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As you may know, from my first post on this blog, I aspire to achieve Financial Independence. At this stage in my life, I’m a long way from my end game.

My first goal is to eradicate debt. Again, a long way from my goal. I’m also going on maternity leave in three months, so my income is going to drop substantially. Not a challenge at all!

My Stage 1 goal is to pay off enough debt, to allow me to refinance my high interest borrowings to lower interest rates or zero.

That has been my focus these last four months. According to my credit rating score, I’m about 20 points away from moving from to fair to good.

Its been tough, I’m not going to lie. Having every spare penny go to your credit cards, and get eaten up by high interest rates, it can be quite disheartening.

Then you get your unexpected costs, like your car door handle somehow falling off, when your significant other, with his man strength opens the door. £167 to replace! WTF!

Anyways, motivation is key, to getting through this stage and keeping focused. How do I keep motivated? Here’s some tips:

1) Plan your future money. All that money your paying to your debts – what will you do with it once they’re gone? Go on holiday, invest in shares, buy a property to rent out – there’s a lot of options there. I’m a saddo and have spreadsheets on my future money plans.

2) Play the savings game. You may not be able to afford to save just now, but download a free savings app and record all the ways your saving money e.g. taking meals into work = £8, dying your own hair = £70 etc. This “game” will help you stay focused on all those money saving strategies your implementing and encourage you to do more. Thank you Mr Money Moustache – borrowed that one from you!

3) Read other finance blogs. Particularly on paying down debt, extreme frugality, early retirement strategies etc. This has really helped me and costs nothing. Here’s a few I’m a fan of:

• Frugal Woods

• Frugal Queen (lady’s blog is no longer live but was inspirational! Had to give it a mention)

• Mr Money Moustache

• Dear Debt

• Making Sense of Cents

• Skint Dad

Anyways, happy financial planning peeps! Keep your chins up – we’ll get there.