Five tips to stay motivated while paying off debt
We’ve reached a halfway point in the year, and if you’re also in the middle of your debt-free journey, your motivation may be in a slump. The excitement of starting your debt-free journey may have worn off, and now you’re in the daily grind of paying off those loans and making all the sacrifices you can.
I totally get how hard it can be to keep going when it feels like the finish line is still miles away. But this is the point when you have to dig in your heels and say, “I’m in it for the long haul!” Getting out of debt won’t be easy, so here are five tips for staying motivated as you keep working towards your money goals so you can finish out the year strong.
1. Remember your “why”
Everyone has a reason for getting out of debt – people don’t make incredible sacrifices without being driven by something powerful. What’s your “why”? Maybe it’s being in control of your money so you can save for your kids’ college, or maybe it’s being able to financially bless people who need help. Whatever it is, take some time to think, talk and dream about it again.
2. Break down your big goals
Getting out of debt is a huge goal. If you’re doing the debt snowball method, which is what I recommend for ultimate motivation and speed, even just paying off your smallest debt can feel like a big undertaking. Break down your goals into smaller pieces that feel easier to knock out. For example, you could set a goal for the amount of money you want to save by the end of the month or the end of the week. Then, once you hit those smaller milestones, make sure you do something to celebrate that – whether it’s having a family movie night or going on a budget-friendly date.
3. Create a visual to track your progress
You guys, it is so important to have something you can look at every day that reminds you of your goal. That could mean creating a vision board on Pinterest, or keeping goal-tracking chart on your refrigerator that you can update regularly. It’s so energising when you see yourself getting closer and closer to those goals.
4. Quit the comparisons!
Comparisons steal our joy, our paycheques and our sanity. And it’s way too easy to compare thanks to social media – but spoiler alert, social media doesn’t always reflect reality. Focus on your life and don’t worry about the tropical vacation or new car that your co-worker’s friend’s cousin just posted about on Instagram (you have no idea if they financed it, anyway). Focus on being content with where you’re at and look forward to everything you’ll be able to do and have once you’re finally debt-free.
5. Have a supportive network
Right now, it’s important to have good people speaking into your life. Surround yourself with people who will understand and support you on your journey and won’t give you a hard time for choosing to say no to certain things. Community is key. If you can, join an online support group or find someone else who’s also trying to become debt-free.
I know it’s not easy, but it’s totally possible. Making sacrifices to get out of debt is totally weird, but you don’t want to be normal. Don’t give up now – you’ve got this!
• Rachel Cruze is a two-time #1 national bestselling author, financial expert and host of The Rachel Cruze Show. She has appeared on Good Morning America, TODAY Show and Live! With Kelly & Ryan, among others. Since 2010, Rachel has served at Ramsey Solutions, where she teaches people to avoid debt, save money, budget and how to win with money at any stage in life. Follow Rachel on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube or online at rachelcruze.com.