More on motivation and money

This post is by staff writer Honey Smith.

In my last post, I talked about motivation and money . Motivation is a huge yet under-discussed concept in personal finance, I think. While big wins may be the quickest way to wealth , that doesn't mean you'll reach your goals overnight. Even if you have become wealthy, you still need motivation to manage your money and prioritize your spending. After all, if you want to stay wealthy, then you can have anything you want but not everything you want . And if (like most of us) you're not wealthy yet, you may have to be even more ruthless in your prioritization.

I've been chronicling my debt payoff journey here on GRS for two years now. (Whoa!) In that time, I've learned quite a bit -- not just about personal finance, but about myself. And as I pointed out in my last post, self-knowledge is an important component of motivation. So here's a rundown of some motivations that I've discovered work especially well for me.

I'm motivated by balance

I've written before about work-life balance . It's something that I place a high value on and, as a result, I'm willing to make compromises to achieve it. One of those compromises is taking somewhat longer to pay off my debt. This compromise manifests itself in a couple of ways. The first is time. While I do have a full-time job and a not-insignificant side gig, I make sure that I leave myself time to pursue hobbies. I like to cook -- yesterday I made fresh salsa, chickpea "tuna" sandwich filling, and two loaves of zucchini bread. I also like to read science fiction and fantasy novels -- the longer, the better.

The second way I compromise in the name of balance is by not allocating every spare cent toward debt payoff. While I have consistently made extra payments toward my student loans, I have also taken vacations, gone to happy hours, and (most recently) bought a house. Now that I am a homeowner, I want to furnish it with items I love. I will of course be looking for the best deals and saving until I can afford to pay for the things I want in cash. However, I'll be spending some money that would otherwise be allocated toward my student loans. And I'm OK with that.