1. Have a Timeline
When I don’t really like doing something I need to know when it will end. That is why a timeline is perfect. Based on your budgeting, when you create a timeline it gives you a date or time frame for when you will most likely be out of debt.
Knowing that the end is near is a great feeling! If you are just starting to pay off debt create milestones in your debt snowball to stay positive. For example: When Paul and I payed off a huge milestone, paying off Sallie Mae, we went out to dinner. Since this is a rarity for us this was such a boost in our minds and confidence to tackle our next debt hurdle.
2. Stay Organized
Organization is key! When I am not organized I will easily become stressed and discouraged.
The best way to stay organized while getting out of debt is to create a budget. Having all of your expenditures in one place creates a peace inside of you. This helps tremendously in not having those ‘extra’ expenses pop up throughout the month that can take away from paying off debt.
Also, when creating the budget try and cut out as much extra as you can to put more and more on debt so it is gone faster!
If you would like to see how Paul and I track our expenses click here.
3. Read Inspiring Stories
There is nothing I like more than an inspiring story. There is comfort in knowing that there are others out there struggling as you are and made it through! My favorite place for inspiring stories is on Dave Ramsey’s website. Here you can read thousands of stories of people who are going through the same thing.
I also like reading blogs of others who went through debt. Just by googling I have been able to read many other families who got through debt.These are also great ways to find ideas for more ways to save money.
4. Create a Visual
Visuals are a great way to stay motivated. You can look at these for encouragement when you rather be shopping online or overspending.
Paul and I worked on creating some pictures for our apartment that we have to inspire and keep us going.
5. Have a Prize
Who doesn’t like a prize!? Prizes are great boots for your ‘mental health’ why getting out of debt. A great way is to incorporate these in your timeline to know when they are coming. A good thing to note is that a prize doesn’t have to be extravagant.
Think of it like dieting. When you need a little boost and want to indulge you have a cheat. Either a cookie you have been craving or a meal, but you try not to fall off the bandwagon and spend a week indulging in fatty foods.
Just like with paying off debt, it is good to have a few ‘cheats’ i.e. going out to dinner, getting a new mascara, buying a new shirt but to be reasonable about it. Also, if your prizes are planned and in the budget you don’t damage all of the progress you have worked so hard for!
What do you do to stay positive while paying off debt?