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How Do You Stay Motivated?

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    How Do You Stay Motivated?

    I’m working as hard as I possibly can to pay down a ton of debt. I’m down to my last credit card, number 10, and then it’s onto my student loans, $72,000 in debt. ‍♀️

    For those of you paying down debt, how do you stay motivated?

    #2
    I think the key is to change your mindset so that you get as excited about seeing your debt fall as you get about spending. I found it was good to give yourself some small reward each time a debt got paid off. Maybe you go out to a nice dinner or get something new for the house that you've been wanting. Whatever would be meaningful to you.

    I'm a fan of snowballing payments but I think it can help to not put 100% of the old payment into the snowball. Put a little of it into your monthly spending money to give yourself a little boost in what you have available. So if you were paying $150/month on a credit card that is now paid off, maybe put $125 toward the next debt and give yourself an extra $25/mo in spending money. It keeps you moving forward on the debt but also lets you feel a bit less deprived.
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

    Comment


      #3
      I agree with Steve.

      Set small goals and work toward each one in systematic order.
      When you reach a goal, reward yourself then move to the next goal.
      Brian

      Comment


        #4
        Jumping on the agreement train -- periodic rewards that explicitly highlight your success is often a great motivator for folks. Given that your final debt will be a massive student loan (or is it a bunch of smaller student loans?), one way to potentially do it would be to just set a reward for yourself every $5k or $10k that you pay off (or if it's actually a bunch of smaller loans, do a reward after each one gets knocked out). Something small (and obviously inexpensive, we're paying off debts after all!), but the biggest point is to associate it very clearly with your progress toward the debt payoff plan.

        Something significant to note, however, is that most people are motivated in 1 of 2 ways: intrinsically (you motivate yourself by what you observe/feel/believe/value); or extrinsically (you're motivated by external influences, like the crowd chanting a basketball player's name). The use of rewards is very effective for extrinsically motivated people, because they love to get recognized for their achievements, even if no one else is celebrating but them & their pint of ice cream (though having a cheerleader helps them alot). By contrast, intrinsically motivated people don't really care much about rewards, merely acknowledgement of success -- they just enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that they're accomplishing/succeeding at something challenging. Funny enough, trying to motivate an intrinsic person with extrinsic methods can easily be perceived as nagging or condescending.

        My wife is VERY extrinsic. I'm VERY intrinsic. It makes for an interesting dynamic -- for example, we never workout together because it's only ever mutually unsatisfying. She needs a cheerleader/coach, I need solitude & a challenge.
        "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

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          #5
          Some people find posting here or blogging with periodic updates of their progress helps motivate them too.
          Steve

          * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
          * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
          * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
            Some people find posting here or blogging with periodic updates of their progress helps motivate them too.
            OP does blog. And asked this same question over there. I think focus is key, putting eggs in multiple baskets when it comes to debt payoff and trying to make progress can be overwhelming and make it appear no progress is being made.
            My other blog is Your Organized Friend.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by creditcardfree View Post

              OP does blog. And asked this same question over there.
              I see that now. It's hard when people use one name on the boards and a different name on their blog.

              I agree about focus. Put all of your efforts on one debt. Pay the minimums on all of the others and put every extra penny toward the one you are focused on (some do the highest interest rate which is financially the best; some do the lowest balance because paying it off motivates them more).
              Steve

              * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
              * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
              * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

              Comment


                #8
                We no longer have debt right now but whether it was debt or savings I had a chart up that I can color in the amount that is being saved/paid off and it help me stay motivated....and I set small goals...every time we went underneath the next $1000 mark we celebrated with something simple

                Comment


                  #9
                  I'm having more trouble finding motivation AFTER paying off all the things I already had custody of....

                  trying to find this out for myself.... I paid off my debt, by working my ass off in my youth (20's) and deferring a ton of gratification for what I had earned/saved. I quit my fulltime job in January this year.

                  Now I am experiencing the most wealthy feeling/thing I could ever imagine.... The luxury of time.. But this has bred mindset that is really lacking in the "motivation" department. At 33, I should still be at least pretty hungry and trying to earn more. But I have been spending a ton of my time on maintaining and growing my relationships with friends and family. Right now my only steady work (i have a lot of micro irons in the fire) but I did accept a part time job as a photographer. It's great, tons of exercise, almost no communication needed, pick my own hours (about 12 per week), and it makes a humble $400 per week.

                  My wife is still working at a corporate job, which I can't understate how helpful that has been for us to essentially not change our spending at all. but we already live below our means. So our interests are well within grasp. We're by no means "wealthy" but we have pretty solid passive income from our investments, our equity investments have been steady (taxable), and our retirement is a significant snowball, that I coudln't imagine touching for the next 27 years. So it is kind of on cruise control.

                  But now that corona has dragged on.... And the unemployment & hiring freezes at big companies is a significant obstacle.... I feel like I have been losing my hunger that use to drive me to be more active. As of now though... it's hard to imagine any amount of money that would be worth going back into a Cube and hammering away emails all day.

                  The only thing that seems interesting to me, and could lead to motivation. Is a good friend of mine just quit his HVAC job and received his own license. And now he would like to start a company! And he needs help, especially in the business part. As I already have one passive small business, I may be able to help him out a bit (and he has asked). This is the only thing motivating me right now (helping to further a friends dream/goal, as I can't seem to drum up my own right now...). But it has gotten me excited! More for the fact, that I may be able to support someone in creating our own value to the public. Instead of merely helping another person's private or public company further their goal, merely for a pay check and some potential status attached to it.

                  I dont know if this counts as finding motivation or not. But please share your examples, books, essays, projects, or w/e gets your productive motor going. (I could use a muse, incase this HVAC plan doesn't scratch my itch). Maybe my hope for motivation may uncover a "sleeping giant of motivation" somewhere in the lens of your world.

                  Hard for me to get motivated once my hunger is satisfied.... And it's not worth throwing it all away just to get truly hungry again lol.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I tend to be visual.

                    When I had a mortgage, in the to corner of the white board in my office at work, I had wrote: "82". A month later "81" a couple of years later "35", then finally "0".

                    I am now saving for a new truck. This morning the board said "29/32". After swinging by the bank during lunch, the board now says "31/32". I am probably not making the purchase until January, but every time these knuckle heads make me want to bang my head on the wall, I look at the white board and think about my goals and why I need to keep on keeping on.

                    Comment

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