accountability http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/13912/all en-US Boost Your Savings by Making Your Money Harder to Spend http://www.wisebread.com/boost-your-savings-by-making-your-money-harder-to-spend <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/boost-your-savings-by-making-your-money-harder-to-spend" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/protect_your_saving.jpg" alt="Protect your saving" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I left for my freshman year of college, I brought the graduation gift money I'd received with me. It was about $1,000, and I was carrying it in cash, intending to open a checking account. The cash never made it to the bank, however.</p> <p>It wasn't stolen, nor did I lose it. In fact, I tucked the envelope of twenties away in a secure location in my dorm room &mdash; but I neglected to protect the money from myself.</p> <p>From trips to the coffee shop to late night pizza delivery, I let that money flow through my fingers without paying any attention to where it was going or how quickly I was spending it. By the time I finally decided to open an account, there was less than $100 left.</p> <p>My experience is hardly unique. Most people have a similar story of squandering money because it was too easy to access the cash.</p> <p>The trick to being more careful with money is finding ways to make it harder to spend. If I had placed that cash in a checking account as soon as I got to campus, I would have had to walk to the ATM to make my unnecessary purchases &mdash; which would have been more than enough to prevent most of my spending.</p> <p>These days, simply depositing cash in the bank is not enough to make money harder to spend. The availability of mobile banking, debit and credit cards, and one-click online shopping makes money even easier to spend than it was when I was a first-year college student. That's why it is so important to productively reduce access to your money. Here are five ways you can protect your money from your own worst spending impulses. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-bizarre-ways-to-stay-on-budget-that-actually-work?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Bizarre Ways to Stay on Budget (That Actually Work)</a>)</p> <h2>1. Stop carrying credit or debit cards</h2> <p>Going out sans credit or debit card can feel weirder than going about your day naked, but it can be a very effective way to curb your spending. On most days, you probably don't actually need to have a card with you &mdash; it's just there in case you need it. Unfortunately, we then often &quot;need&quot; to stop for lunch, or in a favorite store, or meet everyone after work for happy hour rather than save the card for a legitimate need.</p> <p>To make sure you are covered in case you need to fill up your tank on the way to work, or you encounter another true spending need, get in the habit of carrying $20 or so while leaving your plastic at home. This helps limit your ability to buy things while still giving you access to a little money in case you need it.</p> <h2>2. Move your savings to another bank</h2> <p>Trying to build an emergency fund or reach another savings goal can be difficult if access to your money is too easy. Having a savings account linked to your checking account in the same bank can often be too much of a temptation. It's so easy to dip into that savings account whenever your checking account is running dry or there is an incredible sale.</p> <p>For many people, just making it <em>slightly </em>more difficult to access savings can be enough to stop this behavior. For instance, you can move your savings account to a different bank and establish a link between the two banks. While it's possible to move money between accounts in different banks, it generally takes two to three business days for the money to transfer, which can be inconvenient enough to foil your spending impulses.</p> <h2>3. Put your money in a restrictive savings vehicle</h2> <p>For some people, the inconvenience of separate banking institutions is not quite enough to stop them from accessing their savings when they shouldn't. Restrictive savings vehicles &mdash; accounts or assets that penalize you for early access &mdash; can be a great way to protect your money from yourself in that case.</p> <p>Depending on your time frame, there are a couple of different types of savings vehicles you might choose.</p> <h3>Certificate of deposit (CD)</h3> <p>This is a savings vehicle that requires you to commit to keeping your money in the account for a set period of time. If you withdraw the funds earlier, then you will be penalized. You can generally expect to pay three-to-six months' worth of accrued interest if you access the money early, although some CDs also take a percentage of the principal.</p> <h3>Traditional individual retirement accounts (IRAs)</h3> <p>Traditional IRAs offer tax advantages, which means there are penalties for dipping into them before you reach age 59 &frac12;. Specifically, you will have to pay taxes on both the distribution, as well as 10 percent of the amount of the distribution, to Uncle Sam.</p> <h2>4. Enlist an accountability partner</h2> <p>While it's pretty easy to break a promise to yourself, it's harder to break one you have made to another person. One method of making your money harder to spend is to enlist a friend or loved one as your accountability partner, to whom you will set up a credit card or bank statement alert. Many banks offer automated alert systems that will email or text you when your available credit dips below a certain amount or when a large transaction clears.</p> <p>This information is useful to the cardholder, but it can be a great way to keep you from spending money if you send that information to your accountability partner. Knowing that your partner will immediately know that you have broken your promise can be enough to keep you from whipping out your wallet.