Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Living Simply.... and Working to be Debt Free

This post is going to take a little bit different direction from my usual focus when posting, but I hope it will bless and encourage someone in their life journey.

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:

Source: http://www.mdmproofing.com/iym/products/debt-snowball/ 

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:

Source: http://www.mdmproofing.com/iym/products/debt-snowball/ 


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 :)

36 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. It is a great plan, whoever came up with it. It really works! Hugs to you today dear friend :)

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  2. My dear Marily ... what a blessing this calculator will be to all of us that are in the road to living debt free. When we moved to our cottage, we had no bills except our mortgage. But now with sons in college, we are once again in debt. But I know with the snowball effect, we will reach our goal to have it all paid off! Thank you so much for sharing Marilyn... have a blessed day :-)

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    1. The snowball plan really does work, it just takes planning and effort... with our kids both in college as well, we are trying to do as you are. Hugs to you dear friend!

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  3. Wow. my hats off to you! So so very smart! You'll look back in a decade or two and praise the day you decided to carry through on this!

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    1. Yes, I certainly hope so! I like having a plan, and although life throws curveballs, we can still have our goals before us. Hugs to you dear Linda, and hope you are recovering nicely :)

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  4. What a great tool to help with seeing how and what it needed to become debt free!
    We own our home and it is because we also made the decision to get out and pay all things down and then off. We live well and we know we will always have things that require money, but being our from under the big ones really help and make life more enjoyable! I have always admired your plan and determination to do this and I know it is not always easy or fun!
    Roxy xo

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    1. That is so awesome to hear that you had a plan and stuck to it! That is our goal, and we have a ways to go, but it is encouraging to hear that you did it! You are right it is not always easy, and sticking to the plan at times is hard, especially with life, but we are going to do our best, with the Lord's help. Hugs to you today dear Roxy :)

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  5. I was raised by depression era parents. Cash was king and that is how we live now, too. I am trying to instill this same belief in my children. It is not easy, especially when it comes to college, but like you said, it is doable with a plan and some determination. Good for you and thanks for sharing your resources.

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    1. It is hard to instill that into kids, especially because today we want things "now", even if it means using credit to get something we don't have the cash to pay for. We are trying to teach our kids this valuable lesson as well. Yes, it is doable with a plan and with determination, and the snowball plan seems to get results pretty quickly. Hugs to you today dear friend!

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  6. What a good idea. We downsized four years ago and I am surprised at how much lower our general bills seem to be.

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    1. It is true, when you downsize, life just gets better! Hugs to you today friend, trusting that you are doing okay in your little break from blogging, I do miss you! :)

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  7. Marilyn, We have done this same snowball effect in the past and had it work for us too! Sadly, we need to do it again. But I know we can. You're right that the hardest thing is not continuing to add to the present debt. Seems like something always happens to whisk away the extra funds. Thanks for sharing. I needed this encouragement today! {{hugs}}

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    1. Yes, isn't life crazy... we get to a place that we work hard to get and then slide back into difficulty... but with a plan, it can change, and like you said, keeping out of debt is the hardest part. Appreciate you, and trust that you are doing well! Big hugs :)

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  8. This looks like a wonderful tool that would be a blessing to my family and me right now. Thank you so much for sharing it and for being such a dear encouragement to us here. You are a light for Jesus in so many ways! I love and appreciate you, sweet friend. :)

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    1. I hope it will be a blessing and an encouragement to you... it really is a plan that works, sticking to the plan is the harder part at times, but it is doable. Appreciate you dear friend, and I know the Lord is blessing your sweet family on your downsizing journey. Hugs and love sent your way! :)

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  9. It really just takes planning ♥ Lovely idea ♥

    summerdaisycottage.blogspot.com

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    1. Planning is the key! Appreciate your visit, and it is nice getting to know you better through your blog. Hugs to you today :)

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  10. What a wonderful tool for people. We have done the same thing over the years and are on our way to financial freedom when this house sells. One of the things we ask ourselves with EVERY purchase is....Is this a WANT or a NEED? If it's a NEED that is one thing---if it is just a WANT we usually let it go -or think on it a bit so that we don't impulse buy. It really doesn't take long to turn a debt around once you start plugging away on it. Cancer has really taken a financial toll on us---something we hadn't planned on. But- it is what it is.

