Many of us who are paying off consumer debt and student loan debt tend to face debt fatigue sooner or later.
Debt fatigue can surface when the process of paying off your debt starts to seem tiresome or if you’re feeling fed up with carrying the burden and making sacrifices long-term.
It’s easy to start your debt repayment journey with high hopes and lots of energy. Then, the reality of life sinks in. Unexpected expenses pop up, things don’t go as planned, or you just get tired or dedicating all your extra money toward debt payoff.
I tend to feel debt fatigue toward the end of the year because I’ve set my annual goals so long ago and things often change throughout the year. Dealing with the holidays and all the extra expenses don’t really help either.
I’m going to be completely honest and say that I’ve gotten so over paying off debt at times and I’d rather spend my money elsewhere. I think being honest about your feelings is the first step with it comes to dealing with debt fatigue.
Focusing on Mindset
Your mindset matters. It’s the key to paying off all your debt and reaching any goal you set in life whether it’s financial or not. If you don’t have the right mindset, things simply won’t get accomplished.
When it comes to overcoming debt fatigue, it’s important to make sure you’re paying off debt for the right reasons and it makes sense at this time in your life.
I have so many reasons for wanting to pay off all my debt, but my main reason is so that I can control my money better as use it as a tool to live the life I want to live. When I have to spend my hard earned money paying back all these people each month, it makes me feel like I have less control over my finances and my future.
It’s a pretty bad feeling so when I’m experiencing debt fatigue, I think about it so I don’t give into the temptation to do something crazy like start making impulse purchases to feel better or call it quits on trying to get completely out of debt.
Looking at my current timeline for paying off all our debt, my husband and I have about two years left if we stay at our current rate but only time will tell as we could end up becoming debt free earlier. I often think about how far we’ve come and realized how it would be silly to give it all up now.
Since I believe we will be able to enjoy a debt free life in just a few short years, my mindset is already in the right place to allow the doubts and fears that come with debt fatigue to pass.
Having a Solid Plan
Having a solid debt payoff plan is a must if you want to overcome debt fatigue. If you aren’t organized and don’t know what you’re shooting for, you can easily tire yourself out and get bored with the whole debt repayment process.
Jacob’s post guides you step-by-step through how to create a specific plan that you can stick to in order to destroy your debt. What really stood out to me in his guide were steps 4 and 6 which cover creating a surplus of cash and staying positive and committed.
Creating a surplus of cash is a must because putting extra money toward my debt each month is a big motivator that helps me keep going. I know it sounds weird that putting more money toward your debt each month can help fight off debt fatigue but if I were just making the minimum payments toward my debt each month, I’d feel super fatigued all the time because I wouldn’t see the numbers go down fast enough.
Cutting my expenses and establishing a side hustle helped me create a surplus so I could comfortably afford extra payments.
If you need a break, it’s okay to put less toward your debt when you feel like it, but it feels so much better in the long run to make extra payments often even if it’s only $20 or $50.
When I first started on my debt repayment journey, I was making extra monthly payments of $80. Now, I’m making extra payments of $1,000+ every month so there is absolutely no problem with starting small.
Giving Yourself an Outlet
Paying off debt is not an easy process. That’s why your whole life can’t revolve around your debt payoff. I understand that you need to have a laser-like focus and be committed. However, I’ve found it’s best to find unique ways to motivate myself and establish my own creative outlet that has nothing to do with debt.
One thing I like to do when I’m feeling the weight of debt fatigue is to visualize my financial goals and track my progress. My progress inspires me as it’s something no one can take away. Once I submit a debt payment and receive a confirmation, it’s a done deal. No matter what happens after that, my progress has been recorded and can’t be undone.
I do have a vision board, but I recently started coloring as well as an actionable way to relieve stress and fatigue related to money.
Sarah Li Cain who blogs at High Fiving Dollars created a cool adult coloring book called Cha-Ching! for money nerds like me who want to release some creative energy and feel more motivated about their financial situation.
My son loves to color and draw and he can sit at the table for hours working on creative projects. Now that I have Sarah’s adult coloring book, I join him at the table to de-stress and ‘escape’ from time to time.
Ever tried an adult coloring book? You have to give it a go at least once. You just might find that you love it. Cha-Ching! is 126 pages and only 7.99 on Amazon. Sarah gave me a special coupon code for my readers who are interested in taking 25% off. Use the code: 76JNW6NU before January 15, 2017 to order a copy of Cha-Ching! for yourself or a friend!
Other activities I’ve gotten involved with that allow me to shift my focus away from my debt include going to the kickboxing gym after recently becoming a member, cake decorating for fun (Michael’s Craft Store offers cheap classes), and volunteering with my son’s Boy Scouts group.
Related Blog Posts: How to Stay Motivated on Your Debt Repayment Journey
Unique Ways to Motivate Yourself to Pay off Debt
Life After Debt: Remembering Your ‘Why’
What’s Up With These Student Loans?
Creating a Student Loan Plan of Attack
7 Ways to De-Stress After a Long Day
Why Creating a Vision Board is Worth Every Penny
Debt Isn’t Forever
No matter how much debt you have or regardless of what anyone says, debt isn’t forever and your journey will not look like anyone else’s. Yet and still, most of us experience debt fatigue and don’t know how to handle it.
Tighten up your game plan. Remember your why. Take a break. Treat yourself. Find a hobby. Figure out what motivates you. Make it a team effort and recruit your family and friends to support you. There are so many ways to move past what you’re feeling so you can continue to crush your debt instead of letting it consume you.
I’ve shared my favorite ways of overcoming debt fatigue, but you may have some different solutions. Be sure to share them in the comment section below!
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