this is the truth. Wherever any of us is on our debt-free journey, we all face frustration, hesitation, or complete acquiescence when it comes to following through on our commitments and achieving our goals. That’s why incentivizing debt repayment is so important!
It may sound crazy, but that’s not the case if We’ll need motivation however when. Even the best intentions and can-do spirit can often give way to despair if we are not mindful of our own approach to getting rid of debt once and for all!
You may be so motivated to get out of debt that you can’t imagine needing any more motivation. But this enthusiasm can fade over time in the long run. In order to keep that enthusiasm going, I have a few tips and tricks to keep that fire burning for months (or years) to come.
Tips to stay motivated to pay off your debt
Whether you’re in the throes of tackling debt or struggling to keep your spirits up throughout the journey, the following easy pointers and reminders will encourage you to stay the course out of crippling debt.
1. Keep your progress visible.
Nothing motivates like progress, and this is especially true of debt payoff motivations.
As debt shrinks, stress rises! Progress helps build momentum and keeps your eyes on the prize. Both of these things are excellent motivators.
The best way to keep your progress focused and let it move you forward on your debt-free journey is to make it visible. Any graphical representation will do, but you may have your own preferences or quirks about how to illustrate your progress.
Charts and graphs are just one approach. You can use percentages to add more completeness to an image, such as an image you keep in a journal, an app, or even a corkboard/poster in your room.
The important thing about this is that a) you can see it, and b) it demonstrates positive movement.
It’s good to have a dream board and visualize the end result, but it’s more important to celebrate the small, daily steps you take along the way!
If you want to visualize the end and have a clear picture of what debt relief will be like, use that. Make that image literal. Print it. Cut it into pieces and turn it into a puzzle. It can be a 20-piece or 100-piece puzzle.
The important thing is that each piece of the puzzle represents a block of your progress, so when you reach your goal, you also complete the picture and achieve your entire dream at the same time!
2. Stay on top of your numbers.
Let’s face it. Some of us are numbers people, some of us are not. But unfortunately, to make your debt-free dream a reality, you have to be a bit of a digital person.
The good news is that it doesn’t necessarily require you to be good at math (woo hoo!). He. She Do This means you may have to train yourself to look at numbers more often.
The trade-off is worth it. However, by doing so, you will unlock a level of motivation to pay off debt, one that avoiding numbers can’t help you with.
When you sum it all up, debt becomes an equation, and the equations are solved with numbers. The way to succeed on your debt-free journey is to change these numbers in meaningful ways.
Change what you do. Change what you pay for this or that. Reduce costs, eliminate costs. All of this can be really exciting when you see how your equation starts to get a balance of $0 (or more!) in the end.
Staying on top of your numbers may seem boring at first, but it can become an addiction that will keep you motivated to keep moving toward your goal of a debt-free life.
3. Make every step count.
Mapping progress and visually seeing improvement is too essential for motivation to be underestimated.
The times when you need the most motivation to pay off debt are the times when you feel like you’ve fallen behind and lost progress. However, this shows how important progress is in your overall mood and attitude.
So, although you need a rebound when you’re feeling down, it’s also important to maintain your momentum by making calculated moves to continue gaining an edge on your debt. This can entail a variety of methods. Find out what works best for you and make sure to celebrate the little things. If you choose to cook dinner and save $20 to pay off your debt, that’s a big deal!
4. Appeal to your own perceptions to motivate debt repayment.
There are different ways to pay off debts that have either a psychological benefit to them or a time benefit. It basically boils down to whether you’re focused on tackling your interest payments or your balance.
The snowball method is so popular because it allows you to start small, get an early victory, and turn that small effort into tackling bigger and bigger debts. It requires commitment but it doesn’t also A lot of sacrifice. Although it is a proven method, it takes time. While the level of sacrifice is lower than an approach that deals first with high-interest debt, it may seem more drawn out.
I’m a big fan of the debt snowball – read more about it here!
Some people get the incentive to pay off their debt by getting rid of larger debts first before tackling less serious debts. The answer varies from person to person, so you have to listen to your own point of view and do what makes the most sense to you.
5. Make more aggressive movements.
If you’re the type of person who tackles high-interest debt first, you may be a fan of taking bold, aggressive steps. A slow and steady approach will get you where you want to go gradually, but sometimes a big, exciting step is just the action you need to stay motivated.
There is a rush that occurs when you transfer a large sum of money to reduce a debilitating interest rate. Or when you rely on another source of income to pay off debts faster. Freezing your spending accounts, canceling subscriptions, and negotiating with creditors can have a significant impact on your bottom line.
Large portions of debt are demolished, making the end seem closer and more achievable. This in turn creates more motivation to pay off debt.
6. Stay on your feet.
Let’s not lose sight of the fact that we are human. Although it is important to optimize our budget, we must remember that we all fail at some point. Losing gravity, or losing advantage, does not mean losing the war. Sometimes when we find ourselves slipping, we need to stay the course and not lose hope.
Overemphasizing mistakes or being overly critical has the opposite effect. This can lead to you losing motivation if you make a mistake and spend too much or use your money less effectively than you could have. The irony here is that if you give in to this feeling of defeat, you will continue to fall behind and take yourself further away from your goal.
At times like these, you can find your motivation to pay off your debt by looking at how far you have already come on your debt-free journey. The two best motivators are looking forward to where you want to be and looking back to where you don’t want to be.
Let that fear of retreat chase you forward when you feel down! I’ve got this.
7. Create incentives to stimulate debt repayment.
One very easy way to continually encourage yourself while getting out of debt is to include little incentives for reaching standard goals on your way out of debt. There’s a small bonus here and there’s an excellent incentive to pay off debt as long as it doesn’t hurt your progress too much.
You can treat yourself for free or have the cost built into your budget plan. When you’re calculating your numbers, give yourself some room to spend a little when you reach the goal.
This will not only motivate you to reach the next standard, but will also allow you to let out some steam in the planned way.
This way, there will be no negative impact on your progress that could push you into a state of desperate despair. Instead, it gives you a chance to breathe for a moment, enjoy your accomplishments, and then get right back to working on reaching your next goal.
8. Grow your savings balance while paying off debt.
Sometimes you may feel helpless or useless spending all your money to pay off debt. Especially if it seems like that debt doesn’t move right away. It feels like throwing money into a bottomless pit.
But, on the other hand, you don’t want to make this gap worse by continuing to spend money you don’t have, thus generating more interest.
One rule I like to use is to pay yourself the first form.
If you can find in your budget to put a little money aside each month, this can provide a great incentive to pay off debt! Paying yourself doesn’t mean treating yourself. This money should be invested, first in a savings account and later in a retirement account or other investment with a higher interest.
Growing your saved income balance while paying off debt is exciting because you can see it accumulating over time, and once you’re debt-free, that savings account balance will still be larger than ever, starting it all over again.
Watching your savings account grow each month even while paying off debt helps alleviate that feeling of desperation and ensures you have enough money to cover emergency expenses without having to default on debt.
9. Be motivated with inspirational quotes.
When all else fails, I like to turn to a good inspirational quote. I wrote them on sticky notes on my mirror, put them in my notebook on my iPhone, and doodled them on the side of my budget notebook. It really helps reignite my motivation!
Here’s a list of 101 inspirational quotes to get you started. I believe in you – you’ve got this!