefit from the partnership as your partner will not benefit from your wisdom.
To do this, you need someone humble enough to take correction and pieces of advice from someone else.
An accountability partner can have all the traits above, but in my opinion, the correct motive to get financially independent completes the package. After all, our goal is not only to be rich but also to be able to bless others with our wealth.
It would be sad if you and your partner have different visions. In the end, you may just be helping a selfish person fund his selfish ways.
So choose the right person! Dieters need accountability partners in check; why shouldn’t “money dieters” have partners, too? Personal finance is a very important aspect in our lives, and if we pray for it, I believe God will let his wisdom show through the right accountability partner. Are you ready to choose yours?