If you’ve been looking for ways to get out of debt, then maybe a debt reduction spreadsheet might be the perfect tool for you. There are plenty of free downloads available, as well as some excellent professional debt elimination calculators designed for spreadsheets.
The idea behind using a debt reduction spreadsheet is to give you an accurate picture of your current financial situation. As you work towards repaying your debts, you enter the changes into the spreadsheet so you can track your progress.
It’s also a good idea to enter any changes to your income or expenses so the calculations inside your spreadsheet can make the necessary changes. Depending on the type of program you’re using, you might find that the calculation can change the estimated date that you could be debt free, or it might amend the amount of money you have to spend in your budget each week.
When you’re working hard to get rid of your debts, finding ways to keep yourself motivated so you’ll stick to your goals is important. This is where finding a good program to help you monitor and track your progress can be most beneficial. You can actually see the progress you’re making, which can help to keep you focused and on track.
Not all debt reduction spreadsheets are the same. Some are designed to work with very different debt reduction strategies. Perhaps the most popular of these is the snowball method. This is where you aim at paying down the debt with the smallest balance first, regardless of the interest rate you’re being charged. The object is to give you a sense of achievement to help motivate you to aim at the bigger debts in line. The snowball method works really well with the help of a spreadsheet designed to show you where you need to focus and what debt to pay down first.
Another popular method is opting for paying down the high interest debt first rather than the smallest balance.
The most important factor of using a debt reduction spreadsheet is remembering to enter any changes in your situation on a regular basis. The more often you remember to enter new balances or changes in interest charges or income levels, the more likely it will be that you’ll continue to find the motivation to keep going.
Many of the spreadsheets have in-built calculators that can show you how long it will take you to pay off your current debts based on the numbers you’re entered. This is usually a trigger for many people to look for ways to reduce their expenses a little further so they’ll have more income available to put towards debt reduction. When you make those changes in the spreadsheet, you’ll instantly notice how much faster those little changes will help you become debt free.
Of course, you can customize your debt reduction spreadsheet so you get to choose which debts you want to focus on paying off first. No matter what your preference, download a calculation tool that’s designed to help you get back in control of your finances today.
Books on getting out of dept and dept management:
–Dave Ramsey, The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
–Suze Orman, The Money Class: How to Stand in Your Truth and Create the Future You Deserve
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net