If all goes according to plan, I should be on target to make my goal of putting our minimum $2,063 in the month of February towards debt. I mentioned during my January debt repayment update, that this was the minimum required each month if we want to be debt free within 50 months. I’m only a month into actually tracking my progress via the blog but I can tell you with 100% certainty that it helps keep me motivated. I know when (and there will be a when) the month comes where I don’t make my target I’ll be super bummed out when I have to publicly report I failed to reach said goal.
If you’re reading this I’m going to assume that you either have a blog of your own or read blogs regularly. Having a public domain such as a blog to document successes is just one way to keep ones self motivated. If you don’t have a blog of your own, being open with friends and family to help keep you motivated can be just as good. The point is having someone besides yourself (or spouse in our situation) can be a big help. Being accountable to someone else may be just the motivation required to reach your financial goals.
Other ways to keep yourself motivated while paying your debt off is tracking it. It doesn’t have to be a fancy spreadsheet (though if you can make one or have one made they’re fun to play with!) a simple piece of looseleaf will do just fine. Keeping your progress somewhere ”public” or where you will constantly be reminded will help. I don’t really like the idea of having it in a very public place (don’t need friends of friends who may be over knowing my business) but like the idea of it being on my desktop of computer or in a semi-private area of the home like home office somewhere.
Keep your eye on the prize. Everyone has goals for when they’re finally debt free. For us it’s moving into our ”forever home” and getting a second vehicle. We’re fine with how our life is now but we will eventually have more kids, move and require these things. The faster our debt is paid off, they faster we can have more kids, move and get started on working towards our other financial goals such as retirement. Is it totally lame that I also seriously can’t wait to to write the post with the title ”We’re 100% (non-mortgage) debt free?”. I think about this more than I probably should. Having some sort of image to stay focused on may help you stay motivated too. I often look at local real estate online to see what’s available, though probably a serious time-waster, it really does make me want the debt to be gone that much more. Our home is ok for our current situation but it was never going to be more than a starter home.
Finding ways to stay motivated is tough. Talking about progress is key for me, either via the blog or with friends or family (though they don’t get the same boring details a fellow PF blogger may enjoy). Rather than get envious, when I see someone with something I want I use that to push myself even more. I know someday the tables will turn and I’ll be the one someone will be envious of, enjoying a life they want (but I fully deserve due to hard work put in). I want to have a life I fully deserve fabricated from good ‘ol fashion hard work.
How do you stay motivated to reach your financial goals?