Thursday, May 29, 2014

Strategies to Pay Off Debt Faster: Accountability and Support

One of the major things that got my butt kicked into making some serious payments on my student loans was meeting my boyfriend.  When we were discussing me possibly taking a new career path last winter, he asked me what was holding me back and I replied that one of the major concerns was my student loans.  He asked me how much I had in student loan debt and I was embarrassed to tell him that I didn't know.

This was in December 2013.  That conversation felt like the kick in the butt I needed to get motivated to find out exactly how much I owed.  I knew it was above $150k but less than $200k, but I knew little else about my student loans.

After I had my "getting to know you" session with my student loans, listing them out on a spreadsheet, complete with interest rates and monthly payment amounts, I realized I had some major work ahead of me.  As my boyfriend and I were talking about a possible future together, I didn't like the feeling of the student loans hovering in the background or coming up in our conversations.  I realized that I needed to do something about it because they weren't going to magically disappear on their own (as much as I fantasized about it...  :).

In addition to crunching the numbers and coming up with ways to pay off more debt, I realized that I needed two other things: accountability and support.  While my boyfriend provides the accountability and support I need to get moving on this goal, I thought starting this blog would add to that, and I would learn some cool things and "get to know" other PF bloggers in the process.  

Accountability to my blog readers has already helped prevent me from making some silly decisions, and support from readers and my boyfriend have been so helpful in moments when I just want to give up altogether and book a one way flight to Mexico.  ;)  

So while I recommend getting started with the logical steps of listing out your debts and coming up with payment plans, I also recommend that you have accountability and support from someone you trust (perhaps also the PF blogging community!) to help you on the emotional side.

As we all know, debt repayment on a huge debt can feel like an emotional roller coaster at times, so having that support really helps.  

What about you?  What strategies do you use to pay off debt faster?

1 comment:

  1. I think that accountability is the biggest thing for me. I know that I only hold myself accountable for so long and then I will let things slide slowly but surely. I also don't really have friends that care about my financial goals so that makes it hard to turn to them to make sure that I'm meeting the goals that I set. I think the reason that they don't care is because they think my goals are excessive. Wanting to retire decades before the average person doesn't really get the average person on your side. I use my blog and other PF bloggers to help keep me on track. I don't want to let them down even though I haven't actually met any of them in real life.