What To Do When You Are Burnt Out Paying Off Debt

burnt out paying off debt

What To Do When You Are Burnt Out Paying Off Debt


What to do when you are burnt out paying off debt? It is so easy to get burnt out when saving money or paying off debt when you are being intense about it. If you follow the Dave Ramsey plan like he advises, it is easy to get burnt out. Especially if you have a large amount of debt. Here are some tips to deal with burn out while paying off debt.

Write Down Your Goals

It is easier to stay motivated if you have a reminder of why you are doing it in the first place. Writing it down makes it more real and you are more likely to achieve them. When deciding on your goals, make short-term and long-term goals. Dream about what your life could be without debt and with an emergency fund. What do you want your retirement to look like. If you stick with the plan, will you be able to do the things you want? If you don’t, will you have to eat dog food? When you start to get burnt out, go back to your list of goals and remind yourself of what you want for your future.

Our goals including having a house in the mountains and the beach. My husband wants a house in the mountains and I want one at the beach. He’s allergic to the sun so, he rarely goes to the beach. Not sure which will actually happen when the time comes but either way we have a goal. We also want to help our children pay for college and pay off our mortgage early. These things were only possible if we paid off our debt.

Make a Visual

When we were paying off my student loans, I made a visual of the debt. I made a thermometer and filled it in as we paid off debt. This took us the longest and was our biggest debt. There were times halfway through that I thought it would never end. I would go and look at my visual see how far we had come. It helped me stay motivated.

There are free websites that let you print a visual for your journey. They have houses for the mortgage and credit card debt visuals. I just made mine on construction paper. I have also seen people make paper rings tied to each other. They remove one for a certain amount paid off. There are even ones you can buy. I don’t see a point in buying one when you are paying off debt but hey some people wouldn’t have loads of debt if they didn’t like to buy stuff, right?!

Accountability Partner

It is important during your journey to have an accountability partner. If you are married, this should be your spouse. I know that isn’t always the case but you should be working the program together. If it’s not, find a trusted friend or join some Facebook groups and find someone. There are a ton of Dave Ramsey groups on Facebook that you can join. If it’s a good group, it will be motivating and people will ask good questions. If you are struggling with a certain part of the program, chances are that you aren’t the only one struggling with the same thing.

Once you find an accountability partner, share with them your goals and your struggles. Ask them to help you stay on track. Contact them when you have a win and when you have a setback. No-one is perfect on this journey and it’s important to find someone who can relate to what you are going through.

Budget Some Fun

When you are getting burnt out, take a short break and budget some fun money. As long as it isn’t crazy expensive and is budgeted. It is okay to take a break as long as you don’t go further into debt. It maybe just what you need to energize you to get back on track. It may actually do more good than bad. Just remember to make sure if is in the budget and get back on track quickly. Do not “take a break” and 6 months later you are in more debt that you started. I am talking about going to a concert, getting your hair done, or going on a weekend trip.

I have been more burnt out with saving for our emergency fund. That is partly because things keep coming up and it has been harder to save. We have had a ton of emergencies and medical bills but I have to remind myself how far we have come. We still have our 3 month emergency fund set up but it’s not the 6 months that I want. I have a goal for the end of the year but I have to adjust it when things come up.

What have you struggled with the most while saving money or paying off debt? Have you experienced burn out and what have you done about it?


15 comments on “What To Do When You Are Burnt Out Paying Off Debt

  1. BUDGETING for fun is so important when paying off debt. My boyfriend and I are on an aggressive debt pay off regime right now and it can be overwhelming. Planning an affordable mini vacation or just day full of activities on the weekends is KEY.

  2. Great post. I do think it can be difficult to save money, but it’s always good to focus on the future and what saving and budgeting will eventually bring you. Also, you have to have some fun – so find free or cheaper ways to do the things you love.


  3. Such a useful article. It is hard work trying to pay off debt and it can become disheartening. The aim is to keep focused upon the goal of eventually being debt-free.

  4. This is a great post! I think this is where my husband and I mess up. We get burnt out and stop trying. Thanks for all the great tips.

  5. This is a great post! My husband and I went through debt when he got out of the military. It was hard but we made it through it. I completely agree with the visual. We would constantly look to see where we were and where we are now. And the have fun part. At least once a month we would find something to do, even if it was just a movie, or going to play mini golf. You’ll get burned out too quick if you don’t get to relax at all!

  6. Good Tips shared here 🙂
    Will be definitely be sharing this post to a friend of mine, what to say precaution is better than cure

  7. My partner and I have a big six months of debt repayments ahead of us, and the potential for burnout is high. This post has great tips for avoiding that.

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