10 Tips to Stay Motivated on Your Debt-Free Journey
You may be ready to start on your own debt-free journey or you may already be in the thick of it and you need a pep-talk or some fresh ideas to help you stick to it! Below are 10 tips to help you stay motivated as you are paying off debt.
1. Know your numbers (and then get mad!)
Sit down and go through alllllll your debts and numbers. Really take it in. How are you feeling? I don’t want you to feel defeated or feel like it’s impossible because it looks like it’s way too much to tackle. Instead, I want you to get MAD. I want you to get to the sick and tired feeling. This needs to FIRE YOU UP! So mad and so fired up that you are SO READY TO GET RID OF THIS DEBT THAT’S HOLDING YOU DOWN!
ARE YOU MAD YET?!
2. Come up with your WHY.
This is another helpful tool to help motivate you and keep you on track. Why do you even want to do this? Why are you going to work hard and sacrifice to become debt-free? Is it because you don’t want your kids to even know what debt is? Are you wanting to be done with worrying about money? Are you wanting to leave a legacy?
Really think about this. Even journal or write out your thoughts to narrow down your why.
3. Find an accountability partner
I have a whole section about this in my budget workbook. If you are married, your accountability partner will be your spouse. If you are single, you will want to find someone in your life that you can trust and you know that is responsible with money. You don’t want to take advice from someone that doesn’t know how to handle their own, right? Once you identify that person, you want to reach out to them and ask if they will be your accountability partner. They will be your go-to person to talk to when you are thinking about any big purchases. They will also be a listening ear, a support system, and a cheerleader.
4. Make realistic goals
Goals are going to be a huge help in this journey. You will want to set smaller goals that will get you to the ultimate goal of becoming debt-free. For example: In 2017, I had the goal of paying off my last two credit cards by the end of the year. This was specific and had a deadline. This gives you a timeline and direction! It also gives you smaller steps that feel more realistic and keeps you moving forward.
5. Track your progress
I LOVE tracking and seeing my progress! I made my own tracking systems and charts, but there is an awesome Instagram account (@debtfreecharts) that I follow that has FREE debt-free tracking charts that are super fun! They are on her website and can be downloaded and printed for your use!
6. Come up with a reward system
It’s always nice to have a reward waiting at the end of a goal to make it feel even sweeter when you crush it! Once I paid off one of my credit cards, I bought a t-shirt I had my eyes on for a while. When I paid off all my credit cards, I treated myself to the Rachel Cruze wallet. Make up your rewards as you go along. For the smaller goals like knocking out a credit card, make it simple like a new piece of clothing, getting your nails done, going on a nice date night. Just try not to make it too expensive! Because remember, you are trying to become debt-free! You can also come up with a bigger reward for when you do become debt-free like saving up for a trip!
7. Use the envelope system
The envelope system is when you dedicate different physical envelopes to different categories like groceries, restaurants, coffee, clothing, gas, etc. You withdraw cash for the amount of money you budget for those categories and keep it in the envelopes and only pay for those categories in cash.
I did this for a long period of time to keep me on track and dedicated when I first started budgeting. The budget already acts as the metaphorical bumpers in your bowling lane. Using cash is another added layer to keep you from overspending in categories. It is also proven that cash is harder to spend than swiping a card because it releases a pain sensor in you when you physically see and feel it leaving your hands.
8. Find a community of people also on a debt-free journey
Chances are that most people in your family and friend circles aren’t debt-free or working to become debt-free. You may be looked at as “weird” as you are going along. It helps to connect with others that are going through the same thing and can relate to your goals, struggles, and more.
I am a member of a couple Dave Ramsey Baby Steps Facebook groups and there are always a lot of people asking questions, cheering each other on, and posting funny memes as they all are working toward accomplishing their financial goals. It’s also nice to have others that are speaking the same lingo and terms as you!
9. Regularly consume resources about money
When I was in the thick of my debt-free journey and getting used to living on a budget, I listened to the Dave Ramsey podcast every day to and from work. In 2017, I legit didn’t listen to the radio all year! I learned SO MUCH more even beyond his Financial Peace University class just by listening to it every day. And let me tell you, hearing the debt-free screams fueled me a lot!
Sometimes, during my lunch, I would watch Rachel Cruze vlogs on Youtube. Now she has her own show on her website! and I followed Dave and Rachel on Instagram. This kept me engaged and focused!
I recommend finding:
These will keep you immersed in the journey, continually learning, and motivated to keep going!
10. Make your why, goals, numbers, progress charts visible
Write these on sticky notes and put them where you will see them every day! Write your goals or your why on an index card and have it in your wallet to remind you of what you are working toward before you spend money or are about to buy an impulse purchase. Don’t keep these things stuck in your mind and heart. They could easily be swept away or cluttered by the hustle and bustle of life. Get these reminders out and into your life physically to help cheer you on!
If you feel like you want a little extra help getting going, consider purchasing my digital Budget Workbook or schedule a one-on-one service with me to get started! Can’t wait to help you!