    Congrats on your plan and downsizing and living as you do. That is a big change. xo Diana

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    1. That is excellent advice! Just that simple question can save so much money! How awesome that you will be debt free when your house sells. Cancer is such a thief in so many ways. I'm praying your home sells quickly, you did such an amazing job getting it ready to sell. Yes, downsizing is a good thing, and it feels good to live below our means, and enjoy the simple things of life. Appreciate your visit Diana, as always :) Hugs to you today!

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  11. What a wonderful thing to be able to do and thank you for the information. Although we haven't done anything like this, we do know that reducing debt can be so freeing and getting there all the way would be even more so! Thank you for sharing this wonderful tool :)

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    1. I'm happy to share what is working for us, and it has been a real blessing to hear others share their stories too. Appreciate your visit so much, and trust you are having a lovely start to the week :)

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  12. Good for you in having a plan to be debt free on your land! You provided great information for those who need to be encouraged. Thankfully, my home is paid for, which is such a blessing.
    I loved your previous post with all the pics of your beautiful surroundings. Fall color doesn't arrive in Texas for awhile yet, so it was nice to see all your beauty. I hope the tractor shed is coming along!

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    1. I just love to share what has worked for us in the hope that it will help someone else. How awesome that you are blessed with a debt free life, such a blessing! Someday,I hope to say those words too :)

      We are still enjoying beautiful fall weather here, although the rain we are getting is helping the leaves fall quickly. Enjoying it all while we can :) Hugs to you today!

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  13. It is a real comfort and worth the effort to be debt free. It is easier to live a simple life than have worries about money. You really do have a small home! Ours is 1248 square feet and I thought that was small. We raised our five children here; there are people who would say our house is too small for a family our size, but it has been a happy comfortable place for all of us. We love our home.

    :)Hope

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    1. Yes, we do have a small home, but I think in comparison yours probably is smaller since you have housed 5 children, and we have 2. But, you have made do, and we find that small is cozy, just as you have. Bigger is not always better, and we are finding that less really is more. Hugs to you today Hope, appreciate your visit :)

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  14. I also don't like debt! We were blessed to only have to take out a 15 year mortgage on our house but I still dream about how we could pay it off faster.

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    1. This is a tool that could certainly help you pay off your mortgage faster. I've been amazed that already we have wiped out two debts in just two months. It feels good to make progress! Appreciate your visit Abbi, have a blessed day :)

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  15. Great tips! We went through FPU and have everything paid off, but the house! :) Thank you for sharing this with us at the #HomeMattersParty

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    1. That is a great feeling to have no debt, except for the house! Appreciate your visit, and hope you are having a lovely day :)

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  16. Bless your heart for sharing your debt free plan. May others be inspired and helped by your obedience to instruct! And thank you for all the encouragement you speak into my life. Your comment this week was sent by God! Hugs and blessings!

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    1. Oh, I'm so thankful to hear that the Lord bless your heart through my comment, and I appreciate your comments and visits so much too, they always bless! Hugs to you today :)

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  17. We are debt free and are so thankful. We have always tried to live frugally and so now, when we find time for a getaway or even a longer trip, we can do so because we don't have debts hanging over our heads. Thank you for sharing this!

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    1. Wow that is amazing, congratulations on the great feat of being debt free! I can't wait for the day when we can say that! Living frugally does have wonderful benefits, and not having debt is so freeing. Appreciate your visit and encouragement so much, hugs to you today!

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  18. Thank you for sharing this.. I will check this out. I love the fact that you have downsize to less then 800 sq ft. I think that is awesome. Have you wrote many post on how you manage in a smaller place? At times I think we should go lower then 1500 sq ft of living space. Not sure my hubby is on board with it. Thank you for sharing. Hugs dear friend.

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  19. Hello,
    This is a dream of ours .... that we are working on. We only have our home left to pay off. We are so close.
    Then...we plan to sell, and pray to find a little place with some land.
    Dave Ramsey is our mentor and we have had our boys take his Financial Peace course.
    Thank you for sharing this....I appreciate it!!!

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Your comments are blessings to me, and I appreciate each and every one, they are precious to me! I appreciate you taking the time to comment on my blog... this is what makes blogging worthwhile! Have a blessed day!