I love sharing deals and fun giveaways to you guys when they come up. I heard about a new one while on Google + and I thought many of you would like to check it out. J Money over at Budgets Are Sexy and RetailMeNot are teaming up for a $200 giveaway celebrating the new online lifestyle magazine, The Real Deal.
Speaking of cool sites, I wanted to mention that I have a new series going on at My Financial Reviews highlighting personal finance blogs around the web. This week Jose from The Wise Dollar was put in the (virtual) hot seat and did a wonderful job sharing his thoughts.
Favorite Personal Finance Posts This Week
Here are some personal finance posts I enjoyed this week. To get all of my Twitter updates as they happen, please follow me here. I’m going to just share a few of favorites:
Saying “No” To Friends and Family – @nathanwmorris – This is a hard lesson I had to learn and while not perfecting keeping to this, I feel much better about saying no. I’ve seen that constantly bailing out loved ones doesn’t help them and can hurt you in more ways than just money.
This morning started off well. As I went to check our accounts and schedule some payments, I noticed that our federal and state tax refunds finally came in. Like I mentioned Monday, we sat down and chatted about what we wanted to do with the money. It didn’t take too long as we were both on the same page.
We’re using most of the money to pay down the student loan and we’re using the rest to buy an entertainment center.
Go Away Debt
Getting rid of the student loan is one of our major goals for the year. Looking at the numbers, these tax refunds give a nice boost to our debt elimination plan. Between the cash we used from the car sale and the refunds we’re able to knock down the student loans by 18%.
If we keep to our planned payments (the scheduled student loan payments plus our extra $175/month we re-directed from the extra mortgage payments) we’d be able to take about 20% off the student loan. That means if we simply stay on our current plan we’ll eliminate about 38% of the student loan by December!
That’s without using any extra income we may earn this year – some great progress to be sure. While I certainly feel good that we are taking down this loan, I can honestly say that paying down debt is boring. Staying motivated is vital as we finish up on our last non-mortgage debt.
Staying Motivated to Reach Our Debt Free Goals
Everyone has their own methods to staying motivated with paying down debt. For me, I have to have support for those times when it just seems so much more fun to use the money in other pursuits, like taking an awesome vacation. Here are a few things that keeps me on target:
Each Other: I’m grateful that my husband and I are working together on getting rid of this student loan. He’s awesome, plain and simple. He has been incredibly supportive on this and he has been wiling to make sacrifices for the family which in turn makes me want to give more.
Couple Money: Yeah, writing here has been incredibly helpful for me as I get to chat with you in the comments and get your stories, your feedback, and also your emails. Staying connected to the community has made paying off debt a lot more fun. I hope you feel the same way too.
Personal Finance Sites/Blogs: Before I started writing about our family’s finances, I was reading and being encouraged by others sharing their financial struggles and victories online. Some have moved offline and some have changed their financial goals as they’ve matured. I’ve found sites like Mr. Money Mustache, The Debt Movement, and Punch Debt in The Face to help me keep focused on the long term goal – being debt free and financially independent.
Books: I love to read and some of my financial books have proved useful as I tried to find ways to cut back on needless expenses and stay focused on eliminating debt. Some of my favorites include I will Teach You to Be Rich, Total Money Makeover, and Your Money or Your Life. Not only do these books cover the numbers in personal finance, but they tackle the psychology behind the debt. There are stories, tips, and advice on adjusting behaviors to make it easier.
As I write here on couple Money, my hope is that I add a bit of encouragement and practical to getting out of debt as I’ve received from others.
Thoughts on Staying Motivated
I’d love to hear from those who have found ways to keep themselves motivated and are achieving their goals. What has worked for you? How do you two stay on target?