Thursday, August 28, 2008

Visualize This

While catching up on some of the personal finance and frugality blogs, I found this idea helpful at

This a visual representation of what we still owe on our van. Each toothpick represents $100. There are 130 in the jar right now (no secret, I keep a running account of our debt reduction progress in my sidebar).

The goal, of course, is to have an empty jar. The sooner the better. The reason for the visual is to help remind us to consider our spending, and whether we'd rather make certain purchases or eliminate another toothpick from the jar.

While I don't actually regret the money we've spent recently for worthwhile home improvements (money we received from Shane's dog bite incident), had we put ALL of it toward the van, fewer than half the toothpicks would be in the jar by now. Had we seen the visual impact of removing all those toothpicks beforehand, we might very well have decided to do that.

This type of reminder can also be used to save for a specific purchase by putting toothpicks into a jar for each increment saved. Naturally, it doesn't have to be toothpicks. It could be beans. Or marbles. Or even candy.

Sometimes a tangible reminder is all we need to stay on track -- or get on track.


Lisa said...

That's a pretty neat idea. Thanks for sharing the tip.

Karen said...

What a great idea! Hubbs wants a new computer, so this could help him get there.

Donna said...

What a Great Tip!!! And you could use it for almost Anything!! Thanks sweetie!!hughugs

Cathy said...

Hi Annie,
Thanks for visiting my blog. I love to hear of other women that have gone hair color free and like it. It is encouraging.
My family is also working towards a more frugal, debt free life. We do well and then have our setbacks. But, like everything, with motivation, it will come with time.