I have been in a debt free journey for four years, but especially intense about it for the past year.[ I was cash flowing pre-reqs and then in nursing school for two years before that]. A few months ago, I started to face some debt payoff burnout. Last month it wasn’t some, it was full on sick and tired of it burnout.
I was sick of spending all my base salary on debt and feeling like I wasn’t making any ground. I was tired of constantly working on my budget, trying to figure out how to throw a little extra here and there, stressing about going over in grocery budget.
I don’t want to stop working towards my goals, but I was just done. So, here is my advice to combat that goal fatigue.
Take a moment to look at how far you’ve come. When you are in the day to day of slogging through finances, it can be so easy to lose the ground you are gaining and spend all your time focusing on how much there is to go. The proverbial forest for the trees, if you will. Taking a look at how much ground you have gained can help you out a number on the hard work you’ve done.
Let go of some of your perfectionist ways. If you are experiencing severe burnout, it may be in part because you are being too harsh on yourself. Do you struggle over every penny spent? Beat yourself up or question every single purchase you make? That is not healthy, nor is it getting you to a place where you have a healthier relationship with money.
Treat yourself. Take a moment to celebrate your success with a treat. I know it can be hard to take some money from your debt payoff to put towards something else, but celebrating the wins can help break up the debt journey monotony. Just don’t put that treat on the credit card.
Reevaluate your budget. Is it too strict? Does it allow for a little leeway? In the attempt to get our debt paid off as quickly as possible, it can be tempting to put everything towards debt. I think this is more manageable if you can pay off all debt in a year or less, but if it is going to take a little longer, I would recommend giving yourself a little play money.
Daydream about life after debt. Why are you doing this? Because it’s hard. Paying down debt requires significant sacrifice now for the sake of a debt free future. What does that future look like for you? Taking some time to think and talk about your “why” will help make the struggle more worthwhile.
Now, for the most controversial idea, take a check or a month off. I combined this and the treat idea to help me get through my really bad spell. I took one check, made my regular payments, and then took some extra to buy myself a pretty little something…
It really did make a huge difference and I was able to come back to my debt repayment with more fire and excitement than I had in a long time.
What are your tips and tricks for combating fatigue?