My husband and I have had a whirlwind year, we bought a house and had a baby. It has been a year of change, we decided to roll with these positive changes and focus on paying down our debt. Lucky for us we don’t have a lot of debt, outside of the house. A couple years of hardwork and focus and we can be debt free.
Once we decided together (because this would be impossible if we weren’t both on board) to do this, the research began. I read enough articles and blogs to make my head explode with information. In the end we chose the Dave Ramsey plan. I liked his snowball plan; focus on your smallest debt, pay it off as quickly as you can, then put the money you used to pay for that (now paid) debt and put it towards your next largest debt… and so on. He explains his this method keeps you motivated and I agree. We need small victories to keep us excited for our end goal – a debt free life.
With our basic plan and ultimate goal in place, it was time for the leg work. We put together a budget in excel (this was waaay easier than I was expecting!). Then we planned what we could afford to pay our bills, pay toward debt, and put in savings. I’m sure our budget will be adjusted more than once but it is a good starting point. We also made plans for some additional income, that will all go toward our debt. No vacations this year but it will be worth it to drop that debt!
After we finished the tedious work, I made us some fun visuals to help us. We bought cheap bottles of champagne 🍾, a bottle for each debt we plan to pay off. I printed some champagne Coloring sheets and labeled them with each debt goal. I included percentages 5%-100% along the side of the image, this way we can color in the bottle as we move toward our goal. Every time we “fill a bottle” or pay off a debt we get to pop a bottle of cheap champagne! 🍾🥂 Is this silly? Yes. Do I care? Nope! I like visuals, they help me stay on track, and I love having a celebratory moment to look forward to (even if it is an $8 bottle of bubbly).
Has anyone managed to get debt free? What worked for you?