It is easy to lose your focus any time you are working towards a goal. It takes dedication, but even then you may lose your desire to keep going. This is especially true when trying to reach your financial goals, such as getting out of debt.
Paying off debt is not easy. You start out with great determination and willpower to make it happen. But, as time goes on, you may find yourself loving motivation to pay off your debt.
If your debt balances are high, the balances may not drop as quickly as you would like. It can make you lowe your desire to keep going. In fact, you might just feel like quitting.
I’m here to say don’t. Don’t give up. The key to is to find the motivation to pay to get out of debt, even when it isn’t easy. These tips will help.
STAYING MOTIVATED TO PAY OFF DEBT
When my husband and I were trying to get out of debt, there were times when we wanted to quit. However, we were both determined to stick with it and not give up.
Sadly, that is not true for many. People get excited at the idea of getting out of debt, but they never follow through. For one reason or another, they lose the motivation to continue.
This means that they go back to their old habits and often times, end up even further in debt. It is sad, but it is true. They lost the will to stay the course.
WHERE DO YOU START?
First of all, you have to be willing and fully committed to wanting to be debt free. If you aren’t willing to make sacrifices, that means you are not quite ready to start. If you try, you will probably fail.
However, if you are ready and willing to put in the hard work involved you might be ready. You need to fully understand that this process is going to take some time. It took my husband and I more than 2 years to get out of our debt. It may take a while – but it will happen.
FINDING THE MOTIVATION TO PAY OFF DEBT
1. Cheat once in a while
When you are trying to pay off your debt with laser focus, you might start to feel a bit of resentment towards it. After all, that is your money and you see none of it. Instead, it moves right over to your debtor. You never get to enjoy it.
You need to spend money.
When you allow yourself a chance to go out to dinner or buy that new pair of shoes, you will continue to stay motivated. It allows you to take the focus off of your debt for a short time and put it on yourself.
For example, when my husband and I were in paying off our debt, we did not eat out at restaurants. We gave that up completely. However, each time that we paid off a creditor we were able to go out to dinner. It allowed us to celebrate. We had one cheat night, and then we were ready to get back on track again.
Just don’t do this very often, or you’ll end up quitting and up spending more than you should.
2. Be accountable
Whether you are a relationship or not, you need to find someone to whom you can be accountable. Call them an accountability partner. The journey to being debt free can be a long and lonely adventure. Finding the right person to support you along the way can be vital to reaching your goals.
This person could be a friend or family member. While you might want to use a spouse or partner, they may not be the best person. You really should find someone who has been on this path themselves and reached the end. Someone who is debt free and battled to make it happen can provide much more support than someone drowning in debt.
Sit down and look at your finances. Imagine all of the things you could do if you were not living with looming debt. Perhaps you could afford that car you want. It might even mean being able to quit your job and stay home with the kids.
Read More: Setting Your Financial Goals
4. Change your habits
Look at your debt. What caused you to end up there. If was due to spending too much at Target, it means you need to stop.
You have to change your habits by creating a budget and a debt plan. Take it further and change the way you spend your free time. It won’t be easy, but no one said getting out of debt was going to be simple.
It is not an easy thing to do, but find a way to focus your energy on the things that created the debt to other things you enjoy. Try to find the joy in the simple things, which cost no money at all.
Looking beyond the debt and definitely help you stay motivated when getting out of debt.
Read More: Why Your Debt Plan Will Fail
5. Get angry
One of the simplest ways to stay motivated is to hate your debt. Review your bills and add up the money you are wasting on interest payments every month. Just seeing the money you waste will make you angry. Heck, it might even make you nauseated. Good.
Hate the debt and you’ll want to make it go away.
6. Daily reminder
Put the total of your debt on your mirror. As you pay them down, update it with the new amount. Every day you will see that you are making progress. You will see where you were and where you have to go.
7. Continue to learn
Just because you read one article about how to get out of debt, doesn’t mean you are an expert. If you were, you would probably have never gotten into debt in the first place.
Keep reading and learning. Follow your favorite bloggers and read their tips for getting out of debt.
Read More: How to Get out of Debt on a Lower Income
8. Be patient
“Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Your debt didn’t accumulate in just a month. It took time. That means it will take time to pay it off.
If you are doing all you can to do get out of debt, then there no more you can do. Just look forward to the day you get to scream that you are debt free!
9. Connect with others
I mentioned an accountability partner above and that is great, but what do you do if you can’t find one? Easy. Look to others who understand.
With social media, it is easy to find people who are in your situation. They may be on Facebook or Twitter. You might find them in the comments of personal finance blogs. Look around for those who are making progress and network with them.
We all need help with this journey. There is no rule that says you have to be best friends with them to get the motivation and support you need.
10. Read success stories
There is nothing more motivating than reading about others who have accomplished their goals. Reading about ordinary people who have paid down thousands of dollars of debt can be inspiring.