Here’s how to turn a friendship into a worthwhile savings partnership.
Short answer – yes, an accountability partner will help you save… provided you find the right one and stick to your goals. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, an accountability partner is someone you set a shared goal with in the hope that you’ll be able to keep each other on track. The most popular goals set are for are health and fitness – losing those last kgs! But you can take the basics of an accountability partnership and apply them to achieving your savings goals. Here are some tips for making it work for you.
How do you choose a good accountability partner?
Don’t fall into the trap of calling on your best mate because you want to catch up more. Choosing an accountability partner requires serious vetting. If you link up with someone who tends to lose sight of their goals and is suddenly splashing out on fancy lunches, it’ll be even harder for you to stay focused. An accountability partner needs to be chosen based on their trustworthiness and likelihood of achieving the goal. That said, you do need a partner that can stay positive and help boost the mood, they just need to be able to exercise willpower –it needs to be a win-win for both of you.
Choose someone who you know will dig deep (in an emotional, not financially generous way) and not only hold strong on reaching the target, but will be able to cheer you on, too. And you should know when setting out the terms, that this will be something you need to bring to the table too. But that’s why these arrangements can be so beneficial, because you’re not going it alone and you can turn to a friend when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Plus, you can celebrate hitting goals (we’ll get to that later).
If you’re worried you don’t have great talent for an accountability partner in your friendship group, you can look to platforms, such as Get Motivated Buddies to pair you with a match.
How do you stay on track?
Once you’ve found your perfect partner, you will need to set up your framework to track your progress against your goals. You don’t necessarily have to have the same number in mind as your partner, you just need to align your journey to arrive there with them. And be sure to stagger milestones rather than working towards one huge end goal. With the goal in mind you’ll then map out your budget – the reason you need to trust your partner – to have a total bird’s eye view of your finances.
With these essentials in place, note down any events or triggers that may spell spending disaster along the way. That way, your partner can send you a text or be on call to pull you up if need be. Be sure to be really honest at this stage to make the partnership worthwhile.
How often should you check in?
You’ll also need to work out how and when you want to check in – is it by text, a weekly catch up or a couple of emails a week? Whichever avenue you take, be sure that both of you can fully commit to this. It’s essential that you start as you mean to continue and ensure the channels of communication remain open.
How should you celebrate shared goals?
This is the fun part. Not only will you enjoy the supportive cheerleading (and occasional chiding) from your teammate, but you’ll be able to celebrate hitting those milestones. As you’re working towards a savings goal, you might want to mark the win with a picnic in the park or by taking advantage of a meal deal at your local pub. However you decide to celebrate, make sure it happens – it will keep you motivated and push you to hit the next milestone.
Hitting your savings goal doesn’t have to be a solo project – tag someone else in to lighten the load.
Have you hit a savings goal recently? Perhaps it’s time to talk with your Aussie Broker. Make a free appointment today.