Have you ever experienced a burst of emotion when you think of a really great idea?
An idea pops into your head and you think, yep, I’m going to do this!
So you make some notes, you might even begin the process of starting. Then in 1 weeks time you have lost motivation and you give up. The idea is dead.
You’re not alone here.
It happens to people all the time.
This is no different when it comes to staying motivated to pay off debt.
I’m sure you’ve even heard it amongst friends where they swear they are going to start dieting but 2 days later you catch them eating McDonald’s.
The reason people fail when it comes to paying off debt is that they lack motivation. To pay off debts you need to be motivated.
You must have something that will keep you going when you don’t feel like it.
There certainly doesn’t feel like there is any reward in paying off debt.
You need to find debt motivation as you go through the process otherwise I can assure you, you will quit after a period of time.
Making the choice to pay off debt is great but you will need lots more than that to take you through the whole process.
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Here are 11 tips to help you keep your debt motivation going:
1. Know the reason why
Everything that you do in life must have a reason why.
The reason why is what motivates you to keep going.
When we were hugely in debt my why reason was that I felt that my children deserved better. I wanted to be able to give them a better life and most of all I didn’t want them to make the same mistakes that I made.
The thought of that makes me feel sick.
How could I teach my children to do better if I didn’t show them first?
That’s was enough motivation for me.
You might have similar debt motivation or it could be completely different.
No matter what your why reason is, just make sure that it is valid enough to carry you through the whole process.
2. Make sure to set small victory goals
You might have one big goal when it comes to your debt free journey but you should have smaller ones along the way too.
These smaller goals help you to push through when you feel weak.
Your small goal could be something like having set up your debt snowball to help you pay off your debt or getting rid of one particular debt.
3. Give yourself a small treat
There’s nothing wrong with a small treat each time you hit a goal.
Just remember though that you are supposed to be getting out of debt not looking for opportunities to get further into debt.
Whatever you decide to do it must fit within your budget and should not take away from your mission to clear your debts.
You can celebrate with a catch-up coffee with friends or a trip to the cinema.
I definitely wouldn’t go as far as a holiday or a shopping spree.
Occasionally treating yourself is healthy for your mental wellbeing and will help you to keep going and stay motivated.
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4. Get angry
Yes, you read that right, get angry because you should.
I’m not talking about the kind of anger that makes you want to go around beating up people, I’m talking about the kind of anger that makes you want to fix things.
The more you learn about personal finance the more you will likely get angry at how irresponsible you have been with money.
Don’t feel bad about this because it is completely normal to feel this way.
What matters most is what you do next.
Get angry and change your situation, don’t get angry only to feel depressed that will do you no good.
When I realized how foolish I had been with money in the past it made me want to pay off my debts as quickly as possible because I felt that the banks were profiting from my financial situation.
It led me to research and do everything in my power to clear my debts as quickly as possible so I could cut the interest I was paying each month.
5. Keep your eyes on the prize
You must stay focused on your journey. There will be times when it is easy to pay off your debt and there will times when you will just want to run away from it.
Watching your friends go on family holidays or putting their children into a summer camp can leave you feeling deflated but you have to keep your eyes on the prize.
What you must also remember is that often people just manage their debt they never try to get rid of it.
That friend of yours that just went on holiday might have just gone further into debt to pay for it. wIn the long run, they will definitely have to pay for it.
Your sacrifice to clear your debts now will pivot you in the future.
Once your debts are paid you can do all the things that you want to without feeling stressed over money.
Sounds bliss doesn’t it?
6. Keep a visual image of your debt reduction
If you are a visual person then having a visual aid of your debt going down will help you to stay debt motivated.
You can have a sheet where each time you pay off some debt you get to mark it off until the day you can say you are debt free.
Stick it on the fridge or anywhere else where you can easily see it.
7. Change the way you look at money
Your mindset towards money is going to make a huge difference in how you treat your debt.
There will be some people that are happy to keep their debt ticking over month after month without really trying to pay it off.
There are another group of people that will do everything in their power to get rid of that debt.
You want to be in the second group of people.
The second group of people have had a complete mindset change when it comes to money and because of this, they will do everything in their power to clear the debt.
They understand what debt represents.
This group of people are learners, they have taken the time to learn all about money and because of this, they have had a mindset shift, just as you are doing right now as you begin to learn more.
Once you do this you will hate debt.
Changing your mindset will help you with your debt motivation.
8. Mark your debt free date on a calendar
See your goal and aim for it.
That means getting out your calendar and writing down the day that you will become debt free.
Write that date down, memorize it. Whatever you need to do with that date, do it.
You can even plan a small party around it. It will give you something to continuously aim for.
9. Think about how different your life will be
Just think about how much extra cash you could have in the bank if you didn’t have any debt.
The things that you would be able to do for your family.
The sense of freedom that you would feel if you just had no more debt.
I used to often think about this.
I could take my children out to a nice restaurant and not have to tell them that they can’t have a second drink.
I wouldn’t even have to think about the bill before it actually arrived.
You’ve been there before too right? Where you are so worried about the bill arriving that you completely miss the fun aspect of going out to eat.
The stress completely takes over and it’s not fun anymore.
Imagine life without this worry. Only spending money that you have saved for.
Life just takes on a whole new meaning when you think of it being debt free.
10. Create a habit
Habits are everything.
Habits make doing things easier. Look at brushing your teeth or taking a shower.
They are habits you have created. You might not find them particularity fun but they are necessary for you or at least I hope they are necessary for you.
The same can be said for paying off debt.
The more you do it the more it will become a habit for you and the more you will get used to doing it.
11. Partner with someone
This is the best thing that you can do.
Having an accountability partner will mean that you can’t just jump in and out of paying the debt.
You will be answerable to someone else.
Tell them your debt free date and they will keep an eye on you along the journey.
Sometimes when we feel like quitting we just need that one person to give us the right words to keep us on the right path.
This could be the one thing that helps you get to the finish line.
I certainly wouldn’t dismiss a partnership.
Final thoughts on debt motivation
Paying off your debt will never be something fun for you to do but it is necessary if you want to get rid of it so you can build wealth.
Motivation is the only thing that will keep you going so make sure that you implement the tips above and before you know it you will be on the other side of your debt.
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