Offer Yourself a Reward
For some people, just reaching a zero balance is enough reward in itself, says Wong Ulrich. For others, knowing that a treat awaits them at the end of the road will motivate them. If you’re in the latter camp, say to yourself, “When I’ve dug myself out of this hole completely, I can treat myself to that new body scrub.”
If you’re looking to turn around persistent bad budgeting behavior, Wong Ulrich suggests you ask yourself, “What will my life look like five years from now if I continue like this?” If your debt continues to grow, how will that affect your dreams, such as for your future home, your family, etc.? On the flip side, if you envision your ideal future, what does that look like? Find a picture to encapsulate your ideal future (a beautiful home, a tropical beach, your kids smiling back at you), print it out, and put it somewhere you’ll see it regularly. This is what you’re working toward.