With many taking strides to pay down their debt in 2022, one woman is reminding them to never forget their “why.”

Kumiko Love, known as the "budget mom" and author of the book “My Money My Way,” is making sure that people about to embark on a debt-free journey never forget why they started in the first place.

“It should be something so important to you that giving up is no longer an option,” she told “Good Morning America.”

Love, who calls herself a past “compulsive” and “impulsive” spender, said she realized she needed a change in her money habits when she once used her credit card to buy her son a $1 ice cream cone.

“I went to go hand in my debit card and I hesitated and gave them my credit card instead,” she said. “And it was a realization -- like oh my gosh -- I just financed $1.09 on an ice cream cone. This is not the life that I want to live with my son."

Now, 10 years later, Love has made moves to control her spending habits and is debt free. She helps others take back control of their financial lives on her Instagram and in her new book.

“Financial fulfillment is three things,” she said. “It’s stability, it’s confidence and it’s clarity. This is not a number journey, this is really a self-discovery journey.”

Here are some of her tips to make a financial change:

1. Figure out why you want to make a financial change

For Love, figuring out what kind of spender she was helped her to make some changes to her financial habits. Love said she was a compulsive spender and an impulsive spender who turned into a recycle spender, which is when you buy things to feel better in the moment, but when you get home, it would never make her feel good.

“That wasn’t a good choice,” she said. “And so I return it. Ultimately, we’re chasing the high of buying something new to feel better in the moment only to realize that it makes us feel worse later on.”

Make a realistic budget

Love said to gain control of your spending, take notice of each penny that leaves your wallet -- and make a plan for your money with a realistic budget.

“Budget is not about restricting you, it’s about honoring you,” she said. “Create your budget based on what you are actually spending, not what you want to spend.”

Stay in tune with your emotions

A final piece of advice that Love has is to stay in tune with your emotions during the process.

“On this journey, if we ignore our emotions, we are ignoring ourselves,” Love said. “We really have to understand that lasting change, the root of change, starts with understanding who we are and what we truly want for our lives.”