If you’ve been reading Six Figures Under lately, you know that we recently passed an exciting milestone. We got our debt under six figures! Do you want to know what we did to celebrate?
Is that lame? We smiled and were happy with our progress, but we didn’t do anything. We didn’t spend any money. We didn’t go anywhere. We aren’t burned out or anything, we just didn’t need to do anything special to reward ourselves. For us, reaching the milestone was the celebration. We were excited to see what we had accomplished and we moved onto the next step. But maybe we’re just boring.
For many (or even most) people, doing a little something extra to celebrate a milestone helps make it more meaningful! Go out for ice cream. Take a break from earning extra income and do something you love. Sit down with your favorite treat, watch a movie with your spouse, then plan for the next milestone. Just don’t do anything crazy that will break your budget and cause you financial stress later.
If you are dealing with debt on your own, it is especially nice to have someone to share your good news with. If you have dared to disclose your debt, then you probably already have people rooting for you that would love to help you celebrate. You can share your news on your blog or social media and celebrate with some virtual high fives.
A milestone can be anything you choose. It could be paying off a specific credit card or loan. It could be paying off a certain dollar amount of debt. It could be having a certain amount remaining. What ever it is, go for it!
Reaching milestones will give you the psychological boost you need to keep going. The excitement and pride you feel in reaching a smaller goal will motivate you to continue on to the next step.
It’s Your Turn
- What debt-payoff (or saving) milestones have you celebrated or plan to celebrate?
- What have you done (or what will you do) to celebrate your milestones?
Emma Piper says
I’m loving reading your blog! I’m actually saving to move out of my family home and in with my boyfriend at the moment so seeing all your tips and tricks is awesome!
Thanks Emma! I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog!
Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says
HUGE congrats to you guys, Stephanie!! We celebrated making it through our first year of budgeting and spend-tracking, and celebrate every time we pay off $1000 or so of consumer debt. But those celebrations never exceed $20 out of our own pockets. We’re totally embracing this frugal thing. 🙂
Thanks Laurie! It’s great that you’re celebrating along the way without breaking the bank 🙂
Liz S says
Wow, yet again, we are very similar. Currently, we are hoping to reach a milestone on February 19 (pay day for my husband), which also happens to be our 9th anniversary. In our almost 9 years of marriage, we have NEVER EVER carried a credit card balance. However, due to some financial “challenges” (4 car accidents in one month-none of which were our fault but all were related to ice, our property taxes skyrocketing which increased our mortgage payment by 500 per month, my husband’s salary going down slightly, my husband’s pay going from once monthly to biweekly and them holding back the first check even though all our bills still needed to be paid, and a bunch of other things, but you get the idea–these all happened at once!) we have credit card debt for the first time ever. Our goal is to have the card paid off IN FULL by February 19th. We’ve been working on this goal since November. I made a paper chain with all different colors of construction paper, when we were down to 40 days left. I hung it from the ceiling, and every morning I rip one off. The kids are very interested in this, and it’s great because they understand we are trying not to buy ANYTHING that we don’t need to survive, and it’s teaching them not to ask for frivolous things like they usually don’t have a problem with asking! 😛 Oh, and I see it all day long, so that reminds me to be intentional with our spending and also it encouraged me to see the chain progressively getting smaller. Ok, so all this to say that we are very similar because we too believe that if we do reach the milestone on the appointed date, THAT is celebration enough. And I have told some close friends and family about this, in order to keep myself accountable, and so I will have people to celebrate with when we do reach this milestone.
Wow Liz, that is CRAZY that all those terrible things happened at once. That’s awesome that you didn’t have other credit card debt.
I love that you have a paper chain! How fun and motivating! I love getting the kids involved too. I’m so excited for February 19th for you!! And Happy Anniversary too!
Liz S says
Thanks for sharing in our excitement. If you think of it, please pray: We normally do our own taxes on Turbotax. However, this time it will be tricky because we sold a house and a bought a house and plus some other things will complicate it. Please pray that first of all, my husband I will be able to figure it out and file on our own since we really can’t afford to pay someone to do it right now. Secondly, please pray that we don’t owe anything. Because we tithe, we normally get back a decent amount, but because of our move and some other things, I have NO CLUE how it will play out. But with the luck we’ve had recently, I’m worried we will owe, and owe a ton! But God knows, and we just have to trust Him to provide. But please pray if you don’t mind: we are going to sit down this coming Saturday and try to complete it and file. Thanks, Stephanie!
Certainly Liz. I will keep you in my prayers. 🙂
Wow, I’m so sorry you had to go through all that but good for you for keeping such a positive outlook. Love the paper chain.
Liz S says
Celeste, you are so sweet…thank you for your kind words. Yes, it’s a wonderful thing I’m a super positive person. I truly believe that life is what you make it, and that it’s all about PERSPECTIVE. I usually can always find good in ANY situation. And when all else fails and I am feeling sorry for myself, I think of my sister and how she has a son (my son’s age) with severe autism AND juvenile diabetes (only 7 years old) as well as a slew of other medical problems. That always makes me thankful for my 2 healthy children!
When we paid off the truck, we were super elated but i had just come home from a very long Christmas Lunch with my company. But I did stop on the way for a bottle of closer to $20 bottle of wine. I had some while I went on to the online banking and paid it off. It was Fantastic but it didn’t last long enough.
Paying off your truck is exciting! It seems like a lot of people like to celebrate with wine. We don’t drink, but I’m happy to substitute ice cream 🙂
Ice cream is good… And a nice splurge. We love our wine, tho…. And actually budget for the expense…
Liz S says
We don’t drink either, but we love CANDY! 😛
We have celebrated almost everytime we paid something off in various different ways. When we paid of my (((WORSE DEBT MISTAKE EVER))) Conn’s account we bought new bedding (cost:$100). The bed was one of the things I bought on the account. When we paid off my husbands car we went to dinner($60). When we bought my car in cash we went on a joy ride(Tank of gas). We have also paid off many other accounts with out “true” celebrations. When we pay off our last bit of debt now at $9000 then we save the money we are going on a weekend vacation. Then, I will be saving my paychecks in a separate account as well as any found money that will be an international travel account. We have big plans 🙂
You’re so close CeCee! A weekend trip sounds wonderful and I love that you are going to save the money after you pay off the debt. That will make it even more enjoyable.
When you’re done with debt you can travel the world! You’ll be able to save quickly I bet, since you’re in frugal debt-payoff mode. I can’t wait to hear about it:)