Do you have a really big debt? I do. It’s called my mortgage.
Last year, I was able to successfully pay down my mortgage such that my loan-to-value ratio (essentially, the percentage of how much I owed on my home) hit 80%.
There was a clear benefit to getting down to 80%, as that is the threshold where you can start to pester your mortgage company about getting rid of PMI (a project that I serialized in five parts: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, and part 5). And once PMI is gone, you can put that money toward your mortgage premium, paying it off faster, in a kind of debt snowball.
So that’s the benefit of getting to the 80% milestone. What’s the next milestone?
It turns out, sadly, that there really isn’t another intermediate one.
This is a problem regardless of mortgages. You might have a single large debt (say, student loans) that towers over all your other debts. It might even be your only debt. You want to stay motivated to pay it off, but it’s Just. So. Big.
How do you stay motivated to pay it off?