We are generally buoyed by enthusiasm whenever we launch into a new endeavor. Over time however, that factor often wanes and it’s only through sheer perseverance we make our way to the finish line.
This can be particularly true when we’re dealing with debt.
Deciding to take a run at becoming debt-free is admirable. However, it’s easy to become overwhelmed when we’re talking about something that might take years to accomplish. Feelings of deprivation accompanied by mental exhaustion are very real risks.
Managing debt fatigue is a key aspect of achieving debt freedom.
These tips will help.
Track Your Progress
Give yourself milestones and celebrate when you hit them. Charting your progress gives you something tangible at which you can look to see the headway you’re making. It’s one thing to know this intellectually; it’s something else to see it in writing.
Each step closer to your goal can be celebrated with a little treat of some sort. Do something like taking yourself out to dinner, buying a bottle of your favorite wine — or allowing yourself some other indulgence you really enjoy at each milestone.
Just make sure these are things for which you can pay in cash.
Find a Sympathetic Ear
No human being is an island, we can all benefit from the care and support of those around us. Enlist a close friend or a family member as your partner in the eradication of your debts. There’s something about the idea of “letting someone down” that makes us want to do all we can to meet our commitments.
Tell them what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and empower them to hold you accountable to sticking to it. Interestingly, it is often easier to do the right things for ourselves when we’re feeling responsible to someone else. Freedom Debt Relief reviews list a number of instances in which people were embarrassed by their debts. Telling someone about your problem and your goal can turn this embarrassment into an advantage.
Keep Fun in the Budget
Developing and adhering to a spending plan is a key aspect of achieving debt freedom. Knowing where your money is going and ensuring it’s directed in the ways most advantageous to your aim are critical. However, people sometimes get over enthusiastic and funnel all of their disposable income into eradicating the debt.
While this will help you resolve the situation in the shortest amount of time, it’s the best way to get burned out in the process. You have to leave yourself room for enjoyment; otherwise you will feel as if you’re working solely to pay bills.
In other words, it’s OK to treat yo’self from time to time — just make sure it’s budgeted, within reason and something you truly enjoy.
Keep Your Eye on Why
Behavioral scientists have observed human beings tend to make choices based upon two primary motivations: the desire to experience pleasure and the need to avoid pain. Getting out of debt makes all the sense in the world rationally. But you have to narrow it down to a specific pleasure you will experience and/or a specific pain you will avoid.
The debt you’re working to eliminate could be impeding your progress toward something you’ll really enjoy, like owning a home or investing in a business. Remembering why you’re working toward paying off your debt with those specific goals in mind gives you something you can envision in your mind’s eye.
Managing debt fatigue is largely a matter of having compelling reasons to persevere. Having someone whose respect you cherish looking over your shoulder helps you stay the course. Building in some room for fun along the way makes it less of a grueling march, while tracking your progress gives you the ability to literally see yourself getting closer and closer to your tangible goals.