Have you ever thought about quitting you job and doing something else, like writing or gardening or even working with the less fortunate? Why don't you?
Probably for two reasons: one, you have debts; two, you don't have the money to do that.
Those are the physical manifestations of having debt. Real life debt chains. The only way to free yourself is to break those chains.
To break the chains first you must Visualize your Debt. Think of every dollar owed as a link in the chain, every different debt is a chain each holding you down like a staked balloon. So if you have four credit cards to pay off, imagine four chains tying you to the ground.
I personally like to look at each of my debts that way. For example, I received my bill for my CitiBank Platinum Card. I continue to make the minimum payment on this as it is not my top snowball debt, yet! My bill showed I owed $9119. If i think of every dollar a 1 inch link, that is 759 ft of chain! But today I paid off $313, or 26 feet! so after I paid this I literally imagine cutting off that 26 feet of heavy rusty chain that was holding me down!
OK, I know it sounds weird, but for me I like to feel the following:
- Progress - Thinking about cutting of the 26' of chain feels like real progress to me.
- Value - I am freeing myself inch by inch! I am buying my freedom at $1/inch!
- Keeps me in Check - I don't want to add another inch to these heavy oppressive chains do I? So why would I take on extra debt?
For me this has really helped, just paying off dinners that I had 5-years ago doesn't make feel better. But every time I retire $1 I really do feel lighter!
Last whacky tip. Actually go to Home Depot or your local hardware store where they sell chain by the foot. Find the heaviest chain you can and buy one link. They will look at you a bit strange, but then keep that heavy piece of chain on your desk or wherever you do your bills. Every time you pay off even $1, pick up the link and feel the weight and think about that manifestation falling off of you. If you are tempted to spend, do the opposite, image all the extra feet of that chain tying you down.
This is a quick visual and sensory piece of conditioning that can help you stay on budget and manage your money better.