I can’t recommend debt support groups enough. Debt support groups not only provide a welcoming, open, and non-judgmental atmosphere that enables you to collaborate with people who are grappling with the same personal financial addiction and mismanagement issues as yours.
You don’t feel judged.
You don’t feel left out.
Also, you are in a position to brainstorm together regarding common solutions that would enable you to make serious breakthroughs in your life.
One key element of the typical debt support group that I particularly love is the accountability buddy. You know you’re dealing with a truly professional debt support group when they have such a program available.
An accountability buddy is really just another person in the group who has the same problems as you. They know where you’re coming from.
They know the issues that you’re grappling with. You give each other permission to give each other a hard time and call each other to account regarding your goals.
Your shared goals, of course, are simple. It’s all about spending less money and paying down more debt. You basically give somebody permission to emotionally rattle your cage, so to speak, to ensure that you stick to the plan.
With that said, it’s very easy to think that almost anybody in your group can be your debt accountability buddy. Sadly, this isn’t the case. Some people may make for great buddies. Others can be completely terrible buddies. If you’re looking to figure out which person would become a great accountability buddy, pay attention to the following.
Great accountability buddies never sugar-coat. They just tell you what they see. They tell you reality. I know that you’d rather want your ego preserved. I know that you’d rather want your feelings protected. But you have a serious problem.
You are spending more money than you’re making. You are digging yourself into a debt hole. This debt hole might explode and basically harm everything that you care about. You have a serious problem and you need an accountability buddy who knows the emotional urgency of the situation and would call it as it is.
People are not going to modify their behavior if people sugar-coat the problem. If they see that you’re doing something wrong or you drop the ball, you need somebody who’s honest. You need somebody who will tell it like it is. This is why good friends are worthless accountability buddies because they’re so afraid of hurting your feelings that they never tell you things the way they are. Not surprisingly, you end up repeating the same bad mistakes over and over again. Your bad habits never really get fully addressed.
Great accountability buddies are never petty. In other words, if you push back because they said something harsh to you, they don’t hold it personally against you. They don’t feel that they have to exact vengeance from you. They don’t feel that they have to take revenge. They keep it professional. Why?
They know that this system is aimed at mutually healing both of you. They know that this is all part of a process. They understand that you might stick certain things personally. And they’re okay with that because they are more focused on achieving the objective than simply feeling good or getting along well with you.
This doesn’t mean that they don’t like you. What this does mean is that they would prefer that you get over your financial problems and bad habits than simply ensuring that your feelings are not hurt.
Bad accountability partners are simply just social buddies. These are people who are just basically social associates. These are worthless because all the small talk in the world is not going to enable you to get over your bad personal finance habits.
You need somebody who can stick to the objectives of the accountability buddy system. This person is all about business. This person is all about giving you the kind of signals and guidance that you need to make the right kind of progress.