Debt payoff tips usually run the gamut of “get a second job or side hustle” to “stop spending on everything that isn’t necessary for now.”
Most of them all have to do with money.
And that makes sense, right? After all, the more money you can throw at your debt, the quicker you pay it off and the less interest you pay.
What if you need the motivation to keep going or don’t have any to even start in the first place?
That’s where these tips come in.
Here are four debt payoff tips that have nothing to do with money—with some bonus alliteration. 😉
1. Manage Your Mindset
Your mindset—the way you view money—is one of your most important tools when it comes to any area of personal finance.
If you don’t have a good mindset, if you think you won’t ever understand how to manage money, or if you think you’ll always be poor, then you’re not going to want to do anything to change your situation.
Do you have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset?
Some people think they are destined to just mess up with their finances no matter how hard they try.
This is a fixed mindset.
On the other hand, some people may have made some mistakes, but they know that with some hard work, they are going to be where they want to be financially.
This is a growth mindset.
To improve your money mindset, remind yourself that money is just a tool. It’s not your friend or enemy or the devil on your shoulder.
As Ayn Rand said:
“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.”
The best way to use your tool is to spend on things you value.
While you’re paying off debt, leave at least a little money to spend on what you value to keep yourself from burning out.
You can also use your money to give generously for a surefire way to feel like a million bucks and give you a really quick mindset shift.
It’ll help you appreciate what you have as well.
Realizing how much you have already is another way to shift your mindset into positive territory.
Managing your mindset and learning to stay positive in your money situation will help you keep going with your debt payoff.
It will help you believe that what you’re doing is possible—no matter how big or small your debt.
2. Watch Your Willpower
Ah, willpower. This was once the golden egg of doing, well, anything—including improving your finances.
While it isn’t that way anymore, there is still some truth to needing willpower to accomplish your goals.
Willpower is said to be like a muscle. It gets tired like a muscle if you’re doing the same thing repeatedly or
But it can also be strengthened.
Just like you strengthen your muscles with weights, the biggest way to strengthen your willpower is with action.
Capitalize on any bursts of willpower by taking action right away.
This builds trust in yourself and gives you the confidence and willpower to take even more action.
You can also strengthen your willpower by setting milestones—or smaller goals—for your big goals.
This helps reverse engineer your goals by setting smaller, more achievable goals and keeps you from getting overwhelmed.
Essentially, these milestones are the action steps you need to take to reach your large goal.
When you reach these milestones, set up a reward system for yourself as well. Rewards are one of the key components of any great debt payoff plan.
Having a reward to look forward to and rewarding yourself when you reach a milestone encourages you to keep going and take the next action.
Action is the key to building your willpower.
Let’s face it. You can have all the motivation in the world to change, but if you don’t have the willpower to take action, you’re probably not going to get very far.
3. Always Use Automation
Automation is one of my three pillars of budgeting. I consider it so important that I believe every budget should incorporate it.
One of the key components of strengthening your muscles is the rest time between working out.
Rest is honestly where the magic happens. Automation is what provides rest for your willpower muscle.
When you first feel motivated to pay off debt, you may naturally feel the willpower to make it happen.
After setting up your debt payoff plan, use that willpower to automate every payment you will be making.
This takes you out of the equation so you don’t have to rely on your willpower to continue your debt payoff plan.
You can simply budget what you have left and not even count your debt payoff money in your budget.
The only time you’ll have to make changes is when it’s time to snowball your payment into the next debt after paying one off.
You will also see consistent decreases in your debt with automation. At the same time every month, you know that you will see your debt continue to decrease until it’s gone.
Automation also ensures you don’t miss any payment so you don’t have to worry about any fees creating any speed bumps in your plan.
Automation is a very powerful tool in your debt payoff journey that I believe should be used by everyone.
If not, it’s a missed opportunity.
4. Make Your Own Motivation
Motivation and willpower have always gone hand-in-hand.
But I believe motivation goes hand-in-hand with the other two tips on this list as well.
Your motivation is affected by three different areas:
- Your environment
- How you view the world
- How you view yourself
Your environment plays a big part in your motivation. If you set yourself up to make your debt payoff easy (i.e. automation, pay someone to set up the plan for you, etc.), it’ll be a lot easier to stay motivated to keep going.
Even things like who you hang around with and how messy your environment is can have an effect on your motivation.
Take a look at who and what is in your environment and see if you need to make changes to help you reach your goals—even if they’re temporary.
How you view the world plays into mindset quite a bit as well. If your view of the world is that everything is always out to get you or you’re a victim in everything, it will be difficult for you to find the motivation to change.
And even if you do want to change, as soon as a potential first setback comes, you may want to up and quit.
How you view yourself is also very important to your motivation. If you’re consistently putting yourself down, you’re not going to be in the best shape to be motivated to change your situation.
Change the narrative by telling yourself that you are good enough, smart enough, and always enough.
And this isn’t a “fake it till you make it” sort of thing because you being good enough is absolutely true already.
You just need to start believing it.
Check out these ten ways to get and stay motivated if you want to dive deeper.
Money Isn’t All About Practical Tips
Practical tips play a big part in debt payoff and in money management in general. Having a plan is a lot of the battle as it is.
But don’t discount tips that have nothing to do with money. Finding the motivation to start, the willpower to keep going, and the mindset to believe in yourself (and the plan) will get you incredibly far.
Then just automate it all and watch your debt dwindle.
Would you like personalized help with debt? Check out my coaching below!