Paying off debt can be a tedious and tiring process. Trust me. Throughout my debt repayment journey so far I’ve gotten frustrated, upset, angry and I’ve had thoughts of splurging and simply just giving up. Being in debt can make you feel trapped, emotional and resentful; especially during the holidays when everyone is spending like crazy.
Posting my budget reports each month and my debt updates on this blog helps relieve me and I know that my sacrificing will all be worth it in the end. However, I’ve realized that there’s one important ingredient required in order for anyone to make progress on their debt: motivation.
Being motivated helps give you the willpower to commit to paying off your debt regardless of your income or current situation. If you aren’t motivated, you simply won’t get anywhere when it comes to paying off debt.
Knowing that motivation is so crucial, I understand that not everyone gets motivated in the same ways. I’ve posted about staying motivated when you’re paying off debt before, but those techniques might work well for some and not so well for others so I decided to step it up a notch and suggest some detailed and unique ways to boost your motivation during the intense debt journey.
Tape Your Credit Cards
Using credit cards should be a big NO if you have credit card debt or if your debt is just out of control. Removing my problem credit cards from my wallet was one of the first things I did when I got super serious about paying off debt. I even asked someone in my family to hide them from me.
This technique worked, but I found out that whenever I would get my credit cards back in my wallet, I knew they were there and I would rely on them to make impulse purchases. So I basically figured out that ‘hiding’ my cards did nothing to change my behavior or boost my motivation. It simply allowed me to not have access to credit temporarily by avoiding it.
Instead of hiding from your credit cards and avoiding them, wrap each one in tape leave a little note on it like ‘Stop Using Me’ or ‘I Am the Enemy’ so you won’t even be able to physically swipe the card when you are out.
You’ll be doing yourself a huge favor by confronting your issue with credit cards and making a conscious decision to stop accumulating debt instead of practicing avoidance.
Visualize Your Debt
If logging on to your accounts and smiling to yourself as you review your statements and see the balance decrease isn’t enough to motivate you all the time, you can create some unique, interactive visuals to help boost your motivation.
Creating a vision board and filling it with images, goals and affirmations of what you’d like to achieve and what you want your life to be like can be very helpful to look at each day. Some people also create visuals that they can update like making paper chains to cut every time a debt repayment milestone is reached or coloring in portions of a ‘debt thermometer’ as you make progress.
Consider creating a fun visual that you and your family can update as your debt decreases.
Write Down 10 Reasons Why You NEED to Pay Off Your Debt
I know this might sound cliché and not unique, but if you can’t write down at least 10 reasons why you need to pay off your debt, then you probably don’t have enough motivation to begin with. The source of your motivation and drive to reach your goal should stem from your main reasons why you are even trying to achieve your goal in the first place.
After you’ve written down at least 10 reasons why you need to pay off every last cent of your debt, put that list in a prominent place in your house or even make copies of it to put in different places of your home and near your work space at your job.
Here are my 10 reasons why I want to become debt free:
-I hate owing people money
-I also hate interest
-I want to keep more of my money and save more
-I want to travel
-I want to provide for my son and help him go to college
-I need to build wealth and not waste money paying people back
-I want to make working an option and spend more time with my family as opposed to spending money
-I want to share my success story and help other people get out of debt
-Debt makes me feel anxious, trapped, and unhappy and that’s not how I want to live
-I want to be able to give when needed and help make a difference in other people’s lives and I can’t do that when I’m making huge monthly debt payments
Explain to Your Child Why You are Giving Up
Whenever I feel like I’m at my lowest point and I want to give up, I picture my son standing in front of me asking why I want to quit and how I would explain giving up to him. Each time, giving up ends up seeming like a silly and over-dramatic idea and I decide to keep pushing forward.
I don’t want to fail and can’t stand the thought of having to explain to someone who’s looking up to me and depending on me why I just quit. If you have kids, you can use them to motivate you in this way as well.
If you don’t have children, you can choose someone who really looks up to you and admires you whether it’s a family member, friend, or even your readers/audience if you have a blog or business. I know there is a lot of ‘I’ going on in my reasons to become debt free, but I’m not just doing this for myself. I’m doing it for my family, friends and to help encourage and empower others so that’s something important to keep in mind when a motivation boost is needed.
If you are in debt how do you boost your motivation when the going gets tough?
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