What is a Money Accountability Pal?

By: Amanda Christensen, USU Extension Associate Professor

April 6, 2021

two women shopping

Money Accountability Pal (MAP) = A person you confide in regularly about progress towards a current money goal or when making major money decisions.  

Your MAP is somebody who will cheer you on and support you. Someone you could check in with regularly to report your progress. This may even be someone you can ask for advice - someone who has been in your shoes possibly. Your MAP should be someone who’s honesty you will appreciate even if you disagree at first. Most importantly, this is someone to communicate with about a money goal, which experts suggest, helps you stay on track and makes you more likely to succeed.

Let me tell you, I LOVE this idea! Here’s why: 

  • Generally speaking folks don’t talk openly about how much debt they owe or how much they make each month. According to statistics, most don’t even take the time to teach their own children how to manage money. The benefits of communicating about money with someone we know and trust are critical to ongoing success! 
  • What if our MAP was a family member? A spouse or partner perhaps? The people we spend the most time with can often make or break our ability to stick to our financial goals. Be sure to choose someone who will help not hinder your progress. What if the kids were brought in on the conversation too? They could help you stay on track and you’d be able to teach some money tips along the way.
  • Sharing the little successes along the way would be so empowering. Temped to make an impulse purchase? Text your MAP instead and confess why you really want this particular item and how hard it was to walk away without buying it. 
  • Schedule check-ins. Maybe once a month or once a week or whenever the impulse strikes to purchase something that will take you further away from your money goal. Put a reminder in both your phones and decide on a place to meet. Meet over the phone or send an email. Do what’s realistic for you.
  • Be your child’s MAP-start early and be the person your child can talk to about spending and saving decisions. What a great opportunity to take time to teach them about money and how it works. 

I invite you to consider designating and talking to a MAP regularly about your progress towards your money goals. It could be your spouse, your mom, your child, etc. Regularly checking in on our financial goals can help us stay on track and ride the ups and downs with more peace of mind.