</p> <h2>5. Remove your payment information from online retailers</h2> <p>It is far too easy to buy something without really thinking about it when online retailers &quot;helpfully&quot; store our credit card or bank information for us. The minor inconvenience of having to get up and find your wallet is generally enough time for you to reconsider your purchase.</p> <p>When you can go from not knowing an item exists, to coveting it, to buying it in under 30 seconds, having just a little bit of time for a gut check on whether or not you need this purchase is crucial. Because if you want to buy something, but getting up to find your wallet doesn't feel worth it, then it's probably not a great use of your money.</p> <h2>Save your money from yourself</h2> <p>You are not the same person at every hour of the day. You contain multitudes, and often your goals and your impulses cause you to contradict yourself. Making your money harder to spend will ensure that the high-roller part of yourself doesn't bankrupt the saver part of yourself. You'll thank yourself later. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-stop-impulse-buying?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Simple Ways to Stop Impulse Buying</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/boost-your-savings-by-making-your-money-harder-to-spend">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-an-all-cash-diet-right-for-you">Is an All-Cash Diet Right for You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moments-that-should-be-on-everyones-bucket-list">8 Money Moments That Should Be On Everyone&#039;s Bucket List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-golden-rules-of-personal-finance-everyone-should-know">10 Golden Rules of Personal Finance Everyone Should Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-your-net-worth-even-matter">Does Your Net Worth Even Matter?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youve-been-saving-money-all-wrong-heres-why">You&#039;ve Been Saving Money All Wrong. Here&#039;s Why</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance accountability banking cash impulse buys online shopping overspending protecting money saving money Mon, 19 Jun 2017 08:00:09 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1965738 at http://www.wisebread.com 5-Day Debt Reduction Plan: Don't Ever Stop http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-dont-ever-stop <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-dont-ever-stop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_happy_work_91823869.jpg" alt="Man never stopping with his debt reduction plan" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>[Editor's Note: This is part five of a five-part series on debt reduction. To read more, see the rest of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/5-day-debt-reduction-plan">5-Day Debt Reduction Plan</a>.]</p> <p>The harsh truth about debt reduction is that many people don't stick with their plan long enough to see real results. They start off motivated and excited, but they lose steam after a while and never cross the finish line. Paying bills isn't super fun, after all. But if you want to get back in the black, it's important that you think long term without false expectations of overnight success. Luckily, there are plenty of tricks to stay on track, or get back on track if you've lost your way. Here are a few to consider.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-life-is-wonderful-when-youre-debt-free?ref=5dayplan">6 Ways Life Is Wonderful When You're Debt-Free</a></p> <h2>1. Switch Up Your Strategy</h2> <p>As I mentioned in the previous entry of this series, you can pay off balances successfully using the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snowballs-or-avalanches-which-debt-reduction-strategy-is-best-for-you?ref=5dayplan">avalanche or snowball debt methods</a> or a combination of both; you have to decide which method works best with your psyche. Just because you start off using one method doesn't mean you can't change it up. If you start the avalanche method and notice your motivation dwindling after a few week or months, give the snowball method a try, or vice versa. It's a matter of trial and error and finding the method that builds momentum.</p> <p>See Also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=5dayplan&amp;utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso2&amp;utm_campaign=5dayplan">Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt</a></p> <h2>2. Track Your Progress</h2> <p>It's hard to stay motivated if you don't track your progress. If you're carrying a large amount of debt, it can feel like you're spinning your wheels and getting nowhere. It can take awhile to make a noticeable dent in your balances, and if you don't think you're making progress, you're likely to give up. Although you don't have to obsess about your balances or check statements on a daily basis, it doesn't hurt to recalculate what you owe every couple of months and post your updated balances. Sometimes, we need a visual reminder of our progress to stay motivated.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-make-yourself-love-saving-money?ref=5dayplan">10 Smart Ways To Make Yourself Love Saving Money</a></p> <h2>3. Celebrate Milestones &mdash; You Deserve It</h2> <p>Paying off debt is hard work, so it's okay to reward yourself for a job well done. This doesn't suggest going on a small spending spree every time you make a payment, but you can (and should) reward yourself with an inexpensive treat for hitting milestones.</p> <p>&quot;Humans are emotional not logical creatures. Even though logically you don't need to splurge to pay off a debt faster, this small reward triggers the need you have for emotional fulfillment,&quot; says investing blogger Trey Henninger. &quot;It's important to have these small rewards in order to be successful in a hard task like paying off credit card debt.