How to Get Motivated to Pay Off Debt

Visualize your goals

It’s hard to get motivated to pay off debt. Sometimes it feels like nothing will change, and you’ll never get out from under that burden. The more you pay off, however, the better you’ll feel, and the easier the path to freedom from debt will become. Here are three ways to get inspired.


Athletes, artists, musicians, business people, and many others use visualization in order to see where they’re going and how they’re going to get there. And it really works. It helps your brain to form pathways that then become reality. It’s difficult to visualize something abstract — like being debt-free — so instead, visualize what you’ll be able to do once you are debt-free.

Visualize taking a happy, calm vacation, without being worried about the credit card debt that underlies it. Imagine having money to put your kids — or yourself — through college. Picture yourself having a comfortable retirement in a small cottage that you can afford. All of these visualizations will give you a mental picture of where you want to go, why you want to pay off debt and how you’re going to get there. They’ll also keep you motivated through the long, hard work that it takes to get out, and stay out, of debt.

Start Saving

It might seem counter-intuitive to start saving money when you still owe it. If you start training yourself to save even as you’re paying down debt, however, you’ll be in better shape financially and emotionally. Saving is a skill, and even saving $5, $10, or $50 a month will train you in that skill and make you better at it. As you see your money accumulate, you’ll start to feel even more motivation to pay off your debt, since you’ll realize that the money you’re now paying toward debt will someday be money you can save.

And best of all, if you get in the habit of saving now, you’ll be able to stay out of debt better once you’re debt-free. If you have a hard time getting started saving, try saving for something specific, such as a vacation or a new computer. This will give you a concrete goal and a reason to stay on the saving path.

Seek out Support

Research shows that the more people we have around us who understand our goals, the better we’ll be able to reach them. This holds true as much for debt payoff as it does for weight loss or any other personal goal. Spend time with friends who are also paying off debt, talk to a financial counselor or join a debt support group. It’s hard enough to pay off debt — why do it alone?

Motivation is everything. Without it, you can’t achieve anything, and you definitely won’t get your debt paid off. Luckily, though, with a little effort, you’ll find motivation everywhere you turn. Just stay focused on the goal of being debt-free and financially-independent, and you’ll be surprised how quickly and easily you can achieve it.

Photo Credit: CubaGallery

  • Greg@ClubThrifty

    These are great suggestions! Getting and staying motivated is often the key to success in anything, especially when it comes to paying off debt.  It is so easy to just continue to live in the status quo – ie: being in debt. The truth is, once you get out of debt, your wealth will grow faster than you ever imagined!