I just finished the Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University course. In it, Dave recommends that singles find someone to whom they can be accountable. I considered asking my frugal yet money savvy friend, Monica, but I chose my mom since we live near each other. Also, my mom is super frugal (ok, cheap); but, as a result, she and my dad are comfortably retired. When I asked her, I understood that this would give my mom a free pass to be all up in my business and to pass judgment on what I do financially.
I also gave my mom the account number, checks, etc. to my emergency savings in my money market account with the understanding that if I ask for the checks, etc., I will have to justify to her satisfaction that I have a legitimate emergency before she will give me access to it. We also defined what we consider a legitimate emergency. My tire blowing out because my car needs new tires isn’t an emergency; it is a personal problem due to poor planning. Once I get a better handle on what is a real emergency, I will get my checks back from her.
To make a long story short, I told my mom that I took Eddie to the movies. Because he is 16 and doesn’t have a job right now, I paid for the movie. My mom’s response was that I obviously had not learned anything because the money I spent on the tickets could have went towards savings. I had to shake my head. I told her that although I need to make some more cuts, that don’t mean that I can never do anything until my car and house are paid off, my retirement is fully funded, or all debt is eliminated. There has to be a reasonable balance between making reasonable cuts in spending and being a hermit.