Anyone in debt knows why it sucks. Yet somehow it is hard to put it into words. Here’s my attempt:
- Slow death
- Wasted time
I could go on, but I’d rather get to the good part: I found a way to not feel awful 100% of the time that you are in debt.
Look how far you’ve come
I know folks with daily budgets or spending plans, monthly goals and plans, or even yearly like a dear friend of mine (intense, right?). And while planning ahead and budgeting is what makes your future look bright, I always felt like I was stuck in the same amount of grossness as I was three years ago.
That was, until I realized that there is nothing stopping me from tracking the debt I am now OUT of, just to feel good.
So, I made a new spreadsheet that celebrates, rejoices, and tracks where we’ve been and how far we’ve come. Is anyone else doing this?
Part One tracks the annoying and miscellaneous debt that accrues and terrorizes you in your sleep. Please note these numbers have been changed to random numbers to reflect what someone else’s budget might look like.
This spreadsheet gives you credit for paying your personal property taxes. This spreadsheet gives you credit for the awful medical bills and annoyances that eat away at your monthly budget, making you feel like you are going nowhere.
As you can see, by typing in your loan names, original balance, and current balance, the sheet tracks what is left on the loan and – the most important part of it – how much you have paid off. You can also include your minimum monthly payment if you want to see the impact this debt has on your monthly budget.
So even though we have a ways to go, knowing JHubbs and I have paid off $8,000 in debt (oh, so that’s where my money has been going) makes me feel like we are indeed making progress.
Part Two addresses the more terrifying bills that I chose to separate so I wouldn’t be so sad every time I looked at it. Though I felt a lot better when I found that JHubbs and I have cleared out $11,000 in debt from these categories.
The same numbers and equations are here to let you see how you are doing on your long-term goals.
So, now, when I open my budget to make a plan, I don’t have to focus on how much of our money goes to debt right now — I can also look back and say, wow.
This has already made me really want to put more money into our payments. Before I begrudged every payment, but now I know that once I send it in I can log on and see our PAID OFF!!!!!! column blast off!
Leave a comment below if you want me to upload this PDF again (it’s currently lost at sea) to save it on your computer to set up your own How Far I’ve Come spreadsheet.