Mortgage, student loans, credit cards- debt can take on a lot of different forms. No matter what you owe or what kind of debt you have, you probably want it gone. Debt freedom is the dream for many, many people. But when you owe large amounts of money that will take years to pay off, like a mortgage or student loans, how do you stay motivated to pay it off year after year?
I know that when I was in the middle of paying off my student loans, it felt like the end would never come. Making a payment of a few hundred dollars when the total balance was still in the thousands could feel more depressing that motivating.
Paying off debt doesn’t have to mean years of deprivation and frustration. Instead, I started to see debt payoff as the journey to the best life I could create for myself. Each payment I made was a gift to my future self. Each payment I made was one more blow to the debt beast. With enough hits, that sucker was going to go down.
Adopt that mindset, and you too can get in the game. Debt is not forever, and you’re going to prove it.
Here are three powerful tips that are proven to keep you motivated — no matter what kind of debt you have.
Visualize the End: Know that there is an end goal. Know that you can reach a zero balance. Literally imagine seeing $0.00 on your bills and in your budget. Doesn’t that feel good? Let that zero balance motivate you towards doing all that you can to make that a reality!
Plan for What’s Next: What will you do with the money you’ll have once you don’t have to put it towards debt? WIll you go on a nice vacation, or beef up your savings? Whatever you want to do is fine, because it’s your money! Assign your future money a purpose and you’ll be much more likely to stick to your payoff schedule. You’ll be motivated to get to the point where you can decide what to do with your money, and not your debt lender.
Celebrate Milestones: Reached the halfway point in your debt payoff? That’s something to celebrate! Made the biggest payment in your payoff history? That’s something to celebrate! The debt payoff journey can be long, so don’t wait until the very end to treat yourself. Celebrate milestones as they happen and enjoy the process as much as you can. Take yourself out for a picnic, or enjoy a nicer than usual glass of wine or beer. Small treats help big time!
Seeing debt payoff as an endless slog will only leave you feeling frustrated. You may be tempted to call the whole thing off when you realize it will take more than a few years to pay of the total debt you owe. Keep your eyes on the prize! Living debt free will change your whole life in the best way possible.