It’s the 3rd day of Dee’s crash course in getting out of debt, and today, she get’s a hardcore assignment. I gave her a spreadsheet with some debt calculators in it – if you’d like one, e-mail me at nancy at your money by design dot com.
Here is the assignment:
Today, your assignment is to really get a handle on your debt. This has two components:
1. Read the fine print, learn the specifics of each credit instrument you employ, and you’ll be in a stronger position to make informed decisions.
2. Give yourself clear data on your specific debt amounts – how much you owe, by when, to whom, the respective interest rates, and how long it will take to pay off.
Here is a spreadsheet with debt calculators.
a. Complete the “consumer debt manager” for a bird’s eye view
note: enter the data in the B and D columns; the rest should self complete. Ignore the “safe amount” cels at the bottom of the box. Do enter your monthly income at the bottom to find out what percentage of your income is going to service your debt.
b. Complete the sheets for your individual debts. Play around a little – what happens if you increase a payment by 10%? What would happen if you put a lump sum down on a particular month? Etc.
note: enter the interest rate (cel c-10 in each sheet), the beginning balance (cel D14) and your monthly payments (cel E14)
Congrats! This is a significant step forward in tackling your debt. It may cause some discomfort. That’s often part of the process. The other side of the coin is, you are putting yourself in control. Tomorrow’s exercise will move forward from “data gathering” to “moving forward”.
My assignment today was to get to know my creditors intimately. I needed to find out who I owe, how much I owe and when I owe it. I also needed to look at interest rates, terms and penalties. I should probably have known all of
this off the top of my head, but I didn’t. I was disheartened to discover the minimum payment we have been faithfully making each month on our line of credit (debt consolidation) is only a few dollars more than the interest that is charged on it every month. At this rate, it seems like we’ll never get it down.
Despite this realization, I remain optimistic. I understand this information gathering is all part of the process.
This afternoon I found it helpful to reflect on the abundance I have in my life. Come on Law of Attraction! When I look at my life from a place of abundance…my family, my friends, my health…I am truly rich. 🙂