Regular listeners to Dave Ramsey’s radio program often hear him talk about becoming and staying “gazelle intense” while completing his Total Money Makeover . This kind of focus is especially important during Baby Step 2, which consists of paying off all debt except for the mortgage.
Maintaining this kind of intensity isn’t always easy. There are times when motivation and discipline will be hard to come by. Here are some things you can do to keep the focus and gazelle intensity you’ll need.
Keep the debt in front of you.
It’s important to have reminders of what you’re trying to accomplish around you. Write down the total amount of your debt (or just the particular loan you’re focused on) and place it on your bathroom mirror, your refrigerator, your car dashboard, and in your wallet.
Update it frequently.
Every time you make a payment towards your debt, update the reminders you have stashed around.
Make it a game.
If you challenge yourself to find as many ways as possible to save money, it can become something of a game. Involve your spouse and your children and make it a family goal.
Make frequent payments.
It’s hard to stay motivated when making once a month payments. But passing up that restaurant meal or the latest movie is less painful when you can look forward to sending a small payment to your credit card at the end of the week.
This is where the game starts to become fun and intensity is easier to maintain. Once you pay off a debt, take the payment amount and apply it to the next debt. Now you’re seeing real progress!