Use these insightful tips to beat debt payoff burnout
Anyone that’s trying to pay off debt is going to face some dangerous times and difficult choices. It’s easy to drown in your debt and hard to pull yourself out of it. One thing we all must beware of is losing our excitement for getting out of debt. To beat debt payoff burnout, there are some things you need to do so you can stay on track and finally eliminate the debt that is holding you back.
Here’s how to beat debt payoff burnout:
- Visualize your goal
- Make your commitment public
- Tackle high-interest debt
- Manage your payments
- Monitor your progress
Keep reading for the details on how to make it happen…
Visualize a Goal
The biggest help you will get in managing to pay off your debt is visualizing an end result. Don’t just settle for something as nebulous as freeing yourself from debt. Although that is a very enticing prospect (!), it isn’t the strongest motivation when you have been grinding and hustling to pay off your balances. It’s much better to have a specific goal in mind. Visual motivation is important in keeping yourself on track and avoiding burnout. It’s the expression “eyes on the prize,” and it makes all the difference in the world.
Pro tip: Look through Pinterest and Google to find images that speak to your personal goals. Print them out and glue them to a piece of poster board to create a Vision Board. Then, pin it up in a place you’ll see every day!
Make Your Commitment Public
This is hard for a lot of people because deep down (or even not so deep), they want to leave themselves an “out”. If you jump into a debt payoff plan and you are trying to weasel out of it from the beginning, you will let yourself off the hook when the going gets tough. There are two reasons to make your personal plans known publicly. For starters, you will know that others are aware of what you are trying to do. With friends and family watching, you will have added pressure not to give into burnout and instead be more driven to succeed. Alternatively, this also leaves you more open to supporting. When things get tough, you will have friends to help you make it through those hard times with their support.
Tackle High-Interest Debt
Nothing is worse than the feeling of running on a treadmill when you are trying to make real progress. Paying off the wrong debts first can give you that feeling. If you ignore your high-interest debt in favor of lower balances you run the risk of getting nowhere. You may pay off a balance sooner, but you are still left with a massive debt that isn’t shrinking despite putting more money into it on a long term basis.
What paying high interest first does is knock out huge chunks and bring the interest down each time you pay. So, the next billing cycle, the increase based on interest, will get smaller and smaller until the whole balance is easily managed. When you see big balances shrink faster because you are chiseling away at the interest, it’s very motivating, and it allows you to be out of debt sooner.
Pro tip: Find out exactly how, and why!, I recommend this method of debt-payoff in my book, The Spender’s Guide to Debt-Free Living. (Refer to the Debt Hit List section.)
Manage Your Payments
Paying down high-interest debt is part of managing your payments, but there is more to it that can help you beat debt payoff burnout. Your payments can be affected in several ways. You can negotiate lower interest, or consolidate your debt in one place. You can cancel subscriptions to keep monthly bills down, and you can reevaluate which account balances are costing you more money in interest based on the percentage and the balance owed. All of these things will make more progress for you. Plus, they are little wins that can keep your spirits up and help you beat debt payoff burnout.
Finally, it may seem tedious at first, but the best thing you can do to avoid burnout is to monitor how you are doing every way. Evaluate your success and see where you can improve. This is taking an active role in pursuing a better future. When you study your progress, you learn more about what works and what doesn’t work. It’s more exciting, and it helps you be more involved in creating positive change. That personal level of involvement helps make it easier to beat debt payoff burnout.
Pro tip: Grab your debt free printable chart here.
Have any tips to add? We want to hear ’em! Tell us in the comments below! And, if you found this post helpful we’d love for you to share it with your friends!