Debt free step 9: Look how far you’ve come

couple walking up a mountain, they have come a long way

It’s easy to forget all the hard work you have put in sometimes, when you’re saving. You can get so focused on the end goal, which might seem far away, that you forget how far you’ve come. The problem is, it’s easy to become disheartened by the challenge ahead when you’re not noticing what you’ve already achieved.

So take a second to think about what you’ve already done; have you learned how to set your self a budget or saving goals? Have you already reorganised your debt so it’s easier to manage? Maybe you’ve taken up a money saving hobby, or just cut your grocery bill. Whatever you have done is an achievement worth recognising.

But how do you celebrate these things, and saving milestones? The first impulse is to buy something, right? So much of the way we reward ourselves now has been hijacked by the drive for us to consume more.  How do you break out of that?

To be honest, I don’t have to answers to that complex question. I think in some ways, we have always rewarded ourselves with things, or food. It’s the original reason we feast in winter – to celebrate surviving for another year. Marriages and births are celebrated with gifts. Perhaps we can’t, and shouldn’t escape from this custom entirely.

I think the key to successfully celebrating better money habits, is to keep things in perspective. You wouldn’t celebrate paying down half your debt by buying a new car, just as you wouldn’t celebrate finishing a diet by eating a whole cake! The new habits have to continue past the point of success.

Only you know what’s reasonable for your situation. Maybe you celebrate paying off £500 by going out for a beer with a friend, or you celebrate saving £300 on groceries by cooking a special meal with your family. If your focus is on celebrating the changes you’ve made, rather than ‘giving yourself a break from something that’s really hard’, then it can only be a positive thing.

Don’t forget to acknowledge your achievements, and reward yourself.

4 Comments

  1. I love this post. We tend to forget that paying off debt has milestones. It’s not just about the end result but the journey as well. I remember when I was paying down debt that each that I would go out to eat as a reward. Or instead of having a ramen noodles, I’d eat a hamburger instead. It’s not just about the math but about the motivation to keep going. You have to be passionate or you’ll never make it. It’s hard and any sane or rational person would give up. That’s why I agree that these little milestones to keep you motivated are key!

    I look forward to reading more of your thoughts in the future!

    Liked by 2 people

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