Debt-Free Living

How to Stay Motivated When Paying Off Debt

This month’s #askrachel is a great question about staying motivated on Baby Step 2. I know it can be really hard to stay on track, so I hope these tips help. Send me your questions on social media using #askrachel!


  • James

    Breaking down one big debt into smaller, manageable goals is great advice. For instance, I have a $54,000 student loan and it’s easy to look at it and go arg….very little progress is being made. In January it was $57,000 and now it’s only $54,000!!! However, if I broke this down to smaller goals and say tier 1 is $5000 paid, tier 2 is $10,000, 3 is $20,000 and so on, then I can say only $2000 more to go and I can check off tier 1 goal! While it may not sound like much difference at first when you go to check off tier 1 once you hit the $5000 mark it will give you some satisfaction as you can see progress being made with your goals. It’s a mindset thing and being able to say tier 1 goal met and on to tier 2 gives you much more motivation than just saying I started at $57,000 and have $52,000 to go.

    • Timothy Martens

      Also by seeing how much extra you save in interest by paying extra each month should help keep you motivated. I recently wrote a calculator for myself so I could play around with numbers. (although geared for mortgages it works for any loan.)

      • James

        Nice tool Timothy. Thanks for sharing!

  • trichey

    We just did our debt-free scream on Monday on Dave’s show after paying off $457,000 in 7 years. 7 YEARS! It felt like it was never going to end but we are here to tell you that it can be done! Stick to it! The motivation that worked for us was watching a lot of videos of other people doing their scream, rewarding ourselves in little ways (like ordering pizza or going out to lunch with our teenagers after church) when we reached small milestones (such as paying off a certain amount of a student loan or pushing past a block of time). We had a jar we kept our change in that we would use as extra blow money when we just felt like the belt was too tight or we couldn’t make it another day staying on the grocery budget. Keep a record and remind yourself often of how much you have paid off already…looking back can keep you moving forward. Remember, it is so much easier to do something hard for a short time than something mediocre for a really long time. Rewatch the Financial Peace videos….remember the gazelle getting away?? That WILL be YOU!

    • James

      Rewatching success stories and reading about ones like yours is a great motivator. Thank you for sharing!

    • MindyVan

      This is AWESOME!!!! Congrats to you!!!!