When we were getting out of debt, our family created a Debt-Free Dreams poster. Ben and I and our oldest son, who was 12 or 13 at the time, brainstormed ideas about what things we wanted to do when we were debt-free. Buy a house. Go on family vacations. Build a baseball field (you can probably guess who contributed that). We filled our poster with our hopes, and we proudly hung it on our wall. It served as a visual reminder for why we were attacking our debt together.
We also had a jar of Skittles that we kept on our desk. Each Skittle represented a couple of hundred dollars of debt, and each time we made a payment, we shared the corresponding Skittles between the three of us. Watching that mound of Skittles dwindle and tasting sweet victory together was a fun way to celebrate our progress.
Now we’re on Baby Steps 4, 5, and 6. Recently, Ben started writing our mortgage balance on the white board in our kitchen. Seeing that number in front of me every day gets me fired up about paying it off as soon as possible. I found a printable worksheet from Chris Hogan on Facebook this week to track our progress on our 15-year mortgage. Each brick of the house equates to one monthly mortgage payment. We’ve set a goal to retire that debt in five years, and I’m excited to fill in those bricks as we go.
What goals do you have? Are you keeping them front of mind with visual reminders around your home or office? Is your family energized to work toward those goals together? How are you celebrating your milestones? If your goals are just vaguely in your head, get them out on paper, give yourself a timeline, and write down your strategy to make it happen.