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It can be hard to stay motivated on your debt free journey, particularly if you’re in it for the long haul. But it’s so important to stay consistent and keep at it, even when you don’t feel like it. Here’s how to regain a bit of motivation when you’re feeling fed up.
Commit to treating yourself when you hit a milestone or pay off a debt. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy like a holiday or a new car. But how about a new haircut, or that pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on?
If you’re feeling a bit down about your debt free journey and feel like you’re missing out on things because of it, it might be time to put the phone down. FOMO is a real thing and when we’re constantly exposed to social feeds full of people doing/seeing/buying amazing things it can be really detrimental to our wellbeing and frame of mind.
Take a little break and focus on what you do have, rather than all the things you’re missing out on. Learn to recognise when you are comparing yourself and when social media is having a toxic rather than positive effect.
If someone is making you feel inferior instead of inspiring you – unfollow them. Surround yourself with positive influences, not unachievable, unrealistic lifestyles.
Get into the habit of journaling or even just taking time out of each day to be grateful. Think of 3 positive things about the day and 3 things you are grateful for. Quite often, this simple exercise is all we need to put things into perspective and realise that actually, life isn’t all that bad.
If a soft approach isn’t for you, then how about scaring yourself into action? Use a minimum repayment calculator to work out how long it’ll take you to pay off debt if you continue making the minimums. This will also show you just how much it’ll cost you in interest too! Use this to spur you on to getting that debt paid sooner. Think of all the interest you’ll save!
Break your debt down into chunks and focus on these smaller, more manageable chunks one at a time. It can be quite overwhelming to look at the total debt as a whole so instead focus on the pieces bit by bit. You could tackle one debt at a time, or even a percentage of one debt at a time. Whatever works for you. As you pay off each bit, you’ll feel inspired and motivated to keep pushing on.
You might also enjoy…8 Common Reasons People Don’t Pay Off Debt
Find an accountability partner. It works for diet and exercise so why not debt freedom? Ask a family member or friend to check in with you and see how you’re doing. Commit to no takeaways for a month, or no eating out and have that person remind you when you feel like breaking.
It’s much easier to commit to a goals when you’re held accountable by someone else!
Create a chart that breaks down your debt and colour in a segment every time you pay off a bit more. I love a good visual so this works really well for me personally.
Don’t fancy a tracker? How about a vision board? A board that represents everything that debt freedom means to you. You can keep it by your dressing table or on your fridge – someone where you see it every day for an instant motivation boost.
Remind yourself why you’re doing this. Think about your ultimate goal and what life will look like when you achieve debt freedom. Don’t get down about the amount of money going to debt and dwell on past mistakes, but think what you can do with that money in the future.
Remember that this isn’t forever, that there’s life on the other side of debt and it’ll all be completely worth it in the end.
Deprivation is a sure fire way to crash and burn. By taking everything to bare bones you risk falling off the wagon and failing completely – particularly if your journey is a long one.
Instead of cutting out all luxuries, limit them so they actually do feel like a treat.
Maybe enjoy a takeaway coffee once a week instead of every day. A takeaway once a month instead of every weekend. Don’t completely get rid, but do these things much less often than you previously would’ve.
I’ve mentioned this time and time again, but the #debtfreecommunity on Instagram really is the most supportive and friendly place to be. It’s also a goldmine of ideas, tips and tricks to inspire you and help you make extra money.
It’s also great for accountability. I’ve commited to my own challenges on Instagram which have resulted in much greater results than had I gone it alone.
For example, my July Grocery Challenge – I publicly challenged myself to eat down the stores and save half my food budget for the month and I very nearly did it, shaving nearly £140 off my food spend for the month.
I’ve also had my greatest side hustle earnings the months that I’ve committed to a goal on Instagram. In August, I earned over £700 by the halfway point of the month! And I didn’t think I’d get anywhere near my crazy big goal of £1,000!
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I started Katie Saves while on Maternity Leave to document our adjustment to living on less. Now back in work - I blog about all things money with a little life organisation thrown in for good measure. Join me!