Holding Yourself Accountable

Holding yourself accountable is one of the keys to getting ahead in life. Of course, this applies to your financial life too — in everything from getting out of debt to achieving your financial goals.

From an actionable perspective, accountability means being doing the things you say you will do — even if no one else would ever know if you didn’t. In other words, holding yourself accountable means recognizing that you are responsible for your own actions and inactions — and then doing something about it.

Paying attention

When you start to hold yourself accountable, it may feel a little painful at first. You may not like some of the things you see, especially if you tend to view yourself as having done things wrong or having made bad decisions in the past.

But try not to let those things get you down, because while we all mess up, not everyone takes responsibility for having done so.

Taking responsibility is a huge step, because it means you can move on to working at making the appropriate changes. As you start to do that, you’ll feel good about yourself, because holding yourself accountable is also a sign of having integrity and respecting yourself.

Making progress

Almost as a side effect, you’ll then begin to move toward where you want to be. This is because when you have goals and take responsibility for doing what it takes to make them happen, you make progress.

In fact, accountability is an important part of the steps needed to successfully reach a goal. Stepping back regularly and frequently to verify that you’re on track with your statements and goals (and then doing something about it if you aren’t) is a part of the process.

What could you do to hold yourself more accountable? Or do you already have a good system in place?


  • I hold myself accountable by doing what you have outlined in this post. After setting a goal, whether it be saving money, paying off debt, or anything non-financial related, I review my progress every so often and again after meeting/missing the goal. I see what I did that helped and what I did that hurt my progression.

    By doing this, I have learned a lot about myself and how to overcome the challenges/roadblocks I may meet up with again on my next goal.

  • That is real said. Holding yourself accountable can be a challenge but when it is mastered could be one of the most important keys to to success. We need to hold ourselves accountable in all areas of our lives. The secret is to make sure that you hold yourself as you would any other person.

    • That’s a good point. If someone else told you that they were going to do something, you’d expect them to do it, so why not have the same expectation for yourself?

  • In order to help hold myself accountable, I have joined an online support group, and I post about my spending every week on my blog. Making things visible to myself is the key. Making it visible to anyone else who wants to look just adds some extra motivation.

    • I like that extra motivation too. Somehow it makes it feel like others are counting on me, and I want to do what I set out to do even more.

  • I like having a to do list. I feel like once I write it down on paper, I’ve committed to it.

    I believe one of the most important things to remember when holding yourself and others accountable, is to not accept any excuses. Excuses are the worst. I’m not saying that our plans always go as intended, but often, we just don’t prioritize. We did something else, because that thing we said we were going to do wasn’t important enough to actually do. That’s it. Own it.

  • I wish I was donating more to charity. I’m pretty good at automating my finances as much as possible though.

  • I hold myself accountable by writing down goals, then reviewing them later (monthly, usually) to see if I hit them. If not, I think of why didn’t meet them and what to do about it going forward. Ultimately, nobody is more responsible and accountable for our own success than we are, individually.

    • That’s a good point; it’s smart to analyze what happened if you didn’t meet them so that you can figure out what to change next time.