Where does debt payoff motivation come from?
You’re lying in bed wide awake, and you just can’t sleep…again. You look at the clock, and it’s 2:43 am. Your brain is on a continuous loop, and you can’t get it to stop.
You’re worried about money. You wish you could get rid of all this debt so you can once again sleep. You’re just so tired.
Sound familiar? I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the number of times I’ve been there. It’s time. It’s time to get out of this cesspool of smudge known as debt, but you’re going to need a good shot of motivation.
But, to find motivation, you need to get started first. And whatever it is that you’re trying to stay motivated for, it needs to hold tight to your attention. Otherwise, the risk of getting bored, frustrated, or overwhelmed will be the demise of whatever it is you’re trying to do.
Table of Contents
Why should you pay off your debt?
Well, first, so you can sleep at night. And also, so you can live the life you want; pay for college for those kids, have a nice nest egg for retirement, or travel to Italy.
Know that you have peace of mind and that nobody can take your house away because you couldn’t pay the mortgage.
The satisfaction that you owe nobody nothin’. And the money you earn is yours to do with what you wish rather than HAVING to pay someone else.
Here are some excellent reasons to pay off your debt:
How do you pay off your financial responsibilities?
You pay off your debt with a plan of action. There are a lot of books and experts out there with a plan to follow. Dave Ramsey has The Total Money Makeover book that has helped thousands and thousands of people get out of debt.
A plan is also known as a budget. Creating a budget is the cornerstone of debt management.
You can read more about creating a budget in this article: How To Track Your Money And Budgeting For Beginners
What does debt payoff motivation refer to?
Debt is money that you borrowed to purchase something. A car loan is a debt. Credit cards that you borrowed from to buy those great brown boots – that is debt.
The personal loan you took out to buy that snowmobile (that you use e twice this year) is debt. Your mortgage is debt; student loans, the iPhone monthly charge from Verizon, QVC easy pay…all debt.
You need to find the motivation to pay all that off..pay every single loan and credit card debt you have acquired over the years.
Money experts share their tips to find motivation.
Tracie Fobes from Penny Pinchin Mom and Tracie Fobes
So, if you are trying to get out of debt, you have to first talk to your partner. You need to work together and make sure you are on the same page. Otherwise, your debt plan will never work.
Kelan Kline from The Savvy Couple
If you are trying to get out of debt, the #1 tip we can give you is to commit 110% to actually doing it. For years we were just chipping away at our student loan debt and kept telling ourselves it would disappear eventually. Once we finally make the decision to become debt-free and committed ourselves to it, we were able to pay off $25,000 of debt in under five months. Decide to get out of debt and don’t waver until it’s gone.
Jeff Proctor from Breaking The One Percent and Dollar Sprout
My number one tip for getting out of debt is to stop getting into more debt. It sounds simple, but I’ve seen so many people wait until they have the “perfect plan” to get out of debt before they stop using their credit cards. You don’t need to have everything figured out at the beginning – but do everything you can to stop making the problem worse! Once you’ve got the problem contained, then it’s time to start tackling each debt one payment at a time.
Sara from Gathering Dreams
Decide what’s important for you in life: set a realistic financial goal, work out when you want to reach it, and break down how much money you need to set aside each month to get there. By understanding how much you need every month, you can make your goal more achievable (thinking about saving $500 a month for five years is less daunting than thinking of setting aside $30,000).
Then do everything you can to get there: this includes asking for a raise at work, starting a side hustle, save more on the big things like housing and bills. Your goal is what is going to drive you and help you to get out of debt more than anything else!
Francesca from From Pennies To Pounds
Be open to trying new things. When you want to make a change in your life, you are going to have to try new things to get you there.
There’s a lot of resistance when it comes to trying something new, but knowing that to get where you want to be you have to push through it, will keep you going and learning.
I was able to pay off my debt much faster than I initially thought because I started lots of different side hustles that I’d never done before.
Debbie from The Flooring Girl
I found myself $68,000 in debt a bit over 2 years ago, and I live in a high cost of living area. Moving/selling wasn’t an option. When it comes to reducing debt, you have 2 main levers to pull – 1) save/reduce costs and 2) earn more income. While you should reduce spending, there is only so much you can reduce and there is much more upside on the latter. For me, I took on 2 part-time jobs and worked on growing my blog (TheFlooringGirl.com) in parallel. It took a while before my blog started to make significant income, but it is a scaleable asset (unlike working more hours…at a certain point, there are no more hours left in the day). I’m not down to just $8,000 in debt and hope to have the remainder cleared out by end of September.
