When dumping debt, the journey is rarely an entirely smooth ride. Sometimes the progress will stall or stopped altogether.
It happens. It’s normal. Don’t worry.
Whether you have lost your motivation to continue saving or you’re simply going about dumping debt in all the wrong ways, you can recover from any setback and get back on the road to being debt free in no time.
Just assess your situation. Maybe one of the following reasons is causing you to lose steam.
- You Don’t Use a Budget
Spinning your wheels and going nowhere in your quest to save money can often be caused by a poorly planned budget or even the complete lack of a budget.
It’s almost impossible to make progress without a reasonable budget. The budget is a key factor in keeping you on course. It helps you see where you are able to save more and spend less.
Your budget is a mirror that reflects your financial situation while dumping debt. Many people think of a budget as a source of restriction. I’ve found it’s actually liberating.
Having a clear picture in mind of what you have to spend helps you plan and better respond to life’s challenges.
- You’re Not Committed to the Process
Meaningful progress dumping debt is tough if you’re not all in. Sticking to your budget off an on won’t produce the results you seek.
You must be determined to stick to it regularly.
Don’t beat yourself up when you fall off track. Just know consistency and commitment will help you stick to a budget and dump debt with fever.
By not committing, you are essentially making your finances a lower priority. That can be dangerous.
These are a few ways to ensure you’re staying committed to paying off your debts:
- Set a schedule for payments. Be specific about how much you are paying off, which debts you are paying off, and when.
- Share your goals with others. Use the power of peer pressure to stay motivated.
- Keep your end goal in sight. Remind yourself why dumping debt is important. Use that goal to fuel your resolve to stay focused.
- You Don’t Have a Starter Emergency Fund
When emergencies come up (notice I said when not if), they need to be addressed. Cars break down. Kids break things. Stuff happens. Without even a starter emergency fund of $500 – $1000, emergencies are shifted onto credit cards which can take the wind out of your sails.
Are you in an emergency to credit card cycle? Take a breath. Now, figure out how to set aside a few dollars and break this chain.
- You’re Suffering from Frugal Fatigue
Cutbacks, sacrifices, and belt tightening can weigh on you. Before you see the light at the end of the tunnel, changing your money habits can be tough.
In order to battle frugal fatigue, you have to plan ahead. Look at your budget and what you are allowing yourself and be realistic.
Sure, if you’re super motivated, you can be extremely frugal. Always plan for the times when you will inevitably lose motivation or find yourself falling off track. Failing to plan for treats or extra spending can cause you to rebound and lose all the progress you made.
As they say, slow and steady wins the race. You can get to your goals more efficiently if you make the process realistic and more doable.
- You Don’t Have an Accountability Partner
Amazing things happen when we connect with a like-minded community doing similar things and setting similar goals. Peer pressure is real – no matter what your age. It can work for you or against you. This doesn’t mean you have to ditch your friends who don’t want to get on board with your budget goals. However, you can balance that out with a network of people on your same path who can keep you accountable and encourage you through the process.
I’ll share more about the upcoming accountability project during a free webinar that you can watch today – 5 Ways to Dump Debt Faster.