Earlier, I discussed the lessons I learned from repaying my student debt – what it has taught me about money and what I wish I had known when I was borrowing. Today, I’m sharing with you some free Debt Repayment Tracker printables to help make the road to being debt-free easier!
These printables come in colour or black and white and have that awesome reward of crossing off the balance before entering in a new (lower) balance. Honestly, just scratching that number off and writing a smaller one every month feels awesome!
But, I’m also including another free printable to help motivate you to make an even bigger impact in your debt repayment each month- a grown-up “Financial Rewards Chart!” This is a great one to laminate and use with a dry erase marker.
How to Use the Debt Repayment Tracker
Print off one copy of the tracker for each debt you are working on paying down.
Start out by gathering the information needed to fill out the top section of the printable:
- Type of debt (student, credit card, mortgage)
- Company name or info for the lender
- Account number
- Minimum payment
- Beginning Balance
- Interest Rate
Now, this debt repayment printable breaks with tradition and does not include a section for writing off the estimated pay-off date. Personally, I would find that section depressing and limiting. I don’t want to focus on some far-off date in my future based on minimum payments – I want to challenge myself to see a “zero” balance as soon as possible.
Fill the chart in every time you make a payment. Make a BIG DEAL out of that new balance!
Use the “Notes” section however you’d like. This is a great area to include positive notes or explanations when you make additional payments.
How to Use the Financial Goals Reward Chart
Print off the color or black and white version – laminate or stick in a page protector for a cheap dry erase option.
Put the big goal in the top, fill out the details, and then set your reward. I tend to put inexpensive things that are not in my monthly budget.
For example, I set my budget based on my average income. While there are some luxuries built into my budget (quality of life!) there are some things that are not – new cookbooks, a weekend lunch out, new outfits, etc. Even that cliche $5 coffee every budget post seems to bring up – these are things that I don’t put in my budget because I don’t need them and the money is better off elsewhere.
But, if I’m going to take on a goal of repaying an extra $100 in debt – by either scrimping in other budget areas, or taking on freelance work, or selling items we don’t need – I can definitely include in that goal a bit of wiggle room for a reward. In fact, sometimes that reward is more motivating that the extra debt payment!
Yes, there’s the argument that you could put even that “reward money” towards debt repayment but I’m all about sustainability. I want to keep myself motivated on this journey, because those little rewards can help when repayment seems overwhelming and never ending. Reasonable treats are a sound investment as part of a repayment plan.
What are your tips for tracking & motivating yourself in debt repayment?