5 keys to staying motivated when paying off your debt.

I’ve started my debt reduction journey at the beginning of this year and I’ve identified five keys that is needed to help you stay motivated on the debt repayment journey. The five keys to staying motivated are:

  1. Acceptance
  2. Not incurring any additional debt
  3. Affordability
  4. Consistency
  5. Reward

Acceptance

The first key to staying motivated is to accept. Accept that this debt journey will take time. Accept that the journey may take a lot longer than expected. Accept that you are human and you will make mistakes, or miscalculations along the way, and lastly accept that there will always be changes and that your debt plan needs to account for some flexibility.

I think this was my major downfall when I tried to reduce my debt in the past. I knew that it would take time but I didn’t accept it, I believed that I could pay if off in no time and that it was a piss easy journey. What would happen when I had that attitude is that I would become so frustrated that the process is not working out to how I expect it work out and I would come up with excuses such as why am I denying myself of having x,y, z. I mean who knows whether you will live to see tommorrow. Enjoy it NOW! and then I would overspend.

Do not incurr any futher debt

The second key, which some people may argue that this should be number one, is do not incurr any more debt. The goal is to reduce your debt, and to keep you motivated on the debt reduction journey you need to see that debt balance come down each month. Don’t think about how much it has come down, just think is it going down. If it is then you are succeeding. Even if it’s gone down by £1 you still have succeeded in reducing your debt.

I keep track of my debt reduction an Excel spreadsheet. I am three months into my debt journey and I listed all money owed down to the penny. On the 1st of January my debt balance was 19,245.76, by the end of the month it dropped to 17,462.29, by the end of February it dropped further to 16,423.75 and now at the end of March it stands at 15,330.23. This keeps me motivated when I see the figure move in a downward direction. Even if this reduction was only £1 I would be damn girl your moving in the right direction keep up the good work.

Affordability

The third key is to pay off what you can reasonable afford for that month. Naturally you would have expectations that I will pay x amount each month, but sometimes this may not always be achieveable. The goal with this key is bitesize, being able to pay off the debt in manageable bitesize chunks.

What I’ve done is to focus on one particular debt. For me it would be the debt with the earliest deadline. In my case it was my Barclays Credit Card the 0% element would be up by the end of March and the goal is to pay this off and close the credit card account. I decided that it was dodable in three monthly installments of $566 and I did it. If this were to go on for a year, I don’t think it would be manageable and might have reduced it down to something much smaller.

The next debt I will concerntrate on will be money owed to HMRC. The deadline is next year April. The car loan has a deadline in two years time and the student loan can be paid off whenever, I’ve got another credit card due in 18 months time. That is how I am tackling the debt based on deadlines.

Consistency

The fourth key is consistency. Try and consistently pay something off to reduce your debt. As I said it doesn’t matter how small as long as it’s something that will reduce your debt downwards.

Reward / Celebration

This is an important key and it could make or break you staying on your debt journey. Celebrate ALL wins. When I say all wins I mean that you’ve paid off your debt for the month – celebrate it. I’ve failed to do this celebrate the bitesize wins and it is something I need to look into changing. The question is how can I reward myself at this level?

Now when it comes to celebrating milestones I have no problem rewarding myself. This month because I’ve paid off my credit card I am celebrating by buying Lamy fountain pens. Cost me over $100 (paid in full) but it was absolutely worth it. If you’r a pen consicour then worth maybe looking at this website to pick you next milestone pen.

So you should be

  1. Celebrating those BITESIZE wins.
  2. Celebrating those MILESTONES i.e when you’ve paid off a debt.
  3. Celebrating the MAJOR win whe you are debt free.

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