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thread: How do you keep focused and motivated for your long term financial goals?

  1. #1
    Moderator

    Oct 2004
    In my Zombie proof fortress.
    6,449

    How do you keep focused and motivated for your long term financial goals?

    Dh and I are in the midst of debt reduction. If it was not for the bad debt eg: credit cards, we would be living more comfortably right now, or at least be hammering our mortgage.

    Based on current projections (as is just what we pay each month, no extra windfalls being paid) we will be out of it in 2015. Sure it was only 2014 when I first worked it out, but hey have to go with current figures.

    It is depressing really, whilst I know we should feel good that we are taking control and doing something about it, it is such a long time away. Plus we want to build, so need to reduce our mortgage a lot before then as well. In fact we were looking at starting the process in 2014!



    Anyone else done or going through something similar? How do you keep focussed? How do you keep the balance between the goal and living now? I know we could hit at out debt harder, but then what little lifestyle we do have would be gone.

  2. #2
    Registered User

    Mar 2006
    4,542

    Fantastic thread!! We are sitting down this weekend to have this talk as we want a bigger house but have a big mortgage to get down before we can even consider it.

    No idea how we are going to stay motivated so hopefully someone can help us out. We also need budget slashing tips too

  3. #3

    Nov 2007
    Earth
    4,434

    We budget in 'fun' money. I find that if we're doing it really tight to pay back a debt, after a few months we get depressed and end up splurging on something we don't really need. Instead of doing that, we actually budget a certain amount per fortnight that can just be blown, whether it's going to the movies together or going out for dinner or buying some dvds. So we don't feel like we're doing it so tough, and we can mentally adjust to living like this for another few years.

  4. #4
    Moderator

    Oct 2004
    In my Zombie proof fortress.
    6,449

    We have pocket money budgeted, plus a takeaway every now and then. Plus we use tax money to do the bigger things or to splurge if need be.

    I find having our cashflow plotted out for a year + is helpful most of the time, but can still get depressing when budgeted expenses blow out.

  5. #5
    Registered User

    Apr 2009
    Perth, WA
    1,587

    Yep we are the same - we budget fun money into our weekly budget, though this gets saved and spent maybe once a fortnight. Plus we make fun things at home, eg we'll have a Mexican night at home with friends, we'll go to each others house for home made morning tea etc.

    Our tax return should wipe our credit cards but we still have a car loan and personal loan as well as the mortgage. We pay an extra $100 a week on our mortgage, an extra $200 per month on our personal loan and the minimum on our car loan. As soon as our tax clears the credit cards they will be cut up and the money we were paying on them as well as any extra money left over at the end of the week will go on the personal loan.

    For me, seeing the loan decrease is motivation for me, as well as knowing that if anything major happens and we need money urgently, we can redraw off of it.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Add Starfish on Facebook

    Apr 2007
    Sydney
    1,759

    I have signed up with a budget management company. They have created a budget for me that I can stick to (mostly) and pay all my bills for me, so I don't have to worry about it. For me, I am useless with money (DH is even worse), so we figured that outsourcing was the best way to go.

  7. #7
    Moderator

    Oct 2004
    In my Zombie proof fortress.
    6,449

    I could not do that Starfish, I like having control, plus I love any excuse to do stuff in a spreadsheet

    Amy - One card is now paid off so I know should not be feeling as bad about how far away the light at the end of the tunnel is.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Add Starfish on Facebook

    Apr 2007
    Sydney
    1,759

    I could not do that Starfish, I like having control, plus I love any excuse to do stuff in a spreadsheet
    If you CAN control your spending, then I think you're halfway there. Good Luck.

  9. #9
    Registered User

    Nov 2011
    Perth
    1,090

    Wish I knew the answer Astrid!

    I guess I just focus on one debt at a time instead of looking too far ahead, and once one debt goes, the money that was budgeted to go to that can go to hammering the next debt. I thought I had the credit card (it was paid off completely!) under control until some car troubles last weekend. So, back to cracking that one. DH's HECS I would say should be gone in about 18 months, his car loan still has 3 years if we keep paying the minimum amount. Then there's the mortgage :| and we just got a tax bill
    Last edited by lady_neon; August 1st, 2012 at 03:15 PM.

  10. #10
    Registered User

    Dec 2007
    Victoria
    7,260

    There is a mortgage payment projection thingo somewhere, that out finance guy showed to us, that showed how paying an extra $4 a week on our mortgage extrapolated out to saving $50k in interest by the end of the mortgage. That was pretty motivational I think....Everytime I wanted to buy a coffee or the girls an icecream, I thought about how those gold coins could better be used and that made me think.

    Google: mortgage repayment calculator extra and click on the Mortgage Choice link. An extra $200 a month from your $300k mortgage = $79k and 5 years saved.

    I am pretty hopeless with money, but I made sure that DH knew what was going on and what I had bought or paid off while he was away at work, so I felt accountable to someone and that helped too.

  11. #11
    Registered User

    Jan 2006
    8,369

    Just done this myself - or rather, am doing this.

    Get a credit card with 0% for 12-15 months. Transfer your current balance. Cancel old cards. Pay off debt without paying interest. This shortens the time needed to pay off the debt.
    Pack-up lunches for work.
    When cooking, make an extra portion (or serve an extra portion) to freeze. Costs next to nothing, looks after your waistline and you have a freezer full of meals for when you don't have time/motivation to cook and fancy an easy meal. As good as a takeout!

    Also, don't write off your car. That would be a top tip I wish I'd followed.

  12. #12
    Registered User

    Apr 2008
    Melbourne
    6,745

    I have run a lean budget for over 7 years now so that we could pay our mortgage while on maternity leave initially but then so that I could go back to work part time, then have another baby etc. we've just kept it going.

  13. #13
    Moderator

    Oct 2004
    In my Zombie proof fortress.
    6,449

    Nice to know others out there have some kind of financial plan in place. Thanks for sharing

    BTW I was not after any budget/savings advice, just more about the emotional focus of having a plan

  14. #14
    Registered User

    Sep 2008
    Gold Coast
    1,153

    I have decided to do it 1 debt at a time.
    Pay the minimum on them all, and put any extra on that one debt.
    Currently, we are working on my car.
    I prob makes more sense to spread the extra over all of them, but the rewards are so small then. I need more short term goals than long term gain KWIM?

  15. #15
    Registered User

    Apr 2008
    Melbourne
    6,745

    It's hard to keep focus but I think or person has to be tough and be the controller to make sure things don't go off track. once you do it for a while you get used to it and it becomes easier.

  16. #16
    Registered User

    Mar 2006
    4,542

    What I have done is print out a photo of my "dream" house and I have it sitting on the fridge to keep reminding myself of what we are doing this for.

    DH & I also talk/plan what we want in our new house and look at real estate to keep us motivated too.

  17. #17
    Registered User

    Mar 2006
    4,542

    We have just paid off a credit card & car lona so I printed out the zero balances and stuck it to the fridge so we can see them because it's so nice to look at a zero balances and I can't wait to put the next one up there too

  18. #18
    BellyBelly Member

    Jan 2010
    2,793

    I keep focussed purely by setting yearly goals and then checking each month how close to them I am. I decided that last year I wanted to get debt down to x amount. We made it and I've sry a slightly bigger goal this year (figured I wouldn't need to pay extra and that the reduced interest should do it for us). I always put our tax refund into our debt - it's nice to are a larger chunk of debt disappear one month.

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