Archive for the ‘Debt’ Category

Ways to remain focused during debt payoff and not get burned out

April 13, 2007

MoneyDummy has a great post on how to avoid burn out when you are paying off debt. 

Almost every year I start off by being in tightwad mode to try to save some money.  Every year it lasts until February and then I go back to my old habits.  This year was different. 

Here are ways I avoid burnout – A lot of these are similar to MoneyDummy. 

1.  I got scared.  I have two kids in daycare.  I added up my monthly bills/daycare along with what I was spending and I was consistently spending more than I made.  Granted I didn’t have any credit card debt, but if this cycle continued I would be in trouble.  I needed to free up more cash… which leads me to #2. 

2.  I have a goal.  My goal is to have my car paid off by the end of the year.  The only way this is going to happen is if I pay at least an extra $170 a month on my loan ($500 total).   I get excited every payday when I go on-line to make my $250 payment to the loan.  Once the car is paid off it will be like having a $500 a month raise… which leads me to #3.

3.  I fantasize about what I am going to do with the extra money.  I seriously cannot wait for until my car is paid and get excited every time I think about it.  What should I do next?  Start paying down on my DH’s school loan?  Or maybe extra mortgage payments to get the principal amount lowered so we can quit paying mortgage insurance?  How about beefing up savings so we have a real emergency fund?  Start saving for the next car?  Vacation fund? Home Improvement?  AHHHHH! $500 is not going to be enough!!!!

4.  We rarely eat out, not only because of the costs, but also because eating out with a 1 year old and a 3 year old is not enjoyable.  To make up for not eating out I try to plan a fun meal each weekend.  Homemade pizza where everyone makes their own.  Grilled steaks with sauteed mushrooms and onions.  Copy Cat versions of our favorite restuarant meals like Cheesecake Factory’s Cajun Pasta.   Granted, these meals usually cost me more than our normal weekday fare, I am pretty sure we are still coming out ahead.

These are things I do get burned out on and I usually have to give myself a pep talk to talk myself out of it.

1.  Going out to lunch with my co-workers.  I love the social time with my co-workers when we go out to eat.  It is really the only time during the day I get to do this.  Luckily there are almost always people that bring their lunch to eat in the lunch room also.  I do allow myself 1-2 times a month to go out for lunch – as long as we go somewhere cheap (no $10 lunches). 

2.  Buying clothes for my girls.  Little girl clothes are so stinking cute that I want to buy everything.  My 3 year old is into everything girly – if I bring home a dress or anything pink she gets all excited.  It makes me feel so good to see her light up like that… but I have to keep reminding myself she already has more clothes than she needs.  

3.  Toys – Again, all I have to buy something princess or barbie related and my 3 year old thinks I am the best mom in the world.  I do realize that my kids will think that anyway and I don’t need to buy them things… but it just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. 

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