Accountability in Personal Finance

Accountability in Personal Finance

August 29, 2017

“Should I ask why you’re doing that?”


There is genius in the phrasing of that question. A respondent can say as little or as much as they want, yet whatever they do or don’t say will be revealing. It’s a question that shows both respect and concern, that prompts accountability while withholding immediate judgment.

When it comes to your personal finances, who can ask you that kind of question – and have you answer it honestly?

Mastering your personal finances is a self-improvement project. You don’t have to do it, and intentional change, where you attempt to take control of some aspect of your life, is often difficult. This is especially true if your self-improvement project is really just you, by yourself. Most of us need support, motivation – and accountability – to succeed.

Permitting Accountability

Robert Farrington, who has the title “America’s Millennial Money Expert,” makes this provocative assertion in a May 2016 blog:

“The single most important trait that defines personal finance success is accountability. Personal accountability… will define whether you're successful with your money or not.”  

Farrington’s message is intended for Millennials, but it really applies to everyone. Voluntary accountability dramatically improves the odds of mastering your finances.

But where to find accountability? The only consistent outside accountability many people have in their financial lives is from the IRS and creditors – but they only make sure you pay them on time, not whether you “pay yourself first” by saving.

A spouse can often provide accountability. They know you, love you, and have a stake in the outcome. And if a spouse gets behind personal finance as a self-improvement project, it’s no longer a go-it-alone thing. The only limitation is that neither one of you may have the experience or knowledge to intelligently ask “Why are we doing this?” 

People who want to succeed in personal finance often make themselves accountable to their financial professionals. A financial professional is not a boss; you don’t have to listen to their opinions or recommendations. But they can provide invaluable input, not just about the products and strategies, but also with principles and processes that keep you on track toward your stated financial objectives.

Who has permission to say “Should I ask why you’re doing this?”

And while they don’t have the emotional investment on the level of a spouse or family member, financial professionals do have a vested interest in your success. When your personal finances improve because of their assistance, it enhances their professional reputation and usually results in positive word-of-mouth.

This newsletter is prepared by an independent third party for distribution by your Representative(s). Material discussed is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only and it is not to be construed as tax, legal or investment advice. Although the information has been gathered from sources believed reliable, please note that individual situations can vary, therefore the information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice. Links to other sites are for your convenience in locating related information and services. The Representative(s) does not maintain these other sites and has no control over the organizations that maintain the sites or the information, products or services these organizations provide. The Representative(s) expressly disclaims any responsibility for the content, the accuracy of the information or the quality of products or services provided by the organizations that maintain these sites. The Representative(s) does not recommend or endorse these organizations or their products or services in any way. We have not reviewed or approved the above-referenced publications nor recommend or endorse them in any way.
*The title of this newsletter should in no way be construed that the strategies/information in these articles is guaranteed to be successful. The reader should discuss any financial strategies presented in this newsletter to a licensed financial professional.

Lifetime Financial Growth is an Agency of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY. Securities products and advisory services offered through Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS), member FINRA, SIPC. PAS is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Guardian. Lifetime Financial Growth is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian. #2017-45560 Exp. 8/2019

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