Can Altruism Lead to Accountability?

This post may contain affiliate links to books I have read and recommend. If you click on the link and purchase the book I am compensated. However, get them at your local library if you can!

View my full disclosure here.

Since this is a personal finance blog, I want some financial accountability. My friend, Seonwoo Lee, who I met at CampFI Mid-Atlantic, wrote about the importance of having an Investment Policy Statement (IPS).  I loved it so much that I decided to embrace it!

You can read my IPS which is now up my home screen!  I will talk a bit more about this later, but first, why did I start this I blog? Stay with me as this all leads back to having an IPS

There are a plethora of reasons I decided to start this journey as a Personal Finance (PF) blogger, most of which are altruistic.

Giving Hope

Since I have such a dramatic testimony of overcoming a great many things, I believe by sharing it, I can help others realize how they can also find freedom. At least that is my desire.

My heart breaks when I see people who don’t realize their full potential because of obstacles in their path. Due to my specific experiences, I have the heart to help people who want to overcome addiction/alcoholism. But my desire to help can be transposed to helping people climb any mountain.  Let’s face it, we all have crosses to bear.

When we as humans go through something terrible and get to the other side, we have a very special gift and that gift is to use our experience to help others find the same victory.  

After God delivered me out of the wreckage of addiction, I eventually became ready to face my money problems. My experience with recovery, while initially appeared to be only from addiction, has turned out to be a complete transformation spiritually, habitually, emotionally, physically, relationally and financially.

Let’s Talk About the Hard Stuff

Being new on this blogging journey, I’m still playing around with how to set up my site and the additional extensions/platforms to utilize. Ultimately, I want to create a space for people to come together and talk about their challenges and I want this space to be without judgment.

When I first got sober and unearthed the lies and false pretenses I had been operating under, I found it rather refreshing to be honest. The thing that kept me sane was talking about it. By shining a light on the darkness, it loses power.

For now, feel free to start this conversation in the comments but if it’s of a more private nature, contact me.  Stay tuned for a place/forum where this conversation can flow freely.

What’s Money Got To Do With It?

A lot! This is a personal finance blog where I intertwine my story of redemption because frankly, it’s quite miraculous that I even get to be on the journey towards FI (Financial Independence).  Dave Ramsey has a saying, “live like no one else so later you can live like no one else.” I’ve also heard him add two simple words to make that statement even more profound, “live like no one else so later you can live and give like no one else.”

Money may not buy happiness but it certainly provides freedom and freedom provides the ability to serve others. To me giving can occur a couple of different ways:

  1. Giving money
  2. Giving of time

Both of the above involve having resources and this is my reason for my wanting to achieve FI.

This little guy keeps me accountable
Accountability x2

Accountability

I’ve learned time and time again that accountability, for me, is a key to success. It has helped me in the following areas of my life:

  • Recovery
  • My Christian walk
  • Fitness
  • Money
  • Career

For the most part, I am an extremely disciplined, hard worker but if left to my own devices, I have been known to procrastinate at times.  If I set goals and tell no one, I can slack on them. If I set goals and tell people, I’m accountable to those goals.

I have some friends who helped keep me accountable during my debt pay off phase. They would ask me really tough questions and challenge me. That is what a good accountability partner does.

There is a particular fitness instructor at my gym who is a rockstar. She pushes us to our limits and I am humbled every time I take one of her classes. Any time I start to slack off, she’ll say something encouraging like, “come on, keep going” or “don’t quit now” or “what are you saying to yourself right now? It better be something positive.”  Instantly I get back in. She keeps me accountable.

The same thing can be done with our finances. Now that I am out of debt and have the following things going:

  • A turnkey budget
  • A high savings rate
  • Automatic investments

One might say it’s just smooth sailing from here on out. But is it? I’ve never been an investor during a market crash and while I’ve read books like The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins which remind me to stay the course during a crash. Will I? Can I? And better yet, will I be bold enough to buy more investments at this sale price? I sure hope so and so I’m doing something about it.

