Monday, March 31, 2014

What's Your Motivation to Pay Off Your Debt?

In order to tackle a huge mountain of debt, you will need to be motivated by a bigger goal other than debt payoff.  Sure seeing those amounts owed go down to $0.00 is a huge thrill in itself, and may be enough to motivate you to aggressively pay down your debt.  Ultimately though, it's not about how much money we owe, but how much freedom we have.  The more we owe, the less options we have in terms of what kind of work to pursue, how much money we have left over at the end of the month, and what career options and hobbies we can pursue in the future.

What's your motivation for paying off your debt?
  • Quit a job you don't like
  • Getting engaged/ married
  • Milestone birthdays (e.g., turning 30)
  • Having kids
  • Your monthly expenses have gotten out of control
  • Getting inspired by reading about or meeting someone who has it together financially and/ or has paid off a large debt
  • An increase in your living expenses in the near future
  • Wanting to work less so you can travel more / pursue more hobbies / spend more time with loved ones 
  • Wanting to keep more of your take home pay/ reduce monthly living expenses
  • Retire early
For me, the wake up call was a combination of a few things.  
  • Feeling tied down to a job I don't enjoy and which offers me little to no opportunity for growth solely so I can make payments on my debt
  • Learning that my monthly payments on my federal loans were about to sharply increase, meaning less money leftover from my paychecks every month
  • Wanting to go into public interest work but not being sure if I could afford to, as my monthly debt payments were so high
  • Meeting my boyfriend and starting to talk about our future goals and plans together
Of course meeting my boyfriend had the biggest impact on me, because in thinking and talking about our future together, I realized I didn't want my student loan debt to weigh on our relationship or on our future plans.  Fortunately, the emotional support he has provided has been nothing short of exceptional.  
What's your motivation for paying off your debt?


  1. My motivation is to
    1) Save much more to retirement to help me retire early, so my older husband won't be golfing all by himself!
    2) Save more for college for our kids, so they aren't in the same position I'm in.
    3) Big awesome vacations (Disneyworld, Maldives, Japan, Disney Cruise)
    4) House Stateside for when we visit family
    My goal was by the time I turned 30 in 2015, now I'm hoping for the end of the year next year or at least before I turn 31.

  2. My goal was before 30 as well (in May 2016). I'm now on track for May 2015 and sweet debt free bliss by 29! Funny how that happens when you get focused and have the right kind of support from others dealing with the debt monster. My original plan by 30 was so my husband and I could consider having kids without crushing debt. Now I think we are more up for the idea of traveling a bit and just enjoying still being in our 20s before we take the kid plunge - nice to have more time without debt!! Keep your head up - we can all do this!

  3. My motivation is to travel, mainly, but also to pay off my debt early enough so that I can still have enough time to start saving for retirement. I would also like to push to pay it off so that I can get rid of that horrible sinking feeling I get every time I calculate my net worth.