The math of debt reduction is actually very simple. A sixth grader could do it. The emotions need to be handled, too. Doing both will help you stick to your debt reduction plan and become debt free.
Let me show you the math. First, make a list of all your creditors. Divide the page into 6 columns. The first column is Creditor. The second column is Total Debt. The third column is Monthly Payment. The fourth column is Ratio. The fifth column is Priority. The sixth column is your “Paid Off Date. ”
Fill in each column for each debt. In the first column after the name of the Creditor, list the total that you owe. In the next column, write down your monthly payment. So far, so good.
Now, here’s the math part: add up the Total Debt column to get a total of what you owe. Got it? Good. That was simple addition. One more simple addition: add up the Monthly Payment amounts and get a total of what you’re paying per month.
Now, for the next column, divide each debt amount by the monthly payment. That means if you owe MasterCard $3,000 and the monthly payment is $150, the math is 3000 divided by 150 or 16.7. This number is your ratio. Simple division, right? See? So far, any sixth grader could do this.
Okay, when you have the ratio, number your debts from the lowest to the highest ratio. Simple again. If two debts have the same ratio, put the one with the lower total amount first. One more piece of math, calculate 10% of the Total Monthly Payments. Paying 10% more will get you out of debt much faster. If you just can’t do that, it’s okay. Follow the instructions using a lower amount, but do pay extra on the debt that is the first priority.
To do your own debt reduction and become debt free, stop using your credit cards. Pay an extra amount on the debt you numbered as first priority (the one with the lowest ratio) every month until it is paid off. When it is paid off, take the amount you were paying on Debt #1 and add that to the payment amount on Debt #2. When you pay off Debt #2, add that entire amount to the payment on Debt #3. Keep going until they’re all paid off!
Debt reduction from $150,000 to zero can happen in as little as 2 years if you use this plan. Along the way, you will want to learn to handle the emotional aspects of spending and debt so that you can stick to your plan. I recommend either Debtor’s Anonymous, Debtorsanonymous.org or better yet, the Quantum Wealth class, Quantumwealth.com . It is essential to your debt reduction plan that you handle not just the math, but also the emotions. Soon you will be debt free with your debt reduction plan!
Molly Mettarod teaches high school math and business classes. She feels it is important to educate teenagers about debt before it becomes a problem. On the weekends, she loves to go camping. You can read more articles about debt reduction at Debt Reduction Site