For the month of February we will be walking hand and hand as we work to build better savings (and spending habits). If you want to sign up to get these posts via email for the next 28 Days you can!
It's really easy to stand up and say "I want to get out of debt." And I could list 101 reasons why any person would want to get out of debt. But really and truly, until you have your own reasons and your own source of motivation, it's null.
It's easy to declare a what. But for others, it's hard to declare a why. And I think this is true of any big goal, getting out of debt, losing weight or achieving career goals.
I have a friend who is a runner. She says she started running because it was a huge stress reliever. She once told me that running was the thing that prevented her from punching some of her coworkers in the face.
But when she started getting serious about running marathons she needed to find a bigger motivation. And when I say marathons, this woman is legit. She has run in both Boston and the New York City Marathons and done quite well.
For her, the goal has been outrunning herself. She sets a time and tries to train harder to beat that time each marathon. Or she picks one that's a new challenge, one that might require a lot of up hill running, for example.
When she's gone back and run a marathon or a race that she has previously run, she says she didn't do as well because she lacked the motivation that drove her to begin with. And to me, that makes so much sense.
When Jason and I first decided to get out of debt our why was our son. I was pregnant when we first started this journey and honestly, we didn't have two nickels to rub together. Thanks to the generosity of friends and family and their hand me downs, Ryals had everything he needed when he was born. And because we worked like dogs for nine months we have a cushion of savings in the bank.
But I wanted to be able to stay home. I wanted him to get to go to college without relying upon student loans, and I didn't want him to have parents who were always stretched thin and tight like a wet bow string.
Ryals was our motivation. Now we have another son and our motivation continues to grow. We want to pay off our home early so we can travel and take them places we've never been.
Don't get me wrong, we don't want our children to have everything handed to them, that is not what I am saying. Instead, I want them to see that we sacrificed things and worked hard in order to have the things we have.
We want to teach them to be generous with both time and money, but if we're in deep debt that's harder to do.
We want to go against the societal norms that say "hey, just put it on plastic or borrow your way through life." We want them to learn that you have to choose between what you want right now in order to have what you want long term.
Your motivation might not be kids. Your motivation might be retirement, a new car, a trip to Spain, a well in Africa or even a new handbag. I don't think when getting out of debt, there is such a thing as a bad motivation.
Whatever it is find it, name it and remind yourself of it.
Today's assignment: Determine your motivation. Write it down on a piece of paper and stick it somewhere in your home where you will see it often.
What about you? What is your motivation?