Paying off debt can be a SLOG. It can takes months or years and it can be hard to keep your motivation across that long of a time. Here are three simple ways to keep track of your debt repayment process and keep yourself motivated.
When I was on my debt-free journey I decided one of the tactics I’d use to keep myself motivated and track my progress was to keep multiple visual reminders of where I was on my debt repayment process. I kept these reminders in different locations since each served a different purpose.
Let’s get into it!
Debt Free Tracker
When I was trying to become debt-free I would keep a debt repayment chart on my fridge, so I could see how far I’d come and how far I still have to go.
I have a free downloadable/ printable Debt Free Tracker here.
I liked having this reminder on my fridge because I saw it every day and it reminded me of my progress, not just the looming number of the money I still owed. It was a great nudge to say “hey, you’re working on something, you’ve come a long way and you have this much more to go.”
If this method appeals to you, you can also track progress on individual debts, savings or practically anything!
I have a series of affordable printable trackers for practically every situation on my shop!
At work, I kept a stack of post-it notes at my desk and every single month I put a new post-it note on my computer monitor and marked the date and how much debt I have left to pay off. This was not a sophisticated system but it reminded me anytime I looked down I’d be able to see how much money I had left in debt as of that month. It also served as a dual purpose since it was on my work computer and anytime I was having a rough day at work, it reminded me of what I was working towards.
Monthly Budget Spreadsheet
Lastly, I kept a spot in my budget spreadsheet where every single month I logged how much I paid to my debt and what my new balance was. Then at the end of the year, I calculated how much I had paid off towards the debt and was able to refer back the numbers from previous years. Having those numbers in my monthly budget was both helpful when doing my budget and visually helped me to see how well was doing month-to-month and year-on-year.
Those were the three ways that I kept my debt at the forefront of my mind when I was on my debt-free journey. In all three places, there was a section where I could see how far I’d come and how far I still needed to go. I found it motivating and I think you can choose to find things like that motivating because you can say to yourself “this number is so much better than the number that I started with!”
I’ve also seen people use paper chains with each link representing an amount of debt and marbles or other small item to transfer between containers to represent how much debt is left/ has been paid off.
Visual trackers can be an amazing way to keep yourself going when it’s hard. I believe in you, you have got this!
Let me know what reminders and motivators you have or had in place on your debt-free journey!
Want to know about my debt-free journey? Read these:
How to deal with financial setbacks
Budgeting inspiration for when you’re feeling discouraged or just starting