August 5, 2013

Are you Holding yourself Financially Accountable?

Source: Budgeting in the Fun Stuff has been one of my favorite personal finance blogs for quite some time. I reached out to the mastermind behind the site, Crystal, to discuss everything from holding yourself financially accountable to getting on the same financial page as a loved one among other details.

It is one thing to say you are going to change your financial life for the better. It is another thing entirely to create a strategy, follow through, and realize your goals.

Many people have good intentions, however, they don’t know what it takes to hold themselves financially accountable. For this reason, these people often times start out on the right path but find themselves off track soon enough.

Is this a problem you can identify with? If so, you are not alone.

Turn the Page on your Finances

Crystal is the owner and primary author of Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, a popular personal finance blog that provides high quality information on a variety of topics.

As an avid reader of her site, I knew that bringing some of her information over here would be a great idea.

Here is some advice from Crystal that will help you hold yourself accountable for your financial situation (plus much more):

1. What advice would you give people who are having a difficult time holding themselves accountable for sticking with a budget? 

Try thinking about everything you miss out on by not budgeting. Do you really want to rely on the government in your golden years? Or in the short-term, would you want to miss a weekend away with friends just because you spent all of your money on unimportant stuff already? I sincerely think that if everyone was honest with themselves about their priorities in life, they would try to spend more on that and less on stuff that doesn’t generally matter. And this applies to any priority. Even if they want to prioritize clothing over travel…whatever is actually important should be a main point of a budget and whatever isn’t important to them can be tossed away or found cheaper.

2. Have you found that blogging about your financial experiences helps keep you on track?

Yes. Pretty much any goal is easier to achieve with accountability partners, so posting for the whole world to see definitely motivates me to stay on track. There are hundreds of people to remind me that I’m slipping. Plus, when I post about specific topics, there is usually some great feedback. I’ve learned a lot from my commenters. Overall, blogging has definitely been an educational and motivating hobby job.

3. Was it always easy for you and your husband to be on the same page as far as your budget was concerned, or did it take time to develop that sort of relationship?

We’ve always been on the same general page when it comes to finances, but we have had issues with the specifics. Neither one of us is a huge spender, and we both want to save for our future. But he does generally spend more than me.  Sometimes that can lead to some resentment issues – either with me wishing he’d want to spend less or with him wishing that I wouldn’t be so money-oriented all of the time. Having separate fun money accounts has helped a lot  Now we can both do our own thing most of the time and work on savings as our joint goal.

Final Thoughts

Even if you have a solid grasp on your finances, it is safe to say you can take away a few tidbits from Crystal. With a simple yet targeted approach, she shows us that being accountable is often times the first step towards a better financial life.

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