Tips for staying motivated while paying off debt
Paying off debt can be a daunting task when it seems like you are facing a mountain. Between student loans, car payments, mortgages, and credit card debt, the pile can seem never-ending.
The good news is that there will come a day where you make your last payment on your last debt, and with a little motivation, you can stay the course and that day may come faster than you realize.
When things get rough and paying off debt seems impossible, it is important to find the things that make you stay motivated. In this blog, we are listing seven tips to help you stay motivated while you’re paying off your debt.
1. Envision how your life will change when you pay off your debt
When you start getting frustrated about how much money is going towards your debt, don’t be afraid to daydream. Think about what you’ll use that money for once the debt is paid off. Will you start a vacation fund? Maybe you’ll increase your retirement savings. Do you think you’ll go out to eat more often?
Make sure to write down these goals. Look back over them whenever you feel your determination starting to wane.
2. Find an accountability buddy
Having someone to keep you accountable is an effective way to stay on track when paying down your debts.
You can find some people to hold you accountable through:
· Friends and family. Is there anyone else that you know personally who is trying to pay down debt? Get together with them and keep each other accountable! Message each other some words of encouragement and get together once a month to discuss your wins and failures. Having someone to talk to, vent, and celebrate with will help you on your journey.
· YouTube and blog communities. There are plenty of YouTubers and bloggers who are all about becoming and living debt-free. Over the years, they have cultivated a supportive community who have the same goals. Seek out these groups and join these communities.
· Facebook groups. There are plenty of Facebook groups that are all about holding each other accountable when paying down debts. Join one that works for you and get started on paying down those debts!
3. Reward yourself for milestones
Having something to look forward to helps to prevent the feeling of being trapped by your debt. Set up some milestones and some celebrations for each one. The celebrations don’t need to be big, just something to keep your motivated.
If you have a lot of credit cards to pay off, you may want to go get your favorite ice cream every time you pay one off.
If you have a huge student loan that you are trying to pay off, you may plan some inexpensive outings (the art museum, a trip to the park, etc.) every time you pay off $1,000.
4. Have patience
Remember that debt does not go away overnight. There will be times where it feels like you will be paying off a debt forever, but there is an end in sight.
This is why milestones are so important. Every milestone is one step closer to your goal. Don’t lose sight of your goal and your vision for your debt-free life.
Just like every goal in life, the path to being debt-free is a winding road, but it does have an end.
5. Post visual records of your goals
Having something visual to keep track of your progress is a great motivator.
A few things you can try are:
· Make a chart of your payments. Every time you make a payment, color in a block. You can see how many you have left, and the countdown will keep you motivated.
· Make a milestone chart. For example, if you have decided your milestones are every $1,000, create a chart that is broken down into $100 increments so that you can see yourself getting closer to each milestone.
Put your records somewhere that you will see them every day.
6. Stop comparing yourself
As the oft-quoted Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Stop comparing yourself to the people around you. It doesn’t matter if someone just upgraded their car, or lives in a bigger home than you, or got the newest iPhone. At the end of the day, those things just don’t matter. Trying to play catch-up with your peers will simply drive you into deeper debt.
The only person you should ever compare yourself to is your past self. As long as you keep improving, and make your quality of life better for you, it doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing. Be proud of yourself and how far you have come. Don’t worry about anyone else.
7. Speak to a financial counselor.
If you feel stuck and think you can’t budget in a way that will help you pay off your debts, speak to a financial counselor.
We offer free financial counseling for our members, simply call (504) 885-6871 to make an appointment.
A financial counselor will sit down with you and help you assess your financial status and will make a game plan with you to help you reach your financial goals.
Being in debt doesn’t have to be a life-long sentence. One day you will wipe out your student loans and pay off your credit cards and be in a financially sound position. And don’t forget, we are here to help.