Life throws us all sorts of curve balls. It’s all about the way you handle them. Being in debt and having a tight budget can be pretty burdensome.
The key is to stay motivated and find a way to make your finances work even if money is tight for the moment. Staying motivated during tough financial times is easier said than done. However, here are some realistic ways to boost your motivation so you can get back on track financially.
1. Set Mini Goals
If the big picture is too overwhelming for you right now, break it down and set mini goals that seem more attainable. For example, if your goal is to pay off $20,000 of debt, aim to pay off $5,000 of debt during the first year.
It’s a smaller goal, but you’d still be taking progress and it seems easier to attain. This will help you stay motivated. Set your own pace with the financial goal you have and remember to give yourself some grace if you’re going through a financial hardship.
Understand that life is unexpected and things will pop up. Since smaller goals can be achieved quicker, you can lessen your risk of falling off track or burning out.
2. Re-evaluate Your Budget
Don’t stray from your budget when finances are tight. It’s actually an ideal time to lean on your budget more than ever.
You may need to re-evaluate some expense categories to either lower or eliminate some of your costs. This will free up more money and give you a little breathing room.
For example, if I was going through tough financial times, I’d probably give up my weekly drum lessons, pause my gym membership and make some other necessary cuts. We already don’t spend too much money, but I’m sure I could reduce my entertainment and dining out expenses and cut out some impulse purchases.
Depending on your situation, you may want to resort to using a bare-bones budget which only consists of basic necessity expenses. It’s not the most exciting way to live but it will help you get by.
3. Find a Stress-Free Way to Bring in More Income
After you cut expenses, you can always try to find another way to make some extra money. Start by considering an extra income idea that isn’t too time-consuming and won’t cause you more stress.
Consider what your skills and interest are to help you narrow down options. and is something you’d enjoy. You can try focus groups, testing websites, freelance writing, virtual assistant work, answering questions online, and even walking dogs or delivering food or packages with your car.
Picking up side gigs can help you stay afloat. However, you’ll want to establish a long-term strategy to increase your income and may even want to consider asking for a raise or applying for a higher paying job.
4. Get Support From Friends and Family
Often times, your friends and family will be there to support you in your time of need. If loved ones can help babysit, assist you with preparing a meal, make a recommendation or even offer words of encouragement, this can help you stay motivated as you navigate through tough times.
If you don’t have a lot of family support in your area, look into local resources and organizations that may be able to provide support. Also, consider social media groups where you can connect online with like-minded people, support each other and exchange resources.
5. Be Grateful and Make Do With What You Have
Don’t get too down on yourself and focus on the positives instead. I know this is often easier said than done, but it doesn’t have to be.
Say your income decreases or you get hit with a huge medical bill. Try not to spiral into negative thinking. Instead, develop a plan and be grateful for what you have. If you have a roof over your head and food on your table that is plenty to be grateful for.
Gather support from loved ones and make do with what you have as you work to find a solution.
6. Visualize What You’ll Get in the End
Think about how your life will improve once you get out of your situation. Remember why you’re making tough decisions and sacrifices. What’s the payoff?
It may not seem like it now, but there is an end in sight. Don’t give up and keep working towards it. Visualize why it’s important to you and what it will take to be in the clear.
7. Read Success Stories
Reading up on someone who has come up from a similar situation is always a good way to get motivation. They may have gone through similar hardships but you can use their story and strategies to help you stay motivated long-term.
I like reading inspirational success stories on blogs, checking out YouTube videos, and listening to podcasts.
8. Tell Yourself It’s Only Temporary
Realize that you won’t be in this position forever if you take the right steps to start fixing your situation. Try to set a deadline for when you want to hit certain milestones so you’ll know that your finances won’t be tight forever.
Financial hardships can slow you down, but they don’t have to have a negative effect on your situation long-term. The more motivated you remain, the sooner you’ll see progress and start to improve your circumstances for the better. People are motivated in different ways so pick what’s comfortable for you.
How do you stay motivated during tough financial times? Which one of these resonated most with you?