My Why for paying down debt…

Hey budgeting people,

The Why of doing anything is the strongest motivator in reaching goals. If you have superficial reasons for having goals, like “oh everyone wants this goal, so I should have it as my goal” then you are never going to reach it.

I did that, and I was miserable. And unsuccessful.

So, you need a strong reason for wanting to reach goals. Repaying debt is one of them, because it is hard, it requires planning, and self-sacrifice.

Not only that, but paying off debt, is boring. There I said it. It is also repetitive. You get paid, you pay debt, then you have very little cash for anything else.

You cut as much as you can to debt, pay the debt, see the numbers go down and then colour in a tracker (maybe). Then you wait until your next pay day. Rinse and Repeat.

Your why needs to be powerful and unique to you. If it is generic, you will lose motivation to even bother. Or fall off the wagon. Which I’ve done a few times.

I have a few whys to paying off debt. Mostly linking to future goals.

My first why is to have peace of mind. I want to be free from as many financial obligations as I can per month. Currently, most of my expenses are covered with my job. Yet, I cannot sleep very well at night because so much of my income needs to go to paying back past decisions.

If I ever get sick or need to drop everything, or I am in a job role I hate, I can’t just leave. I don’t have the resources. I want the peace of mind that I have the resources to do what I feel I need to do without restriction by someone else.

Which is what happens when you rely on just your job’s income and you owe money to other people.

Without the excessive financial monthly demands means, the stress I feel everyday will be lessened. I would be able to breathe without every incident leading me to stressing about how much it will cost me. Without the black cloud of financial obligations over my head, I would be able to relax.

My second biggest why, is that I can afford to go on vacation. Not just a staycation or going to see family, which my family are gracious enough to pay for but a proper vacation.

Even if it is just to visit family and do touristy things with them. I would much better to be able to pay for it myself. I am not ungrateful for my family paying for me, but I frequently feel like a burden when they do.

I have only been on one proper vacation by myself that I paid for. Even then, I felt consistently stressed during the vacation due to financial worries. I would like to go on one where I didn’t have to worry about how much cash is in my bank account.

I also had two more recently – whilst I have been budgeting (so within the last year), the first one I was also still constantly stressed. The second went better but I was still conscious of cash flow.

My third why is so I do not have to work 90-100 hours a week. When I lived in Europe, I worked two jobs (I did have four at one point, but that wasn’t sustainable) I am grateful to them for allowing me to work such crazy hours as I needed the money.

One job allowed me to ‘sleep in’ which is essentially where you are on call in case of an emergency, but you can sleep at work and get paid for it, which is nice.

My second job (the scheduling manager was such a sweetheart, and I will forever love them for working with me) would contact me as soon as I knew my schedule from the first job and put me in as many shifts as they could. As they knew I needed the money.

I ended up working like 15 days in a row consistently and doing shifts back to back. It was not fun. But if I have to, I would do it again to get rid of this mountain of debt faster.

My future is another why.

I have had a dream since I was seven, to buy my own house, and have a few rental properties in a portfolio. I cannot afford to do that, when my cash flow is so restricted. If you have no buffer between your income and your outgo, then you cannot reach other goals. Never mind a down payment for a house.

I also have always wanted to have investments. When I heard, companies will pay you, to own them (I was 12) it blew my mind. I definitely wanted to get in on that. However, to own them, you need disposable income. Not money owed to someone else.

My final why is so that I could be generous to others. I like to give back to the community, however, I can only do that on a limited basis as I only have so much income, and most of it is already spoken for.

These are what I keep in mind, as I begin my debt free journey.

I would like to know, what are your goals? And what are your whys that accompany them?

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