Read more expert advice here: How To Find Inspiration On Your Debt Free Journey
How to stay motivated while paying off debt with these tips
Know your why
This is, by far the most important tip. If you don’t dig deep and do some real soul searching to know what and who you are doing this for, you will never follow through.
What is it about debt freedom that appeals to you? Does debt freedom change your life and the lives of your family? Be specific. What does it look, smell, feel and taste like? Who’s lives are affected? What kind of gift would it be for the people you love?
Daydream and Manifest
I love this part. Daydream about what your life would look like if you did not owe anyone anything. What would you do? Where would you go? How would you feel? Now live it.
Live the way a person getting out of debt lives today. Cut everything. Sell all of the stuff. Get super creative and frugal when you grocery shop.
Face your debt
Make a list of all your debt from smallest to largest. And then work on paying off the smallest debt first. This is called the debt snowball method, and it works on a psychological level.
Don’t worry too much about interest rates as we are looking for some quick wins to get us excited.
Take a look at all the numbers. Write down how much you owe on all credit cards, loans and also calculate your net worth.
Keep this information handy when you are looking for a boost of debt payoff motivation.
You can read more about the debt snowball method in this article: How To Destroy Debt: Debt Snowball or Debt Avalanche?
Have a garage sale
Go through all the spaces and rooms in your home and gather all the things you don’t use or don’t use enough and plan a garage sale.
If it’s terrible weather or you hate having yard sales, then sell all the stuff on Craigslist or FB marketplace. Just sell all the things and add the earnings to your debt.
Here are some great garage sale tips: 10 Garage Sale Tips To Get Rid Of Clutter
Make a debt payoff spreadsheet or worksheet
This is a visual tool that will help you SEE how far you’ve come and where you’re going. I have great debt payoff printables in my shop.
If you are creative, make your own. Think of the Candyland path with all the squares making up the path. Each block could be a dollar amount.
Also, if you’re a nerd like me, create a spreadsheet to track your progress and your bills.
Keep Your Heart and Mind in Your Debt Free Journey
Create a Vision Board
Print out how you want your life to look once you’re debt-free. Pictures of the car you want to pay cash for, trips that you want to take, the home you wish to not owe on anymore.
And then add a picture of you happy and smiling because you just paid off that terrible student loan debt!
Find an accountability partner
Choose someone who either wants to do this (or someone who has already done this ) to be your partner when you need support.
Maybe you are at Costco getting bulk rice (because it’s the cheapest place to buy the rice for your famous rice and beans dinner), and you see the cutest pink spring jacket for $30!
They would be the person you 911 text to talk you out of it. Or the person that reminds you of your why when you’re getting discouraged.
Maybe get matching t-shirts that say “Debt Payoff Motivation Twins”!
Read money saving blogs
Like this one! And so many other amazing blogs out there to help you with that debt payoff motivation.
It really will inspire you and give you tips to find new ways and areas to save money.
And if you use them as a tool regularly, it will help you stay on track to financial freedom.
Do not compare yourself to others
This is so hard sometimes. I still do it.
“Their house is amazing and that kitchen!! I need to update my kitchen so bad. I want an island like that and those countertops…oh that granite is so bright and shiny. I wish I had a kitchen like this. ”
This debt payoff journey is a long and difficult road, and you just need to stay focused on the prize. You didn’t get here in two weeks, and it’s going to take longer than two weeks to get out.
Remember your financial goals. Your dreams are more significant than just a new kitchen. And when you are out of debt, you can have one, too!
Those people probably have a $40,000 loan out for that kitchen renovation anyway, right?
Find free or cheap activities
You’ll still need to kick back and have some fun. It’s good for your mental well being.
But there are so many free things to do no matter where you live. In the summer here, we have concerts in the park, hot air balloon festivals, Shakspeare plays, apple festivals, carnivals at the school for kids.
In the winter, we have ice sculptures, winter festivals, free days at museums, musicals, and concerts put on by the students in the schools, and make and takes from hardware stores, not to mention $2 movie days.
Check out this article for more great ideas and things to do during No Spend Challenges: How To Do A Spending Freeze To Improve Your Life
Helpful Ways To Meet Your Financial Goals
Create a budget binder or find a cool app
This is the same concept but dependant on how you travel through life (pen and paper or more tech-savvy), one will be more attractive than the other.
