This week I stumbled upon a really useful (and free) debt reduction calculator. It’s built using Excel, and it can be used with either Excel or Open Office (a free suite of office software). I’ve been using it all week, trying to figure out when we’ll be debt free. I can personally vouch for the fact that it can calculate debt repayments well into the future. Here are a couple of screen shots from the calculator:
In the first section of the calculator shown above, you can enter all of your current debts, including the balance, interest rate, and minimum payment. The “custom” column to the far right allows you to determine in what order you’ll pay down the debt, which comes into play with the next screen shot:
You’ll see a drop-down box with a label of “Strategy.” Here you can select from several debt snowball strategies (e.g., highest interest first, lowest balance first, etc.) or, using the Custom column from the first screen shot, pay off your debt in any order you want.
Plug in how much extra you’ll pay, if any, and the spreadsheet calculates when each debt will be paid and how much total interest you’ll pay. It’s a great tool to war game your debt snowball plan.
And if you want even more help getting out of debt fast, check out Ready for Zero.
This past week has been a great one for personal finance articles around the net. Here are a list of some of the top personal finance carnivals and articles for your reading pleasure:
- Carnival of Financial Planning 05-09-09 (@Intelligent Sepculator)
- Carnival of Personal Development – Final Edition (@Insight Writer)
- Interview With A Dave Ramsey Certified Counselor (@ManvsDebt)
- Colbert’s Credit Card gets its own Credit Card! Haha… (@Budgets Are Sexy)
- 7 Money Mistakes from Smart Money Magazine (@Gather Little By Little)
- How do you eat an elephant? (@How to Make 7 Million in 7 Years)
- 6 Job Search Tips for New College Grads (@My Dollar Plan)
- Finding Salvaged Goods To Save Money On Remodeling Your Home. (@My Two Dollars)
- The Art of Taking a Staycation (@Suburban Dollar)
- Why the Credit Card Legislation Should Pass (@Alpha Consumer)
- How To Save Money – The 1,001 List Of Money Saving Tips And Ideas (@Moolanomy)
- Ten Things Dave Ramsey Got Wrong (@Bad Money Advice)