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Last week I was talking about how sometimes it can be hard to stay motivated while paying down debt.

We received our tax refund and while it would be so tempting to use that money for some fun, we decided to use most of it on paying down the student loan.

As I shared some of my ways to stay motivated to stick to our financial goals, I asked for tips from you guys.

I'm so happy that you guys delivered some great advice on what works for you.

I noticed a few suggestions came up again and again with couples – visualizing together and having a chart up.

Charting Your Progress

Gina has a chart that she has used to stay motivated. Here's what she said helped her:

My husband and I are following Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover plan to get on track financially.

We have a large visual aide on our fridge that we use for motivation, we also keep a debt chart and each month update our numbers for 2 student loans and our mortgage. I look at both all the time to stay motivated.

While we are not following Dave Ramsey's baby steps, I can see the benefits of having a visual showing the steps that you've already taken and future steps you are working towards.

It's much easier to focus when the two of you have a plan for your money.

Looking Toward the Future Together

You know how sometimes you can see someone win the lotto on the TV and you think of ways you would spend the money if you had it? Yeah, we've done that too.

It's fun to look at the ‘what ifs' and just imagine possibilities.

dave ramsey baby steps chart
dave ramsey baby steps chart Gina and her husband use a chart to stay focused

Jackie from The Debt Myth has done that, but with much more  productive results.

When my husband and I were paying off our house, we stayed motivated by talking about how great it would be once we were done. (What we'd do, what would be different, etc.)

Basically, we spent a lot of time daydreaming — kinda like those “what would you do if you won the lottery” conversations people have — except that we knew we really *would* be able to do the stuff once we were done.

Having a partner on the same page makes such a big difference.

Having a financial game plan is a big part of reaching your goals and it can help you two develop ways to communicate effectively.

Are you looking at doing this as a couple? You can start off by creating a list of goals you two wish to achieve in 1, 5, and 10 years.

You two really need to think about what you value as individuals and as a couple. Here are some things ot chat about.

  • Do you want to eventually own a place or do you want travel more often?
  • Do either one of you want to start a business?
  • Do you guys want kids down the road?

Each couple will have their own answers and their own plan.

Thoughts on Working Together to Pay Down Debt

I'd love to hear from you guys again about building a financial game plan as couple. What has worked for you two?

PhotoCredit: jeff_golden

About Elle Martinez

Elle Martinez helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second..

6 comments add your comment

  1. We stay motivated by keeping track of the total debt and watching the payoff date move up each time we make an extra payment. We oftener do projections and what if scenarios to see how fast we can get rid of it. Having my fiancée’s student loan debt disappear will be a huge weight off of our shoulders and free up a ton of cash flow!

    • I love updating charts and spreadsheets whenever we make extra payments to the student loan. Seeing the time get shaved off bit by bit is a really good pick me up 🙂

      Thanks for sharing how you stay on top off your debt!

  2. What has really helped us as a couple is that we entered our marriage very like-minded about our spending behaviors. This similarity has made goal setting so much easier for us. We talk about what we want to accomplish, and then we work towards these goals. We own our home, our own business and have two kids in college, so it’s worked out well so far! The day we paid off our student loans was a great day, and we were in our early 40s!

    • So happy to see that you two have been on the same page for awhile. It does make a HUGE difference. Congrats on getting rid of the student loan!

  3. Right on! Our debt is paid off, and a big part of that was our joint commitment to get rid of that bad thing.