You may be thinking that there is nothing fun about debt repayment, and we (kinda) tend to agree with that. It is much easier to swipe that credit card than to actually pay for stuff. But whether you like it or not, you will have to pay your dues at some point.
And yes, it will be a drag to repay what you owe, but you gotta do it. There’s no other way around it. So try turning the process of debt repayment into something not just more manageable, but also a bit fun.
You can gamify the process. Here are three steps to set that game in motion:
Step 1. Choose levels
Video games are a good model to look at; first level is always the easiest, after which it is getting more and more challenging.
Put into the debt repayment “perspective,” you should determine what will be your next easy win.
For instance, say you have $15,000 in credit card debt and are currently making payments of around $425 per month. The easy win would be to up that number fo $450 per month.
From there, the next level will see you paying $500 per month, then $600, $700 and so on.
Yes, it is easier said than done, but with few corners cut here and there, it could be achievable.
Step 2. Choose rewards
After determining the levels, now’s the time to select rewards for hitting those milestones.
Looking at the example above, you can reward yourself with something nice once you pay the first $500 to the bank. Then reward yourself once again after doing that for three consecutive months. And then repeat the process after reaching every other level.
Bear in mind that the idea is not to select a reward that costs money — cause you want to save — but something less tangible. Like playing video games on Sunday, or going to the theater with your family. You’ll figure it out.
Step 3. Choose visuals
Graphics can be powerful motivators — just look at what Apple is doing on its Watch — it has circles for achieving daily goals.
You can learn from that and draw a similar circle to visualize your way out of debt, marking every milestone (previously defined level) along the way.
Or, if circles are not your thing, you can do a simpler payoff thermometer.
Feel free to use different colors if you fancy so. Also, you can hand draw these or use some computer program; whatever works for you best.
Ready, set, go!
Now that you thought through the process, it’s time to play the game. It won’t be easy at all times, and sometimes you may be forced to get back to the previous level, and that’s ok. Learn the lesson and get back to the game. Literally.
There are those situations when “life just happens” and there’s little you can do about. The important thing is to have the game plan. And now you have one. So go for the big score. Good luck!