How to Stay Motivated on your Debt Free Journey.

When people find out that it took 2 years for me to complete my Debt Free Journey, 1 of the most common questions I get asked is ‘How Did You Stay Motivated For 2 Years?’.

The truth is, I wasn’t 100% motivated all of the time. I think motivation is something we have to work on and accept that it wont always be easy.

Find your ‘Why’. 

I would say that for the first 6 months of my Debt Free Journey, I found it quite easy to stay motivated. The novelty hadn’t yet worn off and paying off debt felt great!
I had a very strong list of Why’s

In my experience, keeping your ‘Why’ in mind at all times is really important. It helps to keep you focused and in turn keeps you motivated.

Get Support

Shortly after the 6 month mark, I started to feel deflated. My friends were booking holidays, redecorating their houses and generally doing all the things that I wanted to do but couldn’t afford.
I could have just said ‘Screw it, I’m going on holiday’ but instead, I used this as a lesson in self-discipline and motivation.

It was DIFFICULT! But I carried on. At that time, I joined some Facebook groups dedicated to people paying off debt and following Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps. These groups really became my lifeline in the following months. In the end, I started my own Facebook group. This has been so helpful for me to stay accountable, complain when I’m feeling sorry for myself, get advice and share tips.

Mark your progress

This isn’t something that I personally did regularly, but I’ve heard that it can help spur a lot of people on. Many people I follow on Instagram (you can find me at www.instagram.com/the_money_freak ) use Debt Free charts to track how much debt they’ve paid off, and how much they have left to pay. You could make your own very easily if you prefer that.

 

Make Plans

When it killed me to see the majority of my money going towards paying off my debt, I made plans for what I was going to do with that money once I was debt free.
I researched holidays, made lists of household furniture that I wanted to buy, and those plans got me through some pretty tough times!

Some other ways you can make plans are to write down how things will change in your life when you become debt free.
Maybe you’ll be able to work part time, or be a stay at home mum, or be able to save money in the bank for the first time in your life (this was and still is my plan). Whatever it is, focus on that and let it motivate you.

The truth of the matter is, you wont be motivated every single day. I had weeks and months where I just carried on my journey towards debt freedom because I knew that I’d kick myself if i gave up. I carried on despite hating it. I moaned to my Facebook group…but I just carried on. The frustrating times where I lacked motivation always passed, and so will yours.

I hope this helps someone who is struggling with motivation like i was,
Till next time,
C.

It All Begins With Baby Steps.

Hi, welcome back to the blog.

So, in my last post I mentioned that in 2015 I got to the point where I was in a very bad place financially and decided that I’d had it. Enough was enough, and I was ready to change.

If anyone is reading this, hoping I’m going to describe how i found a magical way to pay off debt and learn to manage money better without any hardship or sacrifice, then I’m sorry but that isn’t what you are going to hear.

It was (and still is) difficult. It takes time and sacrifice, as well as hard work and perseverance. But i promise you that it’s also going to be worth it.

So, I sat there at my kitchen table, despairing about my financial state and turned to Google, naturally.
I Googled ‘how to pay off debt’, ‘paying off debt quickly’, ‘how to save money’ and nothing I came across really struck a chord with me. I didn’t need to go bankrupt and I wasn’t interested in making minimum payments of £1 a month forever, or not paying my debt off (I was, and still am, under the impression that if you borrow then you also repay), I just wanted someone to tell me how I needed to start!
So, I then went onto YouTube and typed in ‘how to pay off debt’. Instantly, the first video called ‘How To Start Paying Off Debt’ popped up and i watched.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOrcOJSoNFU

I listened to a caller on this live phone in show describe how he wanted to start paying off his debt but just didn’t know how. That was exactly how i felt. I continued to listen when the host of the show, Dave Ramsey, told him that in order to sort it out, it was going to be uncomfortable and radical.
He talked about making a budget and then selling everything in sight to put towards your debt.

I was scared! I’d never heard someone say that before! But it made sense to me. How could i sort out my finances if i didn’t even know how much money came in, how much went out, and what i was spending on?

So I wrote my first ever budget. Although it wasn’t perfect, and was constantly added to and changed over the next few months (i forgot to add a lot of things), it was a start.

Over the next 2 years i sold everything that wasn’t nailed down, didn’t participate in almost anything that cost my money, didn’t buy new clothes (except school/work uniforms and shoes for me and the kids) and dedicated my whole life to paying off £12k of debt.
I’m a single mum on a low income, working full time in retail, so it did take me longer than some people. But I really don’t care. I still did it!

Now I am following the rest of the BabySteps as set out by Dave Ramsey, in order to build wealth. I’m currently on Baby Step 3, which is to save 3-6 months worth of expenses.
I still live frugally, so this blog is all about cheap but healthy recipes, how to save money around the house, and all sorts of other money saving content.

If you are interested in reading a review of The Total Money Makeover, the bestselling book by Dave Ramsey, Emma over at My Debt Diary has a great post here

Thanks for reading.
C.