As many of you know who have been faithful readers here, last year we moved onto our property, and in the process downsized from living in a 2000+ sq. ft home to 780 sq. ft. home. It was quite an undertaking for us, yet it has really been the best thing we've ever done. Our cozy little home has everything we need, and it has allowed us to let go of many possessions that we don't need, and our lifestyle has been greatly simplified.
Part of our desire to downsize and live simply comes from a desire to be debt free. At one point in our life about 8 years ago we became completely debt free after the sale of our home, but when we purchased another home, of course, we were again no longer debt free. Our desire this time around is to own our home AND be debt free.
My husband and I recently sat down and looked at our finances and realized that unless we had a specific plan of HOW to get debt free, it was going to take us a long time to get there... because life always seems to get in the way.
When we had become debt free 8 years ago, it was because we had put a plan into action then, and made it happen. We knew it was time for us to get another plan in place and to focus our efforts specifically.
We had used the "Rapid Debt Payment" concept 8 years before and were familiar with it. It made sense to implement the RDP plan again, this time with our goal looking towards being completely debt free, including our home.
Thankfully, the home we live in now is ours free and clear (you may remember we purchased it at a very low price, paid cash for it, and had it moved to our land). So technically, we do not have a mortgage payment, however we still need to complete payment of our land.
With the Rapid Debt Payment plan (RDP), this can be planned and budgeted for quite easily, and I think you will be amazed, as we have been, at how easily debt can be paid off with this plan. I want to share this plan with you, not for any benefit for me... but because I just want to share what has worked for us in the past, and is working for us now again, hoping that it will help someone else as it has helped us.
With the current level of debt that we have right now, when we added it all up, it seemed like a number that would take us many, many years to pay off. However, when I plugged the numbers into the Rapid Debt Payment calculator, it was clear that with some tweaking and adjusting of "where" our money was going, that we could in actuality pay off our debt far quicker.
It just takes a plan!
I went online and was not able to find the "free" rapid debt payment calculator any longer. Years ago it was free, but now, I guess it has become so popular that you either have to have a membership to specific websites, or pay for it. I don't like having our personal information stored out on a website somewhere, and decided I would rather buy and download the calculator into my own computer and access it that way. The nice thing about having the calculator on your computer is that you can go in and update it at any time, and make any changes as necessary.
Below is a demo picture from the website where I purchased the calculator, which shows just how your debt can be calculated and a plan formulated:
We felt the slight cost for the purchase of this calculator to be worthwhile, and so we paid for and downloaded this calculator program. We have found it to be invaluable, and well worth the $$ to buy it. The program is very simple and easy to use, and the instructions are very helpful.
Once you download and install the program (you need to have Excel installed on your computer to run this little program), you just plug in the numbers as requested, and soon you get this graph telling you each month exactly what to pay on each debt, and then the exciting part is you get to see the date when, if all goes as scheduled, that you will be debt free. There are several different adjustments that you can play with to see what works best with you and your budget, which is really nice because you can tailor the plan to fit your needs and goals.
Once you enter all your debt, interest rates, and payments, the calculator will produce a graph where you can see your debt repayment schedule.
Below is the sample picture provided of a rapid payoff schedule:
Of course, the most important thing here to remember is that the program is assuming that you will be making no more debt. And that is the hardest part of becoming debt free .... staying debt free. It has to be a focus that you really desire and want to do for it to be successful.
So for any of you who may be interested, here is the link to ExcelGeek Rapid Debt Payment Calculator. http://www.mdmproofing.com/iym/products/debt-snowball/ Do check it out if you desire to even knock a few debts out of the way that seem like mountains to you right now. I can promise you this little calculator will encourage you and simplify the process to get you where you want to be.
Each month, we now have a plan on where to squirrel away any extra $$ we may have to put towards the debt that we are working on paying off first. It feels good to have a plan!
Our way of thinking is that living a simple life is just about the best there is... and having less debt means less stress, and more simplicity in our lives.
I hope this has been helpful to you. If you are struggling with even just a few debts, I believe this little calculator could help focus on which ones need to be paid first, and how to go about doing it. Let me know what you think, or feel free to share in the comments what methods you have used to pay off or pay down debt, I would love to hear about it.
Have a blessed day :)