&quot;</p> <p>If you're on a spending freeze and haven't seen a movie outside the house in months, take yourself to a movie after paying off the first $250 of debt, and then plan another low-cost activity after paying off the next $250. Just make sure you pay with cash and not credit; that'll defeat the purpose, and I don't want to come to your house and wag my finger at you.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-and-fun-ways-to-reward-yourself?ref=5dayplan">20 Free and Fun Ways to Reward Yourself</a></p> <h2>4. Find an Accountability Partner</h2> <p>Sometimes, we do better when we're accountable to somebody else. Not that you should go around announcing your debt to everyone, but a trusted friend or relative can be the right person to help you stay on track. This person can check in with you from time to time, help you gauge your progress, and offer support when you're on the verge of burnout or resisting an impulse buy.</p> <p>Getting an accountability partner means you'll always have someone in your corner encouraging you. At the same time, stay away from those in your life who <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-peer-pressure-keeping-you-poor?ref=5dayplan">encourage or trigger spending</a>. If you have a friend who always wants to shop or go out to dinner, let them know up front that you're on a spending hiatus so they'll give you the space you need to work on your finances. Or, better yet, invite this person to join your debt-eliminating crusade as well; they could probably benefit from it.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-dodge-peer-pressure-to-spend">5 Ways to Dodge Peer Pressure to Spend</a></p> <h2>5. Remember Why You're Paying Off Debt</h2> <p>Since it can take months or years to pay off debt, you might forget why you started this journey in the first place. Whenever you feel like giving up, or if you feel that your efforts aren't paying off, think back to the day you decided to work on eliminating your debt. What was your motivation? Did you want to improve your credit so you could buy a house, or were you tired of stressing about high balances? Whatever the reason, focus on the big picture and imagine how amazing your life will be once you are debt-free.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-1-rule-and-other-ways-to-make-goals-manageable?ref=5dayplan">The 1% Rule and Other Ways to Make Goals Manageable</a></p> <h2>The Debt Is Gone &mdash; Now What?</h2> <p>Finally, you've paid off your debt and you can breathe a sigh of relief. It was a rough road and at times you didn't think you would succeed, but you did and it's an indescribable feeling.</p> <p>For the first time you know what it feels like to have no debt and disposable income, and your mind might start thinking of uses for the extra cash. One of the worst things you can do, however, is to take your disposable income and go on spending binges. Yeah, you can have a little fun, but now that your debt has dwindled, it's the perfect opportunity to fix other areas of your personal finance.</p> <p>Building a solid financial foundation isn't only about getting rid of debt. Saving should also be a priority, and now that you're debt-free, you can focus on saving your money.</p> <p>You've already done the hard part, which was to search and destroy unnecessary expenses. Rather than add these expenses back into your budget, take the money you were using for debt repayment and start paying yourself. With an adequate savings, you're less likely to end up in debt again. If you were giving a creditor $300 a month, think of your savings account as another expense and deposit this amount into your account every month.</p> <p>You can slowly build a three to six-month cushion, start a down payment fund for a house, or if you haven't already, open a retirement account or increase your retirement contributions. Whatever you do, never stop saving.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-yourself-accountable?ref=5dayplan">5 Ways to Make Yourself Accountable</a></p> <h2>Bottom Line</h2> <p>Bad debt can rob you blind. It can take your joy, your motivation, and your options. But once you start on the path to being debt-free, the dark cloud hanging over you becomes lighter and lighter. You can fight back against debt, but you have to take it one small step at a time.</p> <h2>Debt Management Resources</h2> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-debt-in-10-minutes-a-week?ref=5dayplan">How to Manage Your Debt in 10 Minutes a Week</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-debt-management-questions-youre-too-embarrassed-to-ask?ref=5dayplan">5 Debt Management Questions You're Too Embarrassed to Ask</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-free-debt-management-tools?ref=5dayplan">6 Free Debt Management Tools</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-reasons-your-debt-isnt-diminishing?ref=5dayplan">12 Reasons Your Debt Isn't Diminishing</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-debt-reduction-mistakes-even-smart-people-make?ref=5dayplan">8 Debt Reduction Mistakes Even Smart People Make</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-use-peer-to-peer-lending-to-pay-down-credit-card-debt?ref=5dayplan">Should You Use Peer-to-Peer Lending to Pay Down Credit Card Debt?</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-common-debt-reduction-roadblocks-and-how-to-beat-them?ref=5dayplan">6 Common Debt Reduction Roadblocks -- And How to Beat Them</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/six-steps-to-eliminating-your-debt-painlessly?ref=5dayplan">6 Steps to Eliminating Your Debt Painlessly</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-organizations-that-really-can-help-you-with-your-debt?ref=5dayplan">8 Organizations That REALLY Can Help You With Your Debt</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-sell-your-home-to-pay-down-debt?ref=5dayplan">Should You Sell Your Home to Pay Down Debt?