I am a binder girl. I love a good pen and paper. Add some folders and dividers, and I am smitten. But make it fun – because if you hate playing, you have no chance of winning.
Listen to financial podcasts or watch personal finance Youtube Channels
Not only do I like personal finance and frugal youtube channels, but I am also a fan of Dave Ramsey on youtube. And then you have podcasts – great for the drive to work or folding laundry.
Podcasts topics are abundant, and with a little research, you can find the one that speaks to you directly.
Treat yourself for small wins
What if you allowed yourself a $25 treat when you paid off your first debt? How would that make you feel about reaching that milestone?
It could be anything. Movie rental and a pizza, a pedicure, a decent bottle of wine, and some chocolate-covered strawberries, NEW SOCKS!!!
There is a part of the brain that NEEDS rewards and wants to feel special. Do not deprive yourself of this – your journey toward debt freedom will be cut short and will never happen in the long term.
Get mad, frustrated, and upset
It is very ok. Work through the anger and frustration. Shout a little, cry a lot. Feel all the feelings.
Then, get back to debt management. Search for a new recipe for rice and beans to eat while you stare at your vision board and think about your why.
Write the checks and mail them
Don’t just do autopay. Physically see and do the work. It’s much more gratifying to write it out and send it in – or better yet, drop it off.
Pick a date to be done
Pick a debt-free date. Use a debt calculator like this one from Credit Karma to see when you will have completed the journey.
Then make an ambitious financial goal to get ‘er done! Be strategic but not too giving. Know that you don’t want to stretch this out longer than you need to.
It’s said that most people can pay off their debt in about 13 months. Not forever. Thirteen months.
Look For Debt Payoff Motivation
Start a side hustle
If the amount of money that you have coming in just isn’t enough to get the job done, pick up another.
You may have to leave your family in the evenings or sacrifice watching your son play soccer on Saturday mornings, but remember – it’s only temporary.
And nothing says debt payoff motivation like missing Joey kicking that ball around in the cutest way possible. Side hustles can give you that little bit of extra money to pay towards debt.
Here is an article about side hustles you may not have thought about before: How to Make More Money Legitimately
Tell everyone you know
Shout it from the rooftops. Just like you will when you are debt-free! Tell all your friends and family that you are going on a spending freeze until you get all this debt paid off.
That means no fancy dinners out (opt for a pot luck dinner instead) and limited Christmas gifts for all those nieces and nephews (suggest all kids pick a name).
Surround yourself with people to support your decision
People who understand what you are doing and why you’re doing it. Hang out with your dad and stepmom more – you know…the ones who bought you Total Money Makeover as Valentine’s gift last year.
Hang out in Facebook groups about debt management and learn their ways. Absorb the positive vibes of those who are doing it and who are already where you want to be.
There is no greater debt payoff motivation than having those people be your cheerleaders.
Consider getting extreme
I know – let’s play hardball for just a minute. Can you REALLY afford that house? What would it look like to live in your grandmother’s basement for eight months while you destroy this debt?
I know a young family of three that sold their house, lived with his grandmother in a two-bedroom, one-bathroom home, and are debt-free. They just bought a new home with a significant downpayment.
Do you need two cars? Or could you sell one and pick up a cheap one?
What is your biggest expense and how could you eliminate that? Could you substitute a cheaper version temporarily?
Be patient and kind to yourself
I don’t know very many people who have not been where you are right now.
Life is hard and beautiful and overwhelming and emotional. Life happens. Learn from where you are right now. Take note of how it all makes you feel and vow never to come back to this place.
Take ownership and then get the heck out of dodge (does anyone know where that saying comes from?) never to return.
Find your people, not the ones who encourage you to take a loan out against your 401K to buy a snowmobile.
But the ones who share their recipe for Tightwad Casserole instead.
And if you want to keep all of this private – you would rather not share your personal finance struggles publically, then let me be your cheerleader. Let me help you and be your tour guide. Email me with your questions. I’m here for you.
Final Thoughts On 21 Easy And Simple Tips To Find Debt Payoff Motivation
You can’t get out of debt without debt payoff motivation. Whether it comes from your cheering squad of friends and family or you get it from success stories on Youtube, blogs, and podcasts, it’s a must for financial freedom success.