7 Ways You Can Stay Motivated to Get Out of Debt

Over the years I’ve seen plenty of people get motivated to get out of debt, but they never end up following through with the process.  They are usually pretty fired up about getting out of debt and start out very motivated.  But not long after they start the process, their energy flags and it’s not long before they lose their motivation.

I’ve seen a lot of other people make decent progress in paying down debt, but for whatever reason, they end up losing their focus and go back to their old habits, never finishing the get out of debt process.


How to Get on the Right Track and Stay There

When you finally decide it’s time to get out of debt, it’s easy to get fired up about the idea of becoming debt free.  But actually doing the work that will get you there is much harder.

You have to look past the grand idea and let reality smack you in the face.  You have to understand that it takes work to get out of debt, and you have to stay motivated if you want to actually get the job done.

Once you’re committed to doing the work, you have to realize that it takes time to get out of debt.  I think time is probably the most important factor as to why so many people don’t stick with the process.  It’s easy for that initial excitement to wear off and let the passage of time allow you to slowly return to your old habits.  It takes commitment to constantly keep the ultimate goal in mind.

With that said, here are my top 7 ways you can stay motivated to get out of debt, along with a list of great resources at the end of the post.


7 Ways You Can Stay Motivated to Get Out of Debt


Get Mad at Your Debt

When you’re getting out of debt, getting emotional about it can actually be a good thing.  You have to get so mad at your debt that you take a never give up attitude toward it.  You have to do whatever it takes to meet your goal, even when things get difficult.


Get Naked

One thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of people still use a credit card when they’re getting out of debt.  They use the excuse that it’s “just in case” they need it for an emergency.

But here’s the deal.

If you have credit available, you’re most likely going to use it.

That’s why I tell my followers you gotta get naked.

Getting naked means you should cut up all your credit cards and go naked with credit.  Yes, I know that’s kind of scary.  I remember how Angie and I felt when we got rid of our credit cards for good.

It was extremely weird.

In fact, I think the naked analogy is a good one, because you feel exposed and vulnerable.  But if you follow the right steps, you find that you’re actually less vulnerable when you go naked with credit.


Get An Accountability Partner

Many times during your journey out of debt, it can feel like a lonely ride.  Getting out of debt can take a while, so if you have someone who can give you moral support throughout your journey, it can be a great help.  Share your goal of getting out of debt with a friend or a mentor who’s willing to encourage you.

Preferably you’ll want to find someone who is already out of debt, and understands what it takes to get there. An accountability partner can help you continue to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  They can assist you when you get stuck and feel like things are going nowhere.  A good accountability partner will always keep you moving down the right path.


Keep a Journal or a Blog on Your Progress

Writing things down is a good exercise to help you stay focused.  When you write about your feelings, struggles, victories, or whatever else you’re experiencing in your debt payoff journey, you’ll discover that it forces you to think about what you’re doing.

It helps keep you engaged in the process and moving forward toward each small goal.  Writing about your journey is also great because you can look back at your first entries and see how far you’ve come, which helps motivate you to continue.

By the way, some of the best personal finance blogs were started by people writing about their journey out of debt, so you may be able to inspire others and maybe even make a little money while you’re at it!


Constantly Educate Yourself

It’s very important to constantly educate yourself about finances and getting out of debt.  Listen to podcasts, watch videos, read books, and read blogs about the subject.

The more you expose yourself to the subject, the more you understand it.  The more you understand it, the more motivated you’ll be to stick with the process.  When you learn how to use your money wisely, you will be able to have much more control over your situation.

I’ve included a list of great resources at the end of the post to get you started.


Learn to Develop New Habits

There’s no way you will ever get out if debt if you keep doing the same things that got you into debt in the first place.  Learn to develop new habits such as eating out less, using cash only (remember going naked?), learning to do a written budget every month, taking lunch to work, shopping only when you need something, etc.

When you change your habits, it actually changes the way your brain works, and can lead to lasting results!


Focus On Getting Out Of Debt Just a Little Every Day

Getting rid of a mountain of debt happens one small step at a time.  Find ways to focus on the process of getting out of debt every single day.  Have a thought for the day, say a prayer, read an article, find something new to save money on, or listen to a podcast.

small effort every day keeps you engaged in the process and helps you stay motivated to continue the journey.


Getting Out of Debt Is Always Worth It!

