Deciding to take the steps to get yourself out of debt is good. But to really succeed, it's important to focus on what progress you have made and evaluate where you need to be.
The path to a debt-free lifestyle is not always arrow-straight. There are likely to be missteps along the way, but also small successes. To remain motivated to stay the course, make sure that you honor — or even celebrate — your progress along the path.
Reward your achievements
If you were able to make a double payment last month on a credit card debt, acknowledge your progress. Without tossing away a month's progress, allow yourself a small splurge. Have a drink out with a colleague, take your spouse out to a modestly-priced restaurant for a meal, even treat yourself to a small purchase you have been yearning for, yet denying.
The point is that you don't have to live a miserable, penurious lifestyle simply because you are trying to make your debts become manageable. When you've hit a milestone in conquering your debt mountain, a small luxury is indeed in order.
One way of doing this is to begin a "rewards fund." For instance, if you pay $25 over the minimum payment, put 1 percent of that total in a special fund to pay for a future reward down the line.
Don't beat yourself up
You are human, and you will make mistakes. If you fall off the debt wagon, either out of weakness or necessity due to unexpected expenses, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater and negate all of your progress.
Instead, shake it off and hit the reset button on your resolve to get out of debt. Treat it like you would a day skipped off a diet. Does that mean drowning yourself in double-mocha fudge ice cream?
Certainly not. It means doing a few extra minutes on the treadmill, so buckle down and recommit yourself to your goals.
If you feel that your debt has spiraled too far out of control for you alone to fix it, seek advice from a bankruptcy attorney to learn which options may be available to you.
Source: Forbes, "Ready To Get Out Of Debt? These Hands-On Tips Can Help You Stay The Course," LearnVest, accessed June 14, 2017