Investment Policy Statement

Thanks again, Seonwoo for the awesome idea to set up an IPS! I want to make sure I don’t panic during a downturn in the market so I set up my own personal Investment Policy Statement. This blog will be keeping me accountable along with you fine folks.

Initially, when I wrote about my 2018 investment strategy in The Why of My FI article, I had an asset allocation of 80% equities/20% bonds.  I think a lot about risk and decided that while I’m in the wealth accumulation phase, I’m losing out on growth by having 20% invested in bonds.  There is certainly a time to include bonds and I believe that to be nearer my wealth preservation phase.

The next thing I think a lot about is diversification. Right now, I’m heavily invested in the paper asset class and am working towards adding investments in the real estate and business asset classes.

All of this is laid out in my IPS and now I feel accountable to my own strategy. Maybe no one will read it, but I know it’s out there for all to read and for some reason, that keeps me accountable.

So there you have it! In my altruism, I’m gaining accountability towards my goals so I think it’s a win/win for all involved.

Let’s get this conversation started. What are your investment strategies? Where do you need help in being accountable? Would you find a forum where you can be totally honest helpful?

 

14 thoughts on “Can Altruism Lead to Accountability?”

  1. Thank you! (And thanks Seonwoo) I’m going to start on my personal IPS this morning. My accountability increases when I write things down. A policy is a great idea.

  2. I love that you have it on the first page of your blog so if you ever falter, you’ll have all of us other PF peeps to help you out!

    Great idea and awesome implentation. I don’t really have a strategy other than to invest the minimum right now while I pay off my debt, but even I am nervous about the next downturn and how I will react to seeing what little money I have drop. It will be interesting to see how we all react.

    1. Haha! Yeah, I put it out there so I can be called out on it. Eek!

      You are also investing in your future by going to nursing school and advancing your career in the Air Force so I’d beg to differ that you do have a strategy!

      Yeah, it will definitely be interesting to see how we all react. We will certainly have each other for encouragement.

    1. Hey, thank you for commenting! It really means a lot to me and certainly inspires me to keep writing 🙂

  3. Cooper @ Two Corporate Millennials

    Great work Deanna, your IPS is inspiring and certainly something that I haven’t ever thought about. I certainly understand accountability from a few different angles:

    1. Being a former Army officer there is tremendous accountability from above and below you, as well as from outside sources like soldier’s family members.
    2. Accountable to my own team members in the office.
    3. My wife and 4 kids.
    4. Learning about the accountability you are more acquainted with in your recovery. As I may have mentioned before, my brother struggled with addiction for 6 years. He is now about 3 years sober but continues to go to meetings 3-4 times a week. Whenever he comes to visit I always attend with him and have developed a very soft spot in my heart for those who have overcome their addictions.

    I love the topic of accountability and why shouldn’t we have financial accountability as well?!

    1. Great, great comment, Cooper. I love that you mentioned 4 areas of life where you have experienced accountability both on the receiving and the giving side. That is HUGE that you attend a meeting with your brother when he comes to visit. I just want you to know from the other side how awesome that is!

      Yeah, I give credit to Seonwoo for the IPS idea but when I read it, I instantly knew I was going to employ it. As you read in my article, one of the reasons I started this blog was to keep me accountable for studying, applying, and investing. Accountability totally works!! Thanks for stopping by.

  4. This is really good… i thoroughly enjoyed reading this, very easy to read as well. As you know, your Dave Ramsey show debut was amazing lol, you are very inspirational and i’m sure you will help a bunch of people.

    Cheers!

    1. That is a very helpful comment as I try to keep my writing simple. Thank you!

      Aah, thanks about the DR debut. I sure do hope my honesty of my past helps others have hope.

      Cheers to you & I am looking forward to checking out your blog. It seems you’ve been experiencing successes!

Leave a Reply