Developing the discipline to stick with a get out of debt plan to the end can be more difficult for some people than for others.  But when you decide to be relentless about overcoming the obstacles, it makes getting out of debt much easier in the long run.

Getting out of debt is not always easy, but it’s definitely worth the journey!

Below you’ll find some great resources I recommend to help you stay motivated and educated when it comes to getting out of debt.

Question:  Have you ever become discouraged while trying to pay off debt? Share your thoughts and leave a comment.


Resources I Recommend


Celebrating Financial Freedom

Beyond Debt Freedom

Christian PF

Bible Money Matters

The Christian Dollar



Financial Peace- Dave Ramsey

Balance: The Quick and Easy Guide to Financial Stability Using a Budget- Jason Cabler

The Total Money Makeover- Dave Ramsey

Rich Dad, Poor Dad- Robert Kiyosaki

The Cashflow Quadrant- Robert Kiyosaki

Spirit Driven Success- Dani Johnson


Podcasts and Radio:

48 Days

Dave Ramsey on IHeartRadio

About Dr. Jason Cabler

13 Responses to “7 Ways You Can Stay Motivated to Get Out of Debt”

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  1. These all sound like worthwhile strategies, thanks. I like to suggest also that people keep a vision in their mind of what they’re lives will be like once they’ve paid off, or way down, their debt. I think it’s helpful to sit quietly for 15 or 30 minutes and just pretend that debt is vanquished. What could you do with the extra cash flow that was going to creditors? How about the stress relief? What opportunities might you be able to take advantage of now that the pressure is less to keep steady income coming in? What will debt freedom feel like? A strong vision of a debt-free life, frequently revisited, can help keep a debt reduction program on track.

  2. I love the getting naked point/twist…Lol! I have used my blog to keep me accountable and so far it works. I also keep my eyes focused on the big picture and imagine my life without debt. That always keeps me motivated.

    • Anything you can do to keep yourself accountable is always a great thing. I think there would probably be a lot less PF blogs out there if there weren’t so many people trying to stay motivated in their finances.

      I think getting naked is one of the most important things you can do. Too many people try to get out of debt but keep the credit cards. That “strategy” rarely works.

  3. Great tips! I think developing new habits is paramount. You’ve got to transform the way you approach money and spending and instill a new, frugal mindset. I haven’t been in debt before, but, I do have a very aggressive savings goal and the only way for my husband and I to get there is through this changed mindset. We’ve put ourselves on frugal autopilot and now it’s honestly easy to keep on the straight and narrow of savings!

  4. If you want to achieve big goals, you have to do things differently than you’ve done before. You’re right, developing new habits is paramount in getting to that savings goal you’re trying to achieve.

    Keep up the good work!

  5. Michelle says:

    Fantastic advice and I appreciate the strategies.

  6. You have listed some great tips that work. I also think we all need a heavy dose of patience. Its easy to commit in the heat of the moment when we decide to make progress in debt elimination but it does take time and commitment which people seem to under estimate which leads to debt repayment plan failure. I wrote down various timeline goals. I had to account for unique events that would reduce my debt repayment like the holidays or the month we went on vacation so I could still feel like I was still on plan. The longer I was on plan the easier it was to not only stay focused but the more motivated I was to find ways to increase the repayment. You are totally right, being debt free is worth the struggle.

  7. Chenell Tull says:

    Good post. I definitely agree that new habits are absolutely essential to getting out of debt and staying there. My blog has definitely helped hold me accountable throughout this process as well. Good advice!

  8. Having a partner goes a long way. You can lean on them in tough times and they can inspire and motivate you as well, both in tough times and when you reach a milestone. I know for me, having my best friend to confide in when I was in debt was a big help. It wasn’t easy to admit that I was horrible with my money, but it was more than worth it in the end.

  9. Ken says:

    Losing focus when you are trying to get out of debt is very hard not to do. As you say you have to stay motivated if you want to actually get the job done.

    The great tips that you have given in this article will certainly help.

    The one that I like most is to focus on a getting out of debt just a little each day. Reducing debt a little each day can be easier than trying to throw a large amount say once a month when you get paid.

    I remember as a kid my dad used to take all the loose change from his pocket each night and put it in a jar. Each time was not much money but after a few months we would count it out and it was amazing how much money was in the jar.

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