Without accountability your plan to get out of debt is likely to fail. Unless you are a super-motivated, goal-oriented kind of person, you need a form of accountability to find success with your finances. Be honest and know yourself and know your limitations. Think about efforts you have made in the past to get out of debt and why those efforts failed.
I don’t know about you, but I am not that super-motivated, goal-oriented kind of person (at least not yet). I need a form of accountability to be successful in achieving my goals.
Accountability starts at home- unless you are single you probably have someone in your house that you can regularly discuss your finances and goals with. If not at home, find a close friend or relative who you can share this with. You may be embarrassed and I can certainly relate to that, I have yet to tell most of my friends or family about my situation or about this web site. However, I have found all of the accountability I need without involving anyone other than my wife (and all of you folks on the Internet). 🙂
You can find anonymous accountability by starting a blog about getting out of debt. I did it and so have hundreds of other personal finance bloggers. You don’t have to make a part time job out of it. You can just talk about where you are now, where you want to go, and document how you get there. You can start a blog easily and for free with blogger.com or wordpress.com. If you don’t want to make that level of commitment you could join a personal finance forum or find a local debtor’s anonymous group or consider Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (often done for free at churches, also available online for a fee, which includes forums).
It may seem odd given the anonymous nature of this blog, but the accountability I have created here is an amazingly powerful force in keeping me on track. I may not know everyone personally who reads this blog, but I know that there are real people out there and this is all very real to me so it really matters to me that I keep up the hard work and stay on track with my finances. Obviously, discussing our finances with my wife regularly is great accountability too. I think the blog adds an extra layer of accountability though, in case we both decide to make a bad decision there is a third party out there waiting to offer advice and criticism.
Figure out what works for you, but find a reliable source of accountability and use that source regularly. I absolutely believe that is critical to success with getting out of debt and turning your finances around. If you try to do this all alone, it can become too easy to give in to temptation and break the budget. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
9 Steps to Get Out of Debt
- # 1 Stop Borrowing Money
- # 2 (a) Why You Should Make a Budget
- # 2 (b) How to Make a Budget
- # 3 Turn Your Junk Into Cash
- # 4 Create an Emergency Fund
- # 5 Live Below Your Means
- # 6 Track Your Spending and Update Your Budget
- # 7 Visual Reminders to Track Your Debt
- # 8 Make Yourself Accountable
- # 9 Be Patient and Don’t Give Up