I’m a visual person. I love numbers too, but sometimes I just need to be able to see things visually through a graph or chart. Maybe you’re the same way?
Getting out of debt is going to require a lot of motivation and persistence and the more debt that you have, the more you will need of both. If you’ve gone through the previous two debt courses on the blog (Debt Management 101 and Debt Management 102), then you have a good plan for paying off that debt and hopefully you’re really excited about it!
Getting out of debt is going to seem like a never-ending job that you have to face day after day. That’s why housework is so painful for me. I can do ten loads of laundry, but then there are already several more loads that need to be done before that’s even completely finished. It’s the same with dishes, cleaning the floors and bathrooms and keeping the kids bathed (the most short-lived task of them all!).
However, the thing about getting rid of your debt is that while it’s going to take continuous effort, it’s a task with a quantifiable ending amount and date. That is, this is true if you have already totally committed to paying off your debt and you’re no longer putting any of your expenses on credit cards.
I created these goals sheets so that you can keep track of your progress and stay motivated to pay off your debt. Hang them somewhere that you will see them when you’re getting discouraged and keep updating them so that you have a visual representation of your progress.
There are 4 different sheets that cover the largest, most common debts. Click on each picture to download the PDF version.
HOME MORTGAGE PAYOFF (also can be used for Home Equity Loans and Home Equity Lines of Credit)
AUTO LOAN PAYOFF
Whether you want to use a schedule for each individual debt or just one for each type of debt (for example all credit cards in total) is up to you. You also should decide whether you want to start with your original loan balance and shade in your progress to date or use your current balance as the starting point.
This is where I will admit that I am the type of person that put things I’ve already done on my to-do list just to be able to check them off and feel like I accomplished something. So yes, I would start from the beginning balance of the debt and shade in what I’ve already paid to date. Decide on whatever will motivate you the most and helps you to pay off your debt!
EXAMPLE: THE SMITH FAMILY
Here’s the Smith family’s example auto loan payoff schedule (the Smith family is a comprehensive example used in all the Making Your Money Matter classes), starting from the January 1st, 2016 balance of one of their credit cards to their current mid-year progress.
Good luck with paying down your debt!
What is your favorite way to track your debt payoff progress?
What is your favorite way to track paying off your debt?