Being on your own can be a scary thought. Whereas you once had two pairs of eyes reviewing financial matters, now you may only have yourself to rely on.
But that doesn’t have to be the case. This is especially important for someone who is not well versed in budgeting, finances, or being completely independent. The best thing you can do is ask someone you trust to hold you financially accountable.
We have put together a list of five steps to help you find an accountability buddy and use them to help you get on the right track.
1. Find Your Financial Accountability Buddy
It’s so simple! Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You may be surprised to find out that many people and organizations would gladly advise you on certain tasks. Find a person who cares about you enough to be brutally honest about your expenses and will help make sure you stay on track. It’s important for this person to be good with money, frugal, and wise. Not your best friend who you go out with and usually end up spending much more than realized.
2. Record Your Expenses
Okay, now that you have found that person to hold you financially accountable, what do you do next? You will want to track your expenses to see where your money is flowing. You can do this by using one of the many great personal finance apps out there, such as Mint, or if you’re old school and like the traditional spread sheet that’s okay too. Really anything to get your true expenses down on “paper”.
3. Review Your Expenses
Next review these newly recorded expenses with your buddy to see areas you may be able to cut. Is a 58” 3D television really enhancing your situation? Can you cut out the Starbucks and make coffee from home? A little guilt trip can be a wakeup call, but don’t let it discourage you. This process is very constructive and will set you on the right path to move forward.
It’s time to start thinking ahead– not towards immediate gratification.
4. Create A Budget
Now that you know where all of your money is going, you want to put together a proper budget. Your budget can be very basic at first and will grow over time as you alter your expenses. The key here is to be realistic and keep your expenses manageable. Once you have a budget down on paper it will be easier for your friend to hold you accountable, and will help you stick to the new guidelines you created.
5. Make It A Habit
The final step isn’t always the easiest, but you will need to create a habit. You will need to stick to your budget and keep tracking your expenses. Treat it as a game and you will be able to get better as time goes on. Remember… practice makes perfect. As times goes on you will be able to see a growth in your savings and you will gain a confidence in yourself financially.
Okay, now it’s your turn! Get out there and get this process started!