Today, I want to share with you how to stay motivated when it comes to budgeting and paying down your debt. Let’s be honest for a second, talking about money all the time with your spouse or thinking about it can be draining. Very draining. Eventually you just want to throw your spreadsheets down and say screw it! We’ve all be there. But you have to hang on.
Just for a bit longer.
You totally understand the importance of tracking your spending so you can finally start making a dent in your debt. You get it when you hear how important it is to have an emergency fund built up so you don’t have to be completely shaken when a financial setback happens. You are a rock star. And it’s okay that sometimes you loose a little bit of focus, but you have to stay motivated with your eyes on the prize.
It’s going to be so worth it.
To jump ahead check out my video with my TOP THREE motivation tips when it comes to budgeting.
However, when those moments strike and you find yourself so completely unmotivated, you need to remember these few tips:
Know your strengths and your weaknesses.
More than likely one of you is probably more of a saver while the other one is more of a spender. So during times you find yourself struggling or pulling the reigns back a bit too tight then take a step back. Allow your partner to take over for a bit so you can recharge. I know in our house I am more of the saver while J is more of the spender (not crazy, out of control spending). So when I find myself obsessing over the budget and draining all the fun our of our lives, J is perfectly able to step in. He lightens the mood and gets us back on track with enjoying life while paying down debt.
Talk with your partner.
When you find yourself some uninspired and just want to give up then talk it out. You may be surprised with how your spouse feels and it can change your whole outlook. Just have an honest conversation about what’s going, your thoughts and concerns then you can have a real conversation about what to do as a team.
Set small, easily reach goals.
Sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated when you’re staring at a huge goal that seems way too far in the future. So break it down. Create small goals that can be reached in a week, a month or even 3 months from now. You will feel like you’re making headway and that can be a huge motivator. For instance, you’re trying to save for a down payment on your first home. You’re goal is to put 20% down, which means you need about $30,000 in the bank. Set smaller goals and then reward yourself. Create a goal sheet where there is an increment of $5,000 all the way up. Each time you hit a new $5,000 goal then you can color it in. Now you can visualize yourself actually reaching your big goal and those $5,000 increments seems so much more attainable.
Don’t be afraid to re-evaluate.
Sometimes goals change. What you wanted a year ago may not be a good fit today. You can’t be afraid to allow yourself to make changes to your goals – no matter their size. It’s okay to remove something from your wish list and replace it with something new. Let’s say you dreamed of owning a loft in the city by the time you were 35. Now here you are at 30 years old and find yourself married with a toddler. Well your new goal may be a small house with a yard so you can have room to play. That’s okay. Goals are fluid and constantly shifting.
Know it’s okay to make mistakes.
Most mistakes won’t be the end of the world, so allow yourself the freedom to make mistakes. Each mistake is just a learning opportunity. If you make misplace a $100 bill by accident don’t beat yourself up. I know it can be really frustrating and depressing to lose money, but it’s not the end of the world. Just take a deep breath and count the blessings that you do have in those situations. It will put it into a better perspective for you.
Know that it will all be worth it. You have to have will power to reach your final goals. You can just give up when things get tough because you will never make any progress. So remember it’s worth fighting for.
Remember the end goal.
When things get really tough and you find yourself just wanting to pull the sheets over your head then it’s time to remember why. Why are you working so hard. What goal are you striving to achieve. Is is so you can pay for your children’s college costs without them having to take out any loans? Well why? Why are you working to do that? It might be because you graduated with some serious debt and know how much of a head start your kids will get if they are debt free. Or maybe you want to pay off your credit card debt so you can finally start taking the extra $500 a month and use it to buy your dream home.
Just remember what the end goal is and you will keep focused.