How to stay motivated whilst clearing your debt

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4 Vertical wooden blocks spelling debt on a table. A man is lifting the D off the top

Do you ever feel like you are drowning in debt, but when you try to start clearing it down you lose all motivation? If so, you are certainly not alone.

No one said that saving money in order to pay down debt was going to be easy! As a result, many people falter and go back to their money mismanaging ways.

Does this sound familiar?

Not only does this harm your financial future, it negatively impacts your credit rating. Neglecting to deal with your debt can also cause anxiety, depression, and a lack of self-confidence. In the most extreme cases, your debt can lead to losing your possessions, and even your home.

Are you ready to get serious about getting out of debt? Then you need to find ways to get – and stay – motivated.

We have compiled some of the most effective tips to help you stay motivated as you clear down your debt.

Getting out of debt requires dedication, gumption, and even creativity – you might even have fun while you’re at it!

1.    Stoke your anger at all that wasted money

One of the best ways to stay motivated when you are paying down your debt is to get – and stay – angry. Yes, you read that correctly – you need to get mad!

Think about all of the money that you are wasting each and every month on interest payments, late fees, and overdraft costs. This is throwing money down the drain – money that you could be using on improving your quality of life and your financial future. That should be enough to make you angry!

2.    Stop ‘sticking your head in the sand’ – get honest with yourself

Financial advice experts have long warned about the “Ostrich Effect.’ This occurs when people refuse to acknowledge negative financial information, preferring instead to avoid and ignore it. They are trying to avoid negative feelings, stress, and anxiety in the short term, but in the long term they are actually making the problem – their debt – much worse.

If you are an ‘ostrich,’ it’s time to get real with yourself. Not only are you making your life more difficult, you’re prolonging the pain.

4 wooden blocks spelling debt on at table

3. Think about how your life will change for the better when you are debt-free

While it pays to think about how your life will change for the better when you have cleared down your debt, it is also important to put these on paper.

I find it’s best to make a cup of tea, sit on the sofa (no tv or radio!) and let your mind wander to a future place. Think about then write down answers to some of the following questions:

  • Why do you want to get out of debt?
  • What will you be able to do more of that you love?
  • What parts of your life will improve? Will you sleep better? Will your relationships improve?
  • Try to list ten things that will improve when you are out of debt

When you feel like abandoning your debt repayment plan, go back to this list in order to boost your resolve.

4. Write a list of goals, and review them every day

Take the points that you have listed above, and then craft them into a list of specific goals. Do you want to take a holiday every year (or even more often)? Do you want to save money for a down payment on a home? Do you want to be able to provide your children with a nest egg or education fund?

Write down your goals and stick them up on the wall or on the front of the fridge. Seeing them every day is a great way to stay motivated.

5. Take it one day at a time, and you can move mountains

A thousand mile journey starts with a single step. If you have a mountain of debt, believe that you can move that mountain. All it takes is dedication and time. Start by paying down your debt on a regular basis, and communicate your intentions to your debtors. Keep looking at your goals. Keep at it. You can’t succeed unless you start trying.

What do you think about these tips and advice? What would you like to see added to this list?

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