Dave Ramsey says that paying off debt is more of a sprint (especially when you’re gazelle intense), but if you have a lot of debt, the payoff journey may feel more like a marathon. If you keep your nose to the grindstone without a break, your physical and emotional health may suffer. Practicing self-care will help you not only remain in good health but also have the stamina to see your debt-free journey to the end. Here are some tips you may want to utilize to care for yourself while working hard on paying down debt:
Make Sure You Have a Fun Money Fund
I know, you may feel like all of your money should go on debt repayment, and, yes, almost all of it should. However, set aside a small amount for fun money for the month. When my husband and I were paying down debt, we each got $20 for the month. I used mine to buy treats at the grocery store that weren’t in my budget or we sometimes used the money to get a dessert at a restaurant together. This money should be yours to spend any way you see fit and to give you a little wiggle room in your budget so you don’t feel deprived.
Do Something Just for You Every Day
What do you enjoy doing? Some people enjoy spending time in their gardens, running, doing yoga–the choice is yours. When I was working three jobs in my 20s, I enjoyed nothing more than coming home after a 12 or 14-hour day and slipping into a bubble bath. That was the perfect way to destress and relax.
Start a Pinterest Dream Board
Do you have a major goal when your debt is paid off? Maybe you’ve always wanted to visit France, and that’s how you plan to celebrate being debt-free (after you’ve saved cash for the trip, of course). Why not start a Pinterest board of all the places you want to go and things you want to see? You can create this board for any dream you plan to realize when your money is no longer going toward debt. The best part about Pinterest is that you can make the board secret so only you see it.
Make Your Meals at Home
Let’s face it, paying off debt and working hard to make extra money can be stressful and exhausting. While you may be tempted to grab quick food, know that doing that regularly can have negative effects on your health. Take the time to make homemade food. You’ll feel better, be healthier, and have more energy.
Listen to an Audio Book
You may not have the free time to sit down and read a book, but when you’re driving to and from work, why not listen to an audiobook? It can be a fiction book you listen to just for fun, or it can be a non-fiction book that will help you in your career. Gazelle intensity is exhausting and stressful, so make sure you make time to relax and take care of yourself.
Don’t Take On Any New Debt
Lastly, whatever you do, avoid taking on any additional high-interest debt. Amanda, over at Our Debt Free Family has a very nice review of Click Cash Go, which is an exemplary high-interest debt marketplace to avoid. So, avoid any additional borrowing – that’s a huge part of self care.
What are some of your favorite ways to practice self-care?
Melissa is a writer and virtual assistant. She earned her Master’s from Southern Illinois University, and her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Michigan. When she’s not working, you can find her homeschooling her kids, reading a good book, or cooking. She resides in New York, where she loves the natural beauty of the area.