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It can be tough to keep your family motivated to pay off debt. Trust me. I get it. Putting together your budget and a plan to get out of debt is easy compared to sticking it out through the long haul.
Building your budget is simply numbers. Sticking to it and making the needed changes involves much more because you are shifting your mindset and your emotions towards money.
Here are some quick steps that you can take to keep your family motivated to pay off debt:
1. Imagine your life without debt.
Easy enough, right? One thing that helps us to stay motivated is our dream board. It’s a simple corkboard that I keep above the desk in our bedroom. I have pictures of the life I want for us once our debt is paid off. There is a picture of our family in the middle and around it are various pictures that represent what we envision for our life.
For example, I have a picture of my college because it represents us being able to have fully funded college funds for our kids. Of course, there are a lot of “fun” things on there as well like a picture of Disney World because we want to be able to travel with our family and pay for our vacations completely in cash.
Keeping our dream board next to the desk adds an extra bit of motivation because this is where I sit to pay our bills. When I am getting frustrated because I’m dumping what seems like every spare cent into the debt we are working on in our debt snowball, I can use this board to remind me of all the reasons why we are working so hard.
2. Find someone knowledgeable to keep you motivated.
There are a lot of “famous” people out there that have a ton of knowledge in managing your money and paying off debt. I personally love Dave Ramsey. I have a 40 minute commute each way to work so I often spend that time listening to his podcast. One of the best parts of his show is listening to others talk about how they paid off their debt. It’s real people doing exactly what we are doing.
3. Allow yourself some fun money.
Now, this does not mean set up an extravagant amount of money. But, do allow yourself a reasonable amount so that you can splurge. For me, I budget enough money to get a pedicure each month. I know for some people this may seem like a luxury, but this is what works for me. Maybe for you, it is setting aside money each month so you can get a cup of coffee a couple of times a week or go see a movie. My husband and I both have “fun” money built into our budget and this is our money. No questions asked on how we spend it, but we make sure that we do not go over the amount that we agree on each month.
4. Find an accountability partner.
Having someone cheer you on and help keep you in check can be huge to keep your family motivated to pay off debt. For us, it is a family member that I talk to every week or so about our budget. Just knowing that I have someone that I have to report to about our spending is an extra layer of accountability that helps to keep things in check. She has also been a huge cheerleader for us and has added a great perspective from someone from the outside looking in.
5. Learn to say no.
This can be tough, but once you start doing it a few times it does get easier. What do I mean by this to help keep your family motivated to pay off debt? For us, we took a close look at our spending and where we could make some cuts. We realized that we were spending a lot of money on taking the kids places and then eating out. Instead, we started to explore other ideas that were free or cost very little. That meant more trips to parks and packing picnic lunches to enjoy together. Honestly, it has opened up new ideas for our family of things to enjoy together that we may not have considered in the past.
It is definitely challenging to keep your motivation to pay off debt. It takes time and self-discipline to change old habits into new ones. As you start to gain traction and see progress it gets easier!
Finally, check out these posts on creating a budget that works for your family:
What are some ways that you keep your family motivated to pay off debt? What has worked for you or not worked for you?