Paying off debt can seem like a daunting task sometimes. It requires a ton of work and motivation. You have to cut expenses, find ways to make extra money and be super disciplined.
Depending on how much debt you’re paying off, the process could take you several years. That’s a long time to be on a strict budget as you put as much money as you can toward your balances.
One thing I highly recommend you do is treat yourself when you’re paying off debt. Why? Because it’s a great way to celebrate milestones and motivate yourself to keep going. Plus, when you treat yourself when you’re paying off debt the right way, it won’t cost a ton of money or delay your progress.
Here are a few ways to do it.
1. Read a New Book
Love reading? Reading books is a great way to relax, escape, and even learn something new. I have a subscription with Audible so I can listen to audiobooks from their huge library.
Each month I get a credit which is enough to buy one book. The monthly membership is less than $15. If you don’t want to pay for a membership like this when you’re paying off debt, you can still try Audible for free for 30 days.
You can also check out a book from your local library or buy one for cheap at a thrift store.
2. A Low-Cost Meal at a Restaurant
Personal finance gurus like Dave Ramsey preach that you shouldn’t even see the inside of a restaurant (unless you’re serving or busting tables) while you’re deep in your debt payoff journey.
If you like dining out like me, this may sound pretty cruel. I don’t feel that you need to completely cut out dining out in order to pay off debt faster. Seeing as it may take you a few years to become debt free, it’s unrealistic to say that you’ll never dine out.
Instead, treat yourself to a low-cost restaurant meal to reward yourself as you pay off debt. You can use coupons or dine during discount days or happy hour. The breakfast spot by my house gives out 10% and 20% off coupons all the time so my husband and I could easily go to breakfast and spend only $10 – $15.
3. Get a Massage
I know; this sounds like a super fancy treat for someone who’s in debt. You may think that having a spa day and getting a massage would cost a pretty penny. Not necessarily.
A few months ago I went to a spa for the first time with my sister and the entry-fee wasn’t really that bad. We used a coupon and got access to the basic services and facilities like the shower room and the steam rooms.
Massages are a little pricey, but you can always wait around for a coupon or save up and treat yourself every 6 months or when you hit a major debt payoff milestone.
4. Get Your Favorite Dessert
If you have a sweet tooth, getting a dessert you like is a no brainer when it comes to celebrating debt payoff. Going for ice cream is often cheaper than dining out.
Or you can even pick up something to bring home. Personally, I love ice cream mochi but it’s a rare buy for me. However, I definitely appreciate it whenever I do get to pick some up at a Japanese restaurant or Trader Joe’s.
5. Day Trip
Day trips are so fun. It’s a nice way to get away without taking a full-on vacation, especially if you’re putting a bunch of money toward debt. You can play tourist in your area, sight-see, and go home at the end of the day.
See if there are any attractions in your area or the nearest city that you haven’t seen yet. Look for fun museums, experiences, and national parks you can visit and return home on the same day.
When I was determined to pay off some of my high-interest debt one year, I decided to have a staycation to save money instead of traveling.
We took a day trip out to a water resort and spent the whole day at the pool and arcade. Instead of staying at the on-site hotel overnight, we simply drove back home.
6. Go to a Movie
Going to a movie theater is a classic date night option. Or, it can be a fun outing with fiends. Either way, it helps you get out of the house and enjoy a new film without spending a ton of money.
You may be able to spend less on your ticket if you catch the matinee show.
7. Take a Day Off
Taking a day off never killed anyone. If you get paid vacation days at work, taking some time off definitely won’t ruin your budget or set you back in any way.
Sometimes we push ourselves very hard and don’t acknowledge our progress or success. It’s okay to take time off to slow down and do some self-care.
You can take a day off from work and sleep in, eat breakfast in bed, read, catch up on a show, and take care of yourself. You’ll return back to your daily schedule refreshed and re-motivated to keep paying down debt.
Be Intentional and Treat Yourself When You’re Paying Off Debt
There is nothing wrong with being able to treat yourself when paying off debt so long as you can afford it and it doesn’t derail your debt payoff journey.
Figure out what you really would like or enjoy doing and be intentional with your spending if it’s going to cost money. Set a budget for your treat, and lower your out of pocket costs by taking advantage of discounts or coupons.
Ultimately, you can always reward yourself with a relaxing day or afternoon off to celebrate a debt payoff milestone.
How do you treat yourself when you’re paying off debt?