</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taming-your-debt-aggressive-repayment-strategies?ref=5dayplan">Taming Your Debt: Aggressive Repayment Strategies</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-credit-card-debt-elimination-strategies?ref=5dayplan">7 Best Credit Card Debt Elimination Strategies</a></li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-dont-ever-stop">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off">5-Day Debt Reduction Plan: Pay It Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-an-all-cash-diet-right-for-you">Is an All-Cash Diet Right for You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-making-these-7-basic-budget-mistakes">Stop Making These 7 Basic Budget Mistakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/try-these-6-money-saving-challenges-now">Try These 6 Money-Saving Challenges Now</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Debt Management 5 day debt reduction plan accountability expenses progress repayment plan saving money strategy tracking Fri, 10 Jun 2016 10:30:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1727862 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Make Yourself Accountable http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-yourself-accountable <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-make-yourself-accountable" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5805554235_4c39601e9d_z.jpg" alt="marathon" title="marathon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="189" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sometimes motivation likes to play hide-and-go-seek, leaving you lethargically poking around, trying to find it, until you finally give up and flop onto the couch. It can be especially hard to find the motivation when there isn't an external force holding you accountable, like your boss needing work from you. If you're struggling with achieving your personal goals, whether they have to do with money, health, or something else entirely, follow these tips. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/but-i-dont-want-to-secrets-to-self-motivation">But I Don't Want To! Secrets to Self-Motivation</a>)</p> <h3>1. Set a Deadline, and Make Changing It Beyond Your Control</h3> <p>I signed up to run a 10 mile race this morning. I'm not telling you this so I can be one of those expansive-ego people who brags about how much they run (also, the next time you're annoyed by one of those healthier-than-thou guys, remember that he probably has weird bruised toes and/or <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xzwf8O4ZCKk">chafing in very delicate areas</a>). Honestly, I'm not a great runner, and while I like to be healthy, running is not my top priority. But I know that if I've spent the money on registering for a race, I'm going to follow my darn training schedule and be able to run 10 miles by early October, because I am not wasting cash on a race fee.</p> <h3>2. Share Your Goals and Plans With Others</h3> <p>There are those who believe that <a href="http://www.ted.com/talks/derek_sivers_keep_your_goals_to_yourself.html">you shouldn't share your goals</a> because the feel-good social acknowledgment will actually make you less likely to achieve them. But in some cases, telling other people that you're going to do something can be a powerful motivator to get it done &mdash; even if you're the only person affected by it (hey, you don't want to be a disappointment!). You can even start a blog or twitter account to track your progress.</p> <h3>3. Partner With Someone With Similar Goals</h3> <p>If you have a bicycling buddy, it's going to be a lot harder to cancel a bike ride with a friend than it would be to just tell yourself &quot;I'm not going out today.&quot;</p> <h3>4. Sign Up for a Site Like StickK</h3> <p>The website StickK is a more formalized version of number two above &mdash; not only does it help you share goals, but you can also put money on the line. You designate the recipient of the money if you don't achieve your goal &mdash; it could be a friend, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/giving-to-charity-is-great-but-how-do-you-pick-one">a charity you like</a>, or perhaps most deviously, a charity you hate.</p> <h3>5. Reward Yourself for Reaching Goals</h3> <p>Simply giving yourself a random <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-frugal-ways-to-reward-yourself-right-now">reward for achieving a goal</a> isn't the same thing as being accountable. But if you designate a reward that you're not allowed to have until you complete your task, that can help. You can also designate things you'll deny yourself if not successful.</p> <p><em>How do you keep yourself accountable? Share in the comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-yourself-accountable">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-do-things-that-scare-you">How to Do Things That Scare You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/trade-goals-for-values">Trade Goals for Values</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/but-i-dont-want-to-secrets-to-self-motivation">But I Don&#039;t Want To! Secrets to Self-Motivation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-ways-to-make-a-big-financial-change">21 Ways to Make a Big Financial Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stick-to-personal-deadlines">How to Stick to Personal Deadlines</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development accountability acheiving goals getting things done Mon, 03 Sep 2012 10:24:42 +0000 Meg Favreau 952527 at http://www.wisebread.com Can Your Business Use a Board of Directors? http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/can-your-business-use-a-board-of-directors <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/can-your-business-use-a-board-of-directors" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/can-your-business-use-a-board-of-directors</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/can-your-business-use-a-board-of-directors" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000002895236Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many small business owners don't want to have outsiders on their board &quot;overseeing&quot; them, and that's understandable.