Getting out of debt doesn’t have to be as daunting as you might have thought and using a debt reduction spreadsheet can help you keep track of income and expenses. Choosing the best spreadsheet for you can be pretty easy since there are many sources where you can download a free spreadsheet online.
The big advantage of using a spreadsheet is that it’s very easy to lose track of your purchases. You might think you’re doing really well with your budget but in reality you are spending a few dollars here and a few dollars there and before you know it you’ve thrown away a lot of extra money every month. If you’re writing it all down and keeping track of it visually it’s much more difficult to throw money away. When you can see your debt and expenditures in black and white most people tend to hold themselves more accountable.
Another benefit of using a debt reduction spreadsheet is that it can really help you stay motivated and on track when you can actually see your progress. Again, being able to see your debt diminish a little every month can be a very empowering thing. It’s going to give you strength to resist temptation and stay on track when you have black and white proof that you are moving ahead.
No matter how good a spreadsheet is, it won’t do you any good if you don’t keep all the entries up to date. Anytime there is a change in your circumstances such as a change in the interest rate of a certain loan, or the minimum payment requirements, you’ll have to update your spreadsheet so that your new pay off date will be accurate. If you have some unexpected change in your monthly living expenses you have to update your spreadsheet. Remember, the information you get from your spreadsheet will only be as accurate as the information you plug into it. So do yourself a favor and keep the information up to date.
There are different types of spreadsheets that will help you focus your efforts, one of the most common types is the type that has you pay off one debt first, than take that amount of money and apply it to your next debt, than when that debt is paid off you take the money you’ve freed up from that debt and use it one your next debt, etc. You get the idea, it’s a cumulative effect and as long as you are making at least minimum payments on every debt and only using the ‘extra’ money that you’ve freed up by paying something off to pay off more debt this method is very common and works extremely well.
It really doesn’t matter what type of spreadsheet you use. Whether it’s free or if you had to buy it. Whether it includes a debt reduction calculator or not or what form of payoff it uses. The point is that to get out of debt use any tool you can lay your hands on and one of the simplest and easiest to use is a debt reduction spreadsheet.