Thursday, August 12, 2010

Visual Motivation...aka "The Eyes Have It"

A couple of years ago, I read about using an aid to give a visual picture of debt reduction. Seems seeing what's happening with your money, instead of just having it on paper or in a computer program somewhere, can be a great motivational tool.  What I came up with was this:

It's a little blue jar that Shane found under our basement when he had to dig through the floor to install our sump pump. I cleaned it up and put 130 toothpicks in it. Each toothpick represented $100 dollars. All together they represented the $13,000 we owed on our van at the time.

Here is that jar today:

It contains 16 toothpicks now. I made a payment yesterday, a little early, so I have 6 weeks before the next payment is due. With a lot of determination, the jar might be empty next month. It easily could be empty in 2 months. No matter what, it will be empty in 3 months.

Then what?  It will become a savings jar.  Maybe it will be for our new carpeting.  I'll add toothpicks every week, representing the increments of cash we've saved toward that goal.

It was satisfying watching the jar grow empