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Dave Says: Is Accountability the Key?

Dear Dave,

I’ve been working the Baby Steps and doing a budget most months. But how does someone who is single stay motivated and focused with something like this? It feels sometimes like it would be easier if I had someone holding me accountable.

Rick

Dear Rick,

The first thing is to make sure you do a written budget each month. Not once in a while, not most months—every single month. If you don’t draw the out-of-bounds markers, there’s no way to know when you’ve stepped over the line, right? A monthly, written budget becomes your self-accountability tool, especially when you’re single.

Still, there’s nothing wrong with introducing a little accountability into your life. You don’t have to be married to be accountable to someone other than yourself. Ask a good friend or maybe even your pastor to have a look at your plan and see what they think. Just make sure this person is someone who knows a little something about money and finances.

Honestly though, Rick. I think doing the Baby Steps and following my plan can be easier for single people. Think about it this way: You don’t have to talk someone else into coming along for the ride. You also don’t have to come to an agreement with someone else on everything financial. All you have to do is get serious, look in the mirror, and say, “Quit being stupid with money!” In other words, you just have to do it.

Admittedly, you don’t have the built-in accountability in a singles situation. But on the other hand, you don’t have someone calling you a doofus when you mess up!

—Dave

For more financial advice, please visit daveramsey.com.
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