Getting out of Debt Mamas: What Keeps You Motivated? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 05-25-2011, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What's your inspiration?  How do you remind yourself of your goals?  DH and I always do awesome for a few months and then slip right back into the old ways.  Currently, we have no credit card debt, only some student loans and a car payment.  But we have no emergency fund thanks to some unexpected dental bills.  We are really trying to gear up to get our EF back and pay off the car loan as quick as we can (we just got this car a few months back).

 

So I made little sleeves for our cards to go in which we put things that remind of us WHY we need to get out of debt and be financially fit.  anytime we user our debit card, we have to think about it.  No more mindless spending.  I think I'm going to make a big "REASONS WHY" poster to hang on our door heading out of the house and put pics that remind us that we have to buckle down so we can live the life we want to live. I want to leave the house reminded that every purchase needs a valid purpose. I feel like a cornball doing it, but so far it's worked (granted it's only been four days! lol!).

 

How you stay focused and dedicated?  What's your trick?

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#2 of 12 Old 05-25-2011, 12:16 PM
 
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Honestly, I am terrible about staying motivated. I made lots of lovely charts and then ignored them all :-)

 

The #1 thing that worked and still works now that we are on the savings side of things was to automatically deposit money from each paycheck. That was it--the less I had the money in our main account, the more likely it would not be something I had to psyche myself up to "save". I find that, for me, if I wait until the paycheck hits out checking account and then try to dole it out to various goals I am very likely to keep some back for spending.

 

Hope that helps, I know it wasn't really what you asked for but I fail at the whole "gazelle intense" thing

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#3 of 12 Old 05-25-2011, 12:47 PM
 
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There's an older book called your money or your life that I read. There's a part that gets you to think about how hard and long it took me to make every dollar and what I gave up to do it. It's easy to look at something I want and think it's only a few dollars and buy it ... but when I think about that I had to be away from my family doing work I don't really enjoy to make those few dollars it really sunk in. I guess if you love your job that wouldn't work but for me it was a huge motivator. 

 


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#4 of 12 Old 05-25-2011, 02:32 PM
 
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What has kept me motivated most is tracking and watching the balances decline.  It has been almost 4 years since we got serious about getting out of the mess created by renovations gone amuck plus my student loans, and we're now looking at about a year left (or less if we get lucky) on non-mortgage debt and our mortgage is on track to be paid off in 14 more years.  It hasn't been a constant line down because our income is quite variable, but being able to see a slow, gradual decline and now finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel has been huge.  We are now at about $8,000 left, total debt from everywhere.  We started around $40,000.  Seeing milestones like getting rid of a cc, paying off a student loan, getting the loc under $15,000, etc. have been rewarding too.

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#5 of 12 Old 05-25-2011, 09:17 PM
 
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Being FREE!!!

 

The idea of owing nothing to no one, being able to take life as it comes at you and still be in control even when poop hits the fan. 

 

Since paying of debts and figuring out our goals and next steps (we're following DR, so there's always something to work on next) it's like the rest of life has fallen into place; life's just so much simpler and calmer and more enjoyable all around. By keeping on trucking I'm expecting that serenity and security to grow exponentially as we become more financially secure. 


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#6 of 12 Old 05-26-2011, 01:02 AM
 
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The sense of accomplishment, and Being FREE.

Im a numbers geek so seeing the balances go down... watching my charts go etc.

But mainly knowing that money will be mine to do with as I please one day and not having to pay it all out every month.


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#7 of 12 Old 05-29-2011, 08:31 AM
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My dh was kept motivated by having a list of things he wanted to do when we were out of cc debt. His number one was a vacation to see his family and go seeing for his 40th bday. He also had a bunch of home renos he wanted to do. Seeing the zeros start coming in on bills and then the bank acct actually have money in it was so stress reducing for me. I also find it motivating to know that stuff could happen and we'd be okay.

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#8 of 12 Old 05-31-2011, 11:07 AM
 
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Sounds to me like you just have to cut the credit and debit cards up! Have you read Dave Ramsey? I think you would really benefit from his books/classes and going on an all cash budget. Using envelopes would really prevent you from going overboard. I also agree with paying yourself first (automatic savings). Lastly, I found these great forums and there is a section on Ramsey and one on envelopes.

http://www.frugalvillage.com/forums/

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#9 of 12 Old 05-31-2011, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtm View Post

My dh was kept motivated by having a list of things he wanted to do when we were out of cc debt. His number one was a vacation to see his family and go seeing for his 40th bday. He also had a bunch of home renos he wanted to do. Seeing the zeros start coming in on bills and then the bank acct actually have money in it was so stress reducing for me. I also find it motivating to know that stuff could happen and we'd be okay.


 

That list is a good idea.  We have a general idea of what we want to do, but I think a concrete list is a really good idea. 



Quote:
Originally Posted by GirlBoyGirl View Post

Sounds to me like you just have to cut the credit and debit cards up! Have you read Dave Ramsey? I think you would really benefit from his books/classes and going on an all cash budget. Using envelopes would really prevent you from going overboard. I also agree with paying yourself first (automatic savings). Lastly, I found these great forums and there is a section on Ramsey and one on envelopes.

http://www.frugalvillage.com/forums/


I've read and re-read DR.  It's the staying on track thing that we struggle with.  We do awesome for awhile, then get lazy.  I just need something to help us stay "gazelle" until we GET IT DONE!  We've made tremendous progress, but Just need to buckle down and see it all the way through.  I can't tell you how many times we've funded and re-funded our EF.  Blah! 

 

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#10 of 12 Old 05-31-2011, 06:00 PM
 
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Well the point of an emergency fund is to use it in the case of emergencies!! You said you used it for dental expenses- THAT is the intended use! So don't beat yourself up about it, too much and remember to reward yourself for all the hard work you have done so far! Are you on a envelope system? I really think this system is for you! And the monthly budget is not the end all, be all budget. DR says you need to do the budget every month because every month is different! You budget for what you have coming up. So if you will need a haircut, then maybe you make the household budget a little smaller, or whatever. The point is that, as he says, "every month, on paper, on purpose." I stopped all the mindless spending when I cut up my credit cards, maybe you should do the same! GL!

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#11 of 12 Old 06-01-2011, 11:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zebra15 View Post

The sense of accomplishment, and Being FREE.

Im a numbers geek so seeing the balances go down... watching my charts go etc.

But mainly knowing that money will be mine to do with as I please one day and not having to pay it all out every month.


This exactly, and also, being able to do fun stuff or buy stuff for my kids without stressing over it.  My dh is planning a trip down to a local arena football game for our two oldest boys and a bunch of friends.  The friends are paying their way, but just the cost of the tickets plus gas and munchies at the game would have been out of the question a year ago.  

 


Mom to eight!!  Our twin girls arrived 3-3-2011.

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#12 of 12 Old 06-03-2011, 04:34 AM
 
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I struggle, too, sometimes.

 

Right now, things are tight, and our major goal is saving for a downpayment for a house.  We actually lost money on our last house, so we're starting from scratch.  With a tight budget, that seems like a huge goal.  It seems like the $4 for a frappucino (or whatever) isn't going to make a difference when we're trying to save $60,000 or whatever, you know? 

So, hoping to find great motivation here, too!  But, OP, you are definitely not alone.

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