What To Do When You Are Burned Out Paying Off Debt
What to do when you are burnt out paying off debt? It is so easy to get burned out when saving money or paying off debt when you are being intense about it. If you follow the Dave Ramsey plan like he advises, it is easy to get burned out paying off debt. Especially if you have a large amount of debt. Here are some tips to deal with being burned out while paying off debt.
Write Down Your Goals
It is easier to stay motivated if you have a reminder of why you are doing it in the first place. Writing it down makes it more real and you are more likely to achieve them. When deciding on your goals, make short-term and long-term goals. Dream about what your life could be without debt and with an emergency fund. What do you want your retirement to look like. If you stick with the plan, will you be able to do the things you want? If you don’t, will you have to eat dog food? When you start to get burnt out, go back to your list of goals and remind yourself of what you want for your future.
Our goals including having a house in the mountains and the beach. My husband wants a house in the mountains and I want one at the beach. He’s allergic to the sun so, he rarely goes to the beach. Not sure which will actually happen when the time comes but either way we have a goal. We also want to help our children pay for college and pay off our mortgage early. These things were only possible if we paid off our debt.
Make a Visual
When we were paying off my student loans, I made a visual of the debt. I made a thermometer and filled it in as we paid off debt. This took us the longest and was our biggest debt. There were times halfway through that I thought it would never end. I would go and look at my visual see how far we had come. It helped me stay motivated.
There are free websites that let you print a visual for your journey. They have houses for the mortgage and credit card debt visuals. I just made mine on construction paper. I have also seen people make paper rings tied to each other. They remove one for a certain amount paid off. There are even ones you can buy. I don’t see a point in buying one when you are paying off debt but hey some people wouldn’t have loads of debt if they didn’t like to buy stuff, right?!
It is important during your journey to have an accountability partner. If you are married, this should be your spouse. I know that isn’t always the case but you should be working the program together. If it’s not, find a trusted friend or join some Facebook groups and find someone. There are a ton of Dave Ramsey groups on Facebook that you can join. If it’s a good group, it will be motivating and people will ask good questions. If you are struggling with a certain part of the program, chances are that you aren’t the only one struggling with the same thing.
Once you find an accountability partner, share with them your goals and your struggles. Ask them to help you stay on track. Contact them when you have a win and when you have a setback. No-one is perfect on this journey and it’s important to find someone who can relate to what you are going through.
Budget Some Fun
When you are getting burnt out, take a short break and budget some fun money. As long as it isn’t crazy expensive and is budgeted. It is okay to take a break as long as you don’t go further into debt. It maybe just what you need to energize you to get back on track. It may actually do more good than bad. Just remember to make sure if is in the budget and get back on track quickly. Do not “take a break” and 6 months later you are in more debt that you started. I am talking about going to a concert, getting your hair done, or going on a weekend trip.
I have been more burnt out with saving for our emergency fund. That is partly because things keep coming up and it has been harder to save. We have had a ton of emergencies and medical bills but I have to remind myself how far we have come. We still have our 3 month emergency fund set up but it’s not the 6 months that I want. I have a goal for the end of the year but I have to adjust it when things come up.
What have you struggled with the most while saving money or paying off debt? Have you experienced burn out and what have you done about it? What do you do when you are burned out paying off debt?