Pero I can do it too

How To Keep Motivation While Paying Off Debt?


It would be easier to stay motivated if this were the only thing we had to do. Unfortunately, we do not have the luxury to do so. I mean, does anyone?


Many of us have responsibilities – work, family, social obligations, all while trying to stay financially afloat. More than half of Americans have the daunting task of paying off debt. Whether it is student loans, credit cards, family debt, or medical bills, the weight of owing money is overwhelming, often leading to stress, anxiety, and lack of motivation.


But what if I told you that paying off debt as a woman of color is possible and doesn’t have to be a soul-crushing experience? Imagine a life where you are not only paying off debt but building the life you never saw your family experience simultaneously. It is possible!


Let’s explore actionable ways to stay motivated while you work towards being debt-free and having more peace. Let’s dive in:


Set clear goals

The first step to being motivated to pay off debt is setting clear goals with small, actionable steps. If your goal is: I want to be debt-free. You will need help with the next steps. Your brain tells you, “UHM okay???, now what?”


Get clear: How much debt do you want to pay, and in how many months? How much money will you have to send each paycheck?


Example: Alejandra has $15,000 in debt and is paying the minimum payments to all debt. Alejandra will tackle her first goal of sending an extra $2,400 towards debt in three months. To get even clearer, Alejandra knows that if she gets paid twice a month, in each paycheck, she will send $200 extra to meet her goal.


Once you reach that goal, what is your next goal? And follow the same steps. A clear roadmap will give you a sense of purpose and accomplishment with each step.


Create a budget

We cannot skip a detailed budget that reflects your lifestyle. List all income and deduct all your expenses. By categorizing your spending, you can see where you can cut back on spending that doesn’t bring happiness, leaving you more money to send to debt. Knowing exactly where your money is going gives you a sense of control and direction and decreases stress.


Celebrate small milestones

Celebrate your small wins, no matter how small they seem, because there was once a time when you wanted to reach this goal. You put in the work and made this happen. You decided it was time to leave the excuses behind.


Have you paid off a credit card and sent an extra $200 to debt? Have you made a phone call to negotiate a credit card APR? All these steps are wins!


Treat yourself to something small like a movie day, your favorite dessert, or your favorite drink. These little rewards serve as positive reinforcements, encouraging you to keep going.


Connect with supportive communities

Surround yourself with people who understand your journey and can provide encouragement. Similarly, find a community where you see yourself represented as a woman of color. I cannot stress enough how powerful it is to see other fellow Latinas building the life that often seems impossible or that we feel is out of reach for us because we grew up low-income, first-generation, and maybe we were not born in the US.


Join Facebook groups, social media pages, or local groups where you can share your experience and learn from others. Knowing that you are not alone can boost your motivation significantly.


Practice self-care

Paying off debt can be emotionally and mentally draining. Make yourself a priority. Sleep enough, exercise regularly, journal everything you are grateful for, or engage in activities that bring you joy. Taking care of your well-being will give you the energy and resilience to stay motivated during challenging times.


Visualize your debt-free life

Create a folder on Instagram, TikTok, or Pinterest and save videos of what your dream life will look like without debt. Imagine the financial freedom, reduced stress, and increased opportunities of being debt-free. Whenever you feel unmotivated, revisit this vision.


Visualizing is a powerful tool to keep you focused, inspired, and gain clarity of what awaits at the finish line.


Have F*ckin FUN

Add fun to your budget! It is not realistic or sustainable to create a boring budget. The more you are honest with yourself and have fun, the more debt you will pay, and the more trust you will build with yourself. Paying off debt is a long game, and we must enjoy the beauty of life in moderation.


This is what it looked like for me:

Before I discovered what worked for me, paying off debt was like playing with a yo-yo. I paid off one credit card entirely, then maxed out again due to emotional spending. Yikes! I wish this happened only once, but it did not. My boyfriend proposed, and we decided to get married in Costa Rica, but we agreed not to take out loans. We increased our incomes and saved $40K in 9 months.


We returned from our honeymoon, and it clicked: I could do this with debt, too! I trusted myself and paid off $30K in 1.5 years. I had to build the belief that I could.


When we work together:


  • I help you create a fun budget where you meet your goals while enjoying life
  • I help you pay off debt while you build the life you envision for yourself
  • I help you stay motivated and challenge you to think about your future and invest simultaneously


If this resonates with you, I invite you to work with me! I want to help you build the life you think is crazy to dream about, but you cannot stop thinking about it. It is possible for you because it was possible for me. I want you to act on your dream to make it a reality, or it will remain a dream. Book a sales call.


I cannot wait to be part of your journey!



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Orlenda Cortez

Welcome to my corner on the internet! I’m obsessed with using money as a tool because it led me to pay off $30K in consumer debt in a year and a half, helped me save $20K in nine months to have my dream wedding in Costa Rica and is helping me build the life I never saw my family experience. Now I want to help others do the same!

Orlenda Cortez
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