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How to Motivate Yourself by Planning a Life Without Debt

Saddled with a large sum of debt, the new year can feel less like a celebration and more like a drag.

Paying off debt is a long-term challenge for many in Canada, and the time it takes to get out of debt can sometimes feel endless. If you’ve made a budget, that’s a good thing. But, admittedly, sticking to it on a daily basis isn’t always easy — spending temptations are everywhere, from buying a coffee to trading up for a new car.

So, how do you use the new year to motivate yourself to keep going? To stay on track in 2018, it may be as simple as starting with a change in your mindset toward debt.

One way to do this is to picture your life without debt. What is it that you really want to save for?

  • You want security in retirement, and without the added obligation of monthly debt payments, you’ll very likely have extra money to put in your RRSP.
  • Your child’s education. One less debt payment means more for an education fund, which can make your kids’ journey through post-secondary schooling much less stressful.
  • A new car or new home. Maybe your family’s growing and you need to upsize, but can’t afford it while you’re paying off your current debt load. Picture what’s realistic. How much additional savings will you be able to set aside once you’re out of debt?

Visualizing the future to motivate yourself is nothing new — it’s an effective way to achieve any goal. When your goal is to pay off consumer debt, though, it’s especially helpful.

Take time to put pen to paper, write down your financial goals for a life without debt, then stick them up somewhere noticeable. That’s a great way to start the new year with some real motivation.

In this podcast, BDO Licensed Insolvency Trustees from across the country discuss this and four other tips to help you change your mind about debt this year.

Do you have other tips for changing a mindset on debt? Join the conversation on social media by using the hashtags #DebtSolutions, #ChangeYourMind, #NewYearMotivation, and #NewYearsResolution.