The $5 Challenge; Motivate Yourself to Stay on Track With Your Debt!

My Journey out of Debt

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The $5 Challenge; Motivate Yourself to Stay on Track With Your Debt!

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Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States of America, had the nickname "Honest Abe."  

The stories of his honesty are legendary.  He was also a great leader as he lead our country through The Civil War, the abolishment of slavery, and economic reform.

I want to be the Abraham Lincoln of my household, and I'm armed with all the tools necessary to make it happen:

Now, it simply comes down to execution.

But how can I make sure that I stay on track?  How can I stay motivated?

The best way to keep my motivation at a high level is to provide a goal-a game that has a prize for staying the course.

I came up with the $5 challenge.

On Sundays, when my wife and I have our weekly budget discussion, I'll take a five dollar bill and clip it to my bathroom mirror.

Every morning, the face of Abraham Lincoln will be there, staring at me as I get ready for the day.  Honest Abe will motivate me to be the leader I need to be, and to keep me honest with my family in regards to our finances and our budget.

If at the next budget discussion my wife and I find that we've stayed on track and do not have to shuffle funds around due to overspending, I get to take the $5 bill, and deposit into a bank account I've opened just for this exercise.

If we fail to stay on budget for the week, the $5 bill stays on the mirror.

I don't ask much for myself from the family budget.  I prefer to spend any discretionary or entertainment funds on things or events that the other members of my family want.

The $5 challenge invokes my competitive side, giving me that extra push to want to accomplish my goals with negligible impact to the budget. 

The money that is "won" through these weekly reviews is a small reward for being the leader I want to be.

What will I do with my potential winnings?  I've got my eye on a GPS Sport watch that will track my running distance, time, and pace.  The one I'm looking at costs about $140, so if all goes well I should be able to purchase it in time for the outdoor race season next spring.

Wish me luck; Honest Abe has his eye on me.

Related Links:

Becoming the Leader I Need To Be

Is it in You?

Taking Control....The Whiteboard Budget

Debt ChroniclesTravis Pizel

Travis is a contributing writer for the My Journey out of Debt blog and is a very active member of the CareOne community forums. Travis is currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). Travis very candidly shares his personal journey to pay off his debt and the tips he's learned along the way. As a father and husband he provides a unique perspective on balancing debt, finances, and family. You can also follow along with Travis on his personal blog, Our Journey to Zero. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.

Follow Travis on Twitter @DebtChronicles

 

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  • Nice Travis! Good way to keep yourself motivated man! BTW, I have a GPS sports watch I won on an auction site for less than $40. It's a Garmin Forerunner 305 and I use it when hiking. It is awesome and I think it's about the same price as what you're looking to pay. Good luck my friend! I look forward to chatting with you on Sunday! :)

  • I love this idea!  Its visual, it is also rewarding and competitive!  I always say games are the way to make things exciting!  Might have to give this one a try myself.

  • Hey Brad! Oh, auction sites...I'll have to check that out and see if  I can find one for cheaper (and other things).  If so, I could move on to a "new" prize. :)

  • I'm a visual kind of guy, Andrea.  So if I can touch and feel it then it makes it more real.  I agree with the competitiveness...it brings out just a little something "extra" in me that makes me want to see it through.  Thanks for your comment!

  • The “Sticking” Budget Every aspect of divorce is difficult no matter how you look at it,

  • Sticking to a budget takes work and sometimes we are to distraught, busy, or simply don't know how to stick to the budget we created.

  • I think such a statement is a little out of touch with the mind set of someone who is truly going through a tough time financially and trying to make ends meet.

  • Motivation to be pushed to achieve something that may not be achieved otherwise. Motivation to remind a person of what they are trying to accomplish.

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