Goals aren’t worth achieving if the journey is not a struggle. <–Tweet this!
Over the past 17 months, we’ve struggled every single day to put Just. One. More. Dollar. towards our personal loan. While the struggle has been very real, so has the payoff as I look back at the numbers: in just the last 12 months, we’ve paid $9,600 towards that loan, which amounts to 20% of our income – and that’s something I’m really proud of!
And now it’s finally here!
It’s so nice to have that loan gone from hanging over our heads, and to help keep us motivated for this next phase, we wanted to celebrate!
For us, a dinner out while grandma watched the kiddo – which incidentally happened on my birthday! – was enough for us.
For you, that might not be the type of celebration that keeps you motivated. Regardless of what works for you, celebrating milestones is an important part of achieving goals. However you choose to celebrate debt payoff , follow the same S.M.A.R.T guidelines (sort of) that you used to set your Goal in the first place!
S – Specific
Set a specific reward for each milestones of your debt repayment journey. For us, there are 4 milestones along our journey plus the last one when it’s all paid off. When we set our specific celebrations, we didn’t know exactly what we wanted to do, but we did set a specific budget for each milestone – $100. That’s ok because it is specific
Or maybe you know exactly what you want to do – that’s great as well! Use whatever criteria you’d like, as well as you have specific milestones and celebrations thought out.
M – Moderate
You’re paying off debt, folks, so keep it moderate. I’m all about making yourselves feel special, but make sure your milestone celebration doesn’t completely derail
A – Attainable
It’s usually not good form to plan a vacation to Nairobi for your first debt payoff milestone when you have 4 more to go. Make it something that can fit in the budget, that both people will like, and that doesn’t take a whole lot of planning. You’re already planning and sacrificing enough to meet your debt goals, why strain for a milestones celebration?
R – Realistic
This is on the same terms as Attainable, at least that’s what I think. For us, $100 was doable – $1,000 wouldn’t be. Tailor your celebration to your budget and timeframe in order to avoid un-realistic expectations of each milestone celebrationi.
T – Timely
We celebrated our first milestone in November, so we celebrated in November, no December. It is best, if at all possible to celebrate when you make that final payment, or when you finally have accumulated enough in savings to pay it all off. Don’t wait, or the moment will be lost!
No matter what you choose – be proud of yourself for all that you’ve achieved! They say
“Nothing worth doing was easy” <— Tweet this!
– and I believe that to be true.
Even thought this is only the first leg or our debt payoff journey, I still feel an immense sense of pride, and I’m trying to let that linger a little longer while we celebrate the holidays and take a month off from debt repayment.
How did you celebrate when you paid off all of your debt? If you’re still in repayment, how do you plan to celebrate?
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