This Camp FIRE Contributor article was written by Good Nelly
Paying down debt is one of the major criteria to reach financial independence. You can’t repay your entire debt overnight. You have to be patient. There will be times when your progress will be slow and you’ll have to stay motivated until you’ve repaid that last cent.
Debt sucks. Here are six ways you can stay patient and motivated while paying down debt.
Get Annoyed With Paying Interest
It is easy to make the minimum payments and continue doing it for 5 or 10 years. Next time you do so, have a look at your bill. Take note of how much you’re paying for the interest. You’ll be shocked at the amount.
The faster you can repay your debts, the less you’ll pay in interest. So don’t give up! Saving money by paying off your debt fast is a good way to remain motivated as you pay off debt.
Remind Yourself of Your Goal Every Morning
Staying focused will help you maintain patience. Make it your primary focus to overcome debt problems.
Every day ask yourself and imagine “How my life will be after I repay the debt?”
By paying down debt, you’ll move one step forward to achieve financial independence.
Include Other Challenges Too
I don’t agree with the fact that you have to focus only on paying down debt, as you may lose patience.
My friend, Lisa, overcame this by focusing on de-cluttering her household along with reducing her debt amount.
Look for ways to enjoy life while paying off debt! For example, try focusing on eating healthy foods. You will see that by eating healthy food prepared at home, you’ll also save money.
To realize the joy of paying down debt, incorporate other challenges and improve your life from every aspect.
Check Your Progress Every Week
Create a vision board and write down your goals. Keep them right in front of your eyes and assess every weekend how far you’ve come in achieving your goals.
Every day, look at your goals and remind yourself about your target. You’ll see that you can achieve them much faster.
People who write down debt repayment goals are much more likely to be successful in paying them back.
If your goal is to repay a total of $50,000 in 3 years, then you’d have to repay $16,666 annually, and $1,388 every month. Every week, you need to apply $347 towards your debt.
That could become difficult, so remain patient and focus on your goals and track your progress. If you do so, you’ll remain on the right track.
Try Out The Debt Snowball Method to Repay Bills
If you’re worried about how to stick to paying off debt, you can try out debt snowball method. Here’s how to do it.
- Start by listing your debts from the lowest outstanding balance to the highest one.
- Focus your efforts on the debt with the smallest payoff balance and and pay a little extra on it as often as you can.
- Make only minimum payments on all of your other debts.
- Once you pay off at debt, apply all of your newly freed up money to the next smallest balance.
- Keep doing this until all of your debts have been paid off.
The debt snowball method helps you stay motivated because once you repay a debt, the amount of money you now have available to pay on the next debt gets bigger. This allows you to pay the next debt off faster.
You don’t have to struggle to remain patient since you’ll see your debts getting wiped out one by one!
Give Yourself a Treat
You deserve a treat when you achieve a goal, however small it might be. Do not wait for the end result to reward yourself.
When you celebrate your success, it gives you the motivation to repay the last debt account.
When you’re able to repay 50% of your debt amount, do a thing which you like. Make sure not to splurge too much. For example, plan on eating out, but set an amount beyond which you won’t spend. The idea is to cheat your budget and splurge a little!
Do not take this opportunity to plan a lavish vacation or buy a car and put yourself more into debt.
The counselors can guide you and offer solutions to combat debt problems and manage your financial life in a better way.
Celebrate your journey towards paying off debt and taking a step forward to becoming financially independent. You deserve an applause!