Saving money is quite a feat. And with New Year’s right around the corner it won’t be uncommon for people making resolutions to pay down debt a priority! Myself, included. But once you start paying off debt it can be easy to get off course! Here are 5 ways to stay on course and keep paying off your debt a priority!
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Choose your goal carefully
First and foremost, you need to make your goal something that is easily attainable. Don’t say you’ll save $30,000 in 6 months. And, if you do, and you make it work, then come find me because I need to know your ways! For me, I was able to pay off $15,000 in debt and put $1,000 in emergency savings and even paid off and cut up one of my credit cards over the past year. With all of these accomplishments, I know I’ll be able to get the same results in 2018!
Write it down!
The best method I have found to meet my financial goal is to write my goal down, and be able to “check in“ on myself. I may or may not have this saved on my computer desktop where I can check it 15 times a day. (I do, I totally do). In fact during a study conducted by Schwab bank, __% of people like to write down their financial goals! One super easy way to do this that you can start NOW is to track it on Excel. And, because you’re just so awesome I already put together a handy dandy savings tracker for you! You just have to put in your e-mail address in the bar the top of this website and I’ll send it to you! After you download it, easily plug in your annual goal to save, and it automatically calculates how much you need to save each month. You’ll be able to easily track if you’re on goal for the year!
Make sure to break it down further, into short term and long term goals, as well as your wants and needs. If you’re paying off debts your wants list should be really short. Really short. In a study done by Harvard people who write their goals down are able to easily accomplish their goals, whereas those that don’t write their goals down easily fail. To be the most successful with this as you can be, you’ll need to visualize where you want to be in 1 year, 5 year, 10 years, etc… What are the steps you’ll need to get you there? How does your day look? Do you need to make changes in your life today to get there?
Coloring financial tracker
I think these things are the coolest ever! They’re really handy for teaching kids to save and adults…because, let’s be honest, we’re all kids at heart :). Depending on which one you download you’ll color in a different square for each $100, or anther set amount, you save. You know those large thermometers you see when a school is trying to raise 2 million dollars? Kind of the same idea! Prettiful Designs on Etsy has some cool designs to choose from! I’d suggest keeping this somewhere you can easily see on a daily basis, like your bathroom mirror or fridge! It’s encouraging to see how far you’ve come, instead of constantly thinking how far you need to go.
This is important! Do a little celebration after you reach your goals! It helps lift up your spirits and give you a little encouragement to keep saving! This can be as simple as renting a movie or, for the final accomplishment, going on a weekend getaway! Don’t forget to be money conscious though! Use travel websites to book vacations, Airbnb instead of hotels, etc…. If you use my link to sign up for Airbnb you’ll even get a $40 travel credit!
Get a side hustle
As if I haven’t said this enough, debt is terrible, and paying it down can be a challenge. However, if you only have your full time income that you’re relying on to pay down your debts, you don’t have enough income. There are many side hustles out there, my absolute favorite being Airbnb. In 8 months I’ve earned $2,993 that I’ve been able to save and put down on debt. If that’s not your thing though you can petsit with Rover, or even use TaskRabbit. If you haven’t heard of TaskRabbit, it lets you help people in your area with household chores – putting together furniture, pack & unpack for moving, gardening, picking up dry cleaners, etc…Unfortunately, they aren’t in every city – including mine! But I hear great things 😊
Extra tip: If you sign up for my e-mail list, I’ll send you and awesome savings tracker that helps you watch your savings pile up faster then you’d think!
Overall, keep your eye on the prize and remember that cash is king! You’ll have to pay down your debt to get to your final goal of being debt free! You can do this! What are your goals for 2018? How do you plan on keeping yourself in track for these goals?