Debt Free Charts: August 2010

Visual Aid

I got a note that an example of a filled in chart may be helpful, so here it is. I've filled this one in according to the directions I gave on the side, using the same amounts listed. Use whatever color pens inspire you, or you have on hand... or that match your decorating. I used highlighers because they were close by. I've also been known to write the actual dollar amount paid and the date each time with a notation on the left side of the chart. If you are using several charts at once, a different color, or set of colors, for each chart would work well too.

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!

YNAB Buffer Savings Chart

YNAB "You Need A Budget" is a fantastic budgeting program, and the only personal finance software I'm aware of that actually tracks your budget as you go through the month, telling you how much money you have left to spend, which really helps to keep me on track.

The YNAB "Buffer" is part of the methodology of the program, which is step four in their plan - "Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck" by saving enough cash to cover a month of expenses, then living off last month's income. Say you have $3000 per month in expenses, use this chart to visually track your Buffer savings, and when you are up to $3000, bank your paychecks this month (which become next month's Buffer), and pay all your expenses out of the Buffer. This way, you are never at the edge of your money, and it is a great relief.

As is stated on the YNAB site -
"You’ll find breathing room. You’ll stop wasting time by timing paychecks with bills, and if you’re on a variable income, your budgeting “problem” will be eliminated."

Download the YNAB Buffer Savings Chart here.

Baby Savings Fund Chart

When a baby is on the way, stockpile as much cash as you can. You want the birth of your baby to be a joyous occasion, and to be able to pay for any of the unforseen expenses that always seem to appear.

Vacation Savings Chart

Vacations are so much more relaxing when you know you won't be returning home with a maxed out credit card. Save up and pay cash, and commit to never going back and charging a vacation again.

Adoption Fund Savings Chart

Adding to your family through adoption will bring you many blessings. What it shouldn't bring you is a load of debt. Use this chart to track your savings and bring home that bundle of joy with no debt attached.

Car Savings Chart

Buying you next car with cash will be easier with this chart on your fridge. Instead of making a car payment, drive a cheap old car for a while, and make the 'payment' to your Car Savings fund. Then you can pay cash and never have a car loan again.

Baby Emergency Fund Savings Chart

I know it sounds like a fund for an unexpeded baby, but that is not the case.

The Baby Emergency Fund is the first step in the journey to Debt Freedom. Save $1000 fast, sell something, have a yard sale, deliver pizzas, take a side job, whatever it takes to get that cushion built quickly.

I have left the numbers off this one, even though most will use $1000 as their goal. Dave Ramsey recommends that those earning smaller incomes start with a $500 Baby Emergency Fund, and I know many whom have decided that $1000 just wasn't enough distance between them and Murphy, so the Baby Emergency Fund can be anywhere from $500 to $2500 or more, depending on your situation.

Disney Savings Chart

While I don't encourage saving for a Disney vacation while you are paying off debt, I know that some will do in anyway. Whether your debts are paid off or not, saving up for your vacation, and coming home to no new debt is priceless.

Credit Card Payoff Chart

Friend Loan Payoff Chart

If you have any loans from friends, pay them off first! Family can wait behind friends, as family will always be family, but you can lose friendships over money very quickly. So, pay back friends first, family second, and then work smallest debt to largest.

Family Loan Payoff Chart

If you owe anyone in your family money, I urge you to pay them off first or as soon as humanly possible. There is nothing worse for family relationships than a loan hanging over it.

Get the Family Loan Chart here.

Second Mortgage Payoff Chart

Medical Bills Payoff Chart