Goals are important, but it’s more important for your spouse and kids to share the vision. If you incentivize them with a fun goal at the end that they can look forward to, it helps them to join in as part of the solution. My Dad promised me a Go-kart when the house was paid off. He got me a cool one with a van body; I was stylin’ and profilin’. Maybe in your case, it is buying a new refrigerator or a vacation to Disney World or Tahiti. The key is to set up an incentive for everyone to look forward to once you reach the goal.
What To Pay Off First?
I mentioned incentives above. It feels good to pay something off, so the idea is to choose a debt with the lowest balance that you can pay off quickly. The reward and feeling of accomplishment that comes from crossing out one debt incentivizes you to move on to the next one.
Paying off debt is about discipline, but it’s also about momentum. You didn’t get into debt overnight, so you won’t get out of debt overnight. If you can sell a few things to help you pay off that next balance quicker, it adds momentum. It feels good, so instead of saying, “Are we there yet?” you’re saying, I see the milestones passing by!
We on our way,
to being able to say,
we’re out of debt,
and our needs are met!
The reward system is important. If you don’t celebrate the small victories and you just stay focused on that end result, it will feel like those mountains in the distance when driving across Colorado or New Mexico. The ones that don’t seem very far away, but they don’t seem to be getting any closer as you drive mile after mile. So, stay on track, stay focused on the goal, but watch the mile markers, celebrate every payoff and reward good behavior.
If you would like to study further on this topic, this blog discusses insights on page 65-66 of my book “Solving Your Money Problems.” #SYMP
Pick up your copy at or SolvingYourMoneyProblems.com.