</p> <p>If your small business is incorporated, you were required to form a Board of Directors when you formed your corporation, but chances are very good that the founders, management, and the Board are all the same people. If your small business is unincorporated, you haven't had to deal with the question of a Board of Directors at all. But a Board of Directors serves a very important purpose &ndash; to provide oversight, accountability, and expertise to management.</p> <p>Of course, part of the reason that many of us start our own businesses is that we want to &ldquo;be our own boss.&quot; But sometimes you will hear people say (usually to someone who never asks for advice and tries to do everything themselves), &quot;Don't be the Lone Ranger.&quot;</p> <p>Now, putting aside the fact that the Lone Ranger did not actually work alone (Remember Tonto?), most people understand this to mean, &quot;get someone else to help you, don't go it alone.&quot;</p> <h3>Great Advice</h3> <p>Interestingly, this is one of the areas where I find that the small &quot;for profit&quot; businesses that I work with can really learn a lot from the non-profits. In the non-profit world, there is a legal requirement for a formal Board of Directors, which is usually composed of smart, caring, committed people who volunteer their time to:</p> <ul> <li>Understand and support the vision and mission of the organization;</li> <li>Provide guidance in their respective areas of expertise;</li> <li>Help expose the good work of the organization to the community;</li> <li>Be a sounding board for the people running the organization on a day-to-day basis.</li> </ul> <p>Legally, a Board of Directors also exists to:</p> <ul> <li>Make major organizational decisions;</li> <li>Provide oversight (the executive director or CEO of the organization reports to the board);</li> <li>Ensure the continuity of the organization.</li> </ul> <p>So, how do you get the outside help you need, without giving up your autonomy? There are three major ways that work well.</p> <ul> <li>Join a peer based advisory group. These groups can be pricey but they&rsquo;re popular for a reason &ndash; they work.</li> <li>Hire a business coach and some good consultants.</li> <li>Form an advisory board.</li> </ul> <p>Businesses are inevitably more successful when their owners bring in the right horsepower when it's needed. But let's face it &hellip; you don't always know what you don't know, and different people with different backgrounds will always bring more perspective to an opportunity or issue. The job of an advisory board in the &quot;for profit&quot; world of small business is to:</p> <ul> <li>Understand and support the vision and mission of your small business;</li> <li>Provide guidance in their respective areas of expertise;</li> <li>Be a sounding board for you and provide you with accountability.</li> </ul> <p>Accountability and expertise are the most important.</p> <h3>Accountability</h3> <p>The truth is, most of us need a little help in this area. When you decide to &quot;be your own boss,&quot; you're gaining a lot of freedom. You're also losing one of the things that made you a successful employee &ndash; external accountability.</p> <p>Knowing that other people know what you're supposed to be doing, what your performance goals are, and that your performance is being monitored against some standard (even if it's just showing up every day), is a powerful motivator and it keeps us on track.</p> <p>So the first function of an advisory board is to give us someone to make commitments to and share our goals with, and then continually report to them how we're doing against those goals. This keeps us on the road to success.</p> <p>Don't feel bad that you really can't do this for yourself; most people can't. That's why programs such as Weight Watchers are so much more effective than losing weight alone.</p> <h3>Expertise</h3> <p>The second major function of an advisory board is to give your small business the benefit of specialized expertise that you don't have. They are there to <i>help you make better decisions.</i> The question you will be asking them most often is:</p> <p>&quot;What do you think?&quot;</p> <p>You would be surprised how much easier it is to run your business when you have other people &ndash; people whose paycheck doesn&rsquo;t depend on your decision &ndash; to go to for help and advice. Wouldn't it be nice to have a group of people with your best interests in mind to call on?</p> <p>It sure would.</p> <p>That's the &quot;why&quot; of advisory boards. And anyone can have one!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/joanne-berg">JoAnne Berg</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/can-your-business-use-a-board-of-directors">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-small-business-mentors-you-can-access-for-nearly-free">6 Small Business Mentors You Can Access for Nearly Free!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/boost-your-savings-by-making-your-money-harder-to-spend">Boost Your Savings by Making Your Money Harder to Spend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-inspiring-stories-of-normal-people-building-a-thriving-online-store">4 Inspiring Stories of Normal People Building a Thriving Online Store</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center accountability advisory board board of directors business advice small business Thu, 26 May 2011 22:44:51 +0000 JoAnne Berg 545047 at http://www.wisebread.com