THE DEBT PAYOFF JOURNEY
When it comes to my personal finance journey, one of the least glamorous aspects is the consumer debt. Even though I did not get myself into debt overnight, it can be hard to not want an instant answer to the negative net worth. Even on the journey, I find myself adding more to the debt that already exists and constantly frustrated not being able to get ahead.
Whether it’s 5,000, 50,000, or more, debt payoff is a marathon. Knowing that and planning around the fact will help set you up for long term success.
Here are three ways I keep myself motivated on my debt payoff journey.
1. GET REAL ABOUT WHERE YOU ARE & WHERE YOU WANT TO GO:
Your finances are happening around you whether you’re paying attention to them or not. Avoiding the bills or spending more than you’re earning is not sustainable.
Sit down and get real with where you are. Understand that no matter where that may be, it is absolutely okay. Trying to go on a roadtrip with no starting point does not work. Don’t worry about the numbers, just get comfortable with what they are at this moment.
I did this with a Financial Trainer through The Financial Gym, which I’ll mention later. I highly recommend going this route if you are anxious about your current situation or are ready for a change right now.
Make a list of all the ways money is coming into your life and then leaving your life.
Categorize the list by your survival bills and the non-necessities. Does your spending align with your goals and values? Can you spend less or possibly earn more?
When it comes to debt, write the balances down and make a priority list. Where is the interest hurting you most, can you apply for a balance transfer to gain some time? It is easier to make a plan when an understanding of the starting point is there. You don’t have to understand all the jargon, just work through the list. There is so much info out there to help you make a plan.
2. WORK WITH A FINANCIAL TRAINER AT THE FINANCIAL GYM
Working with Sara has been the biggest positive investment I’ve ever made in my finances. I wrote an entire post about how I found and why I love The Financial Gym because it truly changed my life. But in short, I am a person who needs accountability and someone cheering me on for doing boring adult things, like saving into a HYSA or securing a raise.
With formal quarterly reviews and check in’s between, there are many opportunities for me to talk with my trainer, ask questions, or celebrate the small wins. She explained options when it comes to balance transfers, encouraged me to save while paying down debt and most importantly, gave me permission to let go of the shame I was holding around my numbers. They are just numbers and don’t define my worth. It is key on my journey.
There are many benefits to being a member of The Financial Gym and they work with clients all over the US. If you are a person who is ready to dive in head first, BOOK a warm up call! The person on the phone will answer all your questions and it is completely complimentary.
Use THIS LINK to book a warm-up call & let them know I sent you.
3. ENJOY THE JOURNEY & DON’T BURNOUT
There are some people who are able to tackle debt aggressively and live on just the barest budget possible. While that method is great for them, it’s okay to find a method that works better for you and gets you excited.
When creating your budget, ensure there is money for the things that keep you happy. You don’t have to eat rice and beans for every meal, never enjoy a restaurant, or even skip the morning coffee. You can tackle debt as quickly or moderately as you want / can in the season.
You don’t have to turn your entire life upside down to start a debt payoff journey. Small changes compounded over time will yield great results. Spend where you find joy, save where you can and pay off the debt at a rate that makes you comfortable. Live your life and enjoy the moment now. Create pockets of happiness within your debt payoff plan. It is a small, but worthwhile investment along the way.
Are you on a debt payoff journey? I’d love to hear about how your journey is going and how I can support you along the way.