5 Ways to Stay Motivated to Pay Off Debt

Lynnae McCoy is a freelance writer, homeschooling mom, and frugal living enthusiast. She writes about frugal living at Being Frugal.net and about balancing work and homeschooling at Freelance Homeschool Mom. When she has a rare spare moment, you can find her on Twitter.

Many people start their debt repayment plans with great gusto. They sink every extra penny into paying off their debt. But as weeks of debt repayment turn into months or years, it’s easy to get burnt out. That is the point where a person is most at risk of scrapping the debt repayment plans and racking up more debt.

How do you stay motivated, so this doesn’t happen to you? Here’s what I do, when I’m tempted to throw in the towel.

Plug in

Dave Ramsey really motivates me, so I listen to his podcast, while I clean the house. I find after an hour of Dave, I’m ready to keep paying until the debt is gone. If you don’t like Dave Ramsey, find someone else who motivates you. Watch Suze Orman or listen to Clark Howard. Find someone with whom you connect and tune in.

Keep a chart

If you’re a visual person, keeping a chart of your progress is very motivating. Make sure you keep it in a place where you will see it every day. Look at the big picture and see how far you’ve come.

Plan a celebration

This is a great idea for the goal-oriented person. Decide how you’re going to celebrate when you get out of debt. Will you throw a party? Go out to dinner? Call Dave Ramsey? Think about specifics. Who will you invite to your party? Where will you eat? Planning the celebration will keep you focused on the end goal.

Read books

Staying motivated about repaying debt is easier if you are consistently reminded about the pros of getting out of debt and the cons of staying in debt. Make a list of personal finance books you’d like to read and make it a goal to read one every month. When you’re reminded of the logic of getting out of debt, your logic will overrule your emotional desire to spend.

Calculate your interest

As a last resort, use a loan calculator to figure out the money you pay in interest each year. The sheer knowledge that you paid $500 in interest on purchases you don’t even remember is bound to convince you to stay the course.