Monday, February 6, 2017

Accountability Partner

Although I didn't blog last year there were plenty of financial things going on. One fairly consistent financial aspect was reporting to my "accountability partner". I'm not sure if, or how much, I've written about my middle sister on this blog but she and I have somewhat been sharing a debt reduction journey over the years. We both racked up student loans and credit card debt throughout our undergrad and grad programs, and both had some real financial responsibility clean up work to do. We started our clean-up/ debt reduction journey around the same time and have over the years have discussed our progress. Our lives/ lifestyles are pretty different but it has been nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of, share tips and resources, and just someone to keep me in check when things are rough.

Last year we started more formally and consistently checking in with each other, each Monday having a short phone call where we discussed the upcoming week's financial goals and anticipated challenges as well as reviewing how we did in the week prior. Of course, we didn't hit every Monday but the pattern was established and we've gotten pretty good at checking in at least via text if we don't have time to talk. There are a number of reasons having an accountability partner has been great for me. A) it forces me to look at my to-do list and break up larger, loftier goals into small week-size tasks to get done. B) it keeps those tasks at the front of my mind. and C) the obvious is it makes me accountable to someone outside myself and this blog. Not that my sister is going to come down too hard on me but she will at least point out when I'm trying to justify something that doesn't work.

Figured I could start posting my little weekly mini-goals here as well! I probably won't do it every week since it would get pretty stale when some of my tasks take multiple weeks to break down and finish. Anywho... in the past couple weeks I've made a list of things we will need for new baby and distributed to all my mom friends to see what hand-me-downs we can get, started pricing out the things that I already know we'll need to buy new, tried (and failed) to get an accurate estimate of what the labor and delivery charges will be after insurance (one of my continuing frustrations with our health care system, why does it have to be so damn hard to work with medical/ insurance companies), and started our taxes. 

This coming week I'll be focusing fairly intensely on taxes. I've completed my income and our deductions but now have to turn my attention to S' business since that will be part of our joint tax filing. No fun but extremely important to get done ASAP. I need to have our taxes filed as early as possible this year so we can get any returns added into the maternity savings planning as well  as to get them done before I have a newborn to care for!


  1. First off, congratulations on your impending new arrival! My youngest is now 19 months, I sure miss the newborn stage at times. Hoping you get lots of hand me downs and an answer on labor/delivery costs (I went through the same insurance nonsense.)

    I think an accountability partner is a wonderful idea, even better than you have a family member as one! I can't quite get my friends or family on board with anything 'personal finance'. It's quite taboo. So for now I just have my husband to bounce ideas off of, which is nice of course. I've tried many times to get my youngest sister on a budget and keep her from making the same mistakes we did, but she won't listen. Live and learn I suppose.

    I need to pull all our tax documents out and get that going as well. I find it amusing that taxes are now easier to deal with than health insurance!

  2. Hey, how are you and how is your not-so-newborn? Mine is almost 8 weeks old and I'm up in the middle of the night! My older girl is loving preschool, which makes the budget bite easier to swallow. Update if you can on how you, S, the twins, and baby are doing, and how your budget's handling being a family of five!

    1. Katie, good to hear from you! Congratulations on your baby! Mine is now 5 months old and still up all night :( Actually he doesn't like napping either so we are a worn out family right now. But he's generally pretty mellow and happy so that makes it ok.

      Budget wise we are in a deficit situation every month to support pre-school, daycare, and S' business. We are banking on S' business bringing in a lot in the last quarter since he's got his biggest art shows coming up and holiday shopping gearing up. However, we've decided that after this last quarter push he'll be getting a job. We have to head into 2018 with a balanced budget and his business is just too variable for our comfort level right now. We're hoping it could be a part time gig, just enough to balance the budget so he can continue to grow his business. Part of me is wanting him to go back into the professional world, at least a few years so we can back into heavy debt reduction. We are on the fence, we've invested so much (time, money, sweat, tears) into his dream but the idea of having stable work hours, weekends off, and a surplus of cash to throw towards debt is really appealing.

      Wish I had more time to blog, this has really fallen on the back burner with everything else going on. Hope all is well with you and your family!