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Tips for using your Debt Free Charts

Debt Free Charts are used for tracking your debt payoff progress or your savings goals. 

Printing your charts:
I recommend that you print your chart on cardstock, especially if you plan to use ink pens to color in your chart. 
A laser printer gives the best results if you plan to use ink pens on your chart. If you use an inkjet printer, pencils or crayons might give a better result.

Filling in your numbers:
You can put $0 at either the top or the bottom of the chart. Usually $0 goes at the bottom for savings charts, but for debts, you could go either way, depending on if you want to see the total you've paid off ($0 at the bottom), or how much you still have left to pay off ($0 at the top). Either way, put $0 at one end, and the total $$ at the other end. Then divide your total by the number of lines to fill in (most charts have 25, some have 20), that gives you your base number, and enter that on the first short line next to $0. Then fill in the rest of the amounts toward your total, adding your base number each time.

For example, if your total debt is $10,000, and you enter that at the top, you then enter $400 (10,000/25=400) on the short line above the $0, $800 on the next short line up, then $1200 and so on.

Coloring in your chart:
Each time you make a payment, or add to your savings, fill in the chart with a colored marker. I like to use one color per month, so I can see at a glance how I'm doing.

Notice in the sample image that you don't have to fill in a whole line each time. If each line represents $200, and you have saved or paid another $100, then just fill in a line half way up.

Dealing with Interest:
On debt payoff charts, I chose to color up to the current balance. So if I owed $2000, made a $200 payment, but that only knocked $150 off the total because of interest, then I colored my chart to the $1850 mark.
If it is for savings charts, I just ignored the interest since it's so small, treating it like a little bonus at the end.

Don't throw them away!
When you complete a chart (WoooHooo!), you can either keep it in your debt free journal, or you can laminate and display it near your next chart so you can see all the progress you've made since beginning your debt free journey.






Please let me know how the charts are working for you, and where you have them posted. I'd love to hear from you, really!



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