How do I stay motivated to pay off debt?

It can be hard to stay motivated to pay off debt, especially when you’ve already been paying off debt for more than a year. Making sacrifices and giving up buying things and fun vacations for the sake of being debt free doesn’t feel so great until you’re actually debt free.  So how do I stay motivated to pay off debt?

Break it off into chunks

It’s important to create a plan to pay off debts, but also allow yourself a mini celebration each time you meet one of your key goals. We started off our marriage in the red with credit card debt, car loans and student loans. We ignored it for the first three months and then got serious about creating a plan and paying off our debt.

It took us six months to pay off $5,000 in credit card debt. A year later, we paid off our car. Now we’re focused on paying off approximately $22,000 in student loans. This is still a very large chunk of debt and it is going to take us a few years to pay it off.

How do I stay motivated to pay off debt when it will take such a long time? We decided to break it down into small chunks. Since the loans are broken down into several smaller loans and one big loan (with 7 loans in total), we will celebrate each time we pay off one of the loans. We will also have celebrations for paying off the first $2,000, bringing us with less than $20,000 left to go, and we will celebrate paying each time we pay off a subsequent $5,000 in student loan debt. I can’t wait until we make it to the last $5,000!

Reward Yourself

We broke down our debt into chunks to pay off, but it’s important to find a balance when paying off long term debt. It’s hard to stay super motivated to pay off debt when all you feel you’re doing is sacrificing your life.

We plan on rewarding ourselves with travel—something that we’ve largely forgone the first two years of our marriage in favor of paying off our debt. We could probably pay off our debt much faster if we didn’t travel but we would also be sacrificing these precious years before we have children. And once we have children, travel will become even more difficult.

Find ways to pay off debt faster

When you are only dependent on two incomes, it seems really hard to agree to continually sacrifice each month to pay off debt. Stay motivated in paying off your debt by pushing yourself to pay it off faster. Find extra income, work a second job and contribute as much as you can so that you can pay it off quickly and not feel like you have to spend years to pay off debt.

I know it’s difficult to stay motivated to pay off debt but keep chugging away one day at a time and it will feel so great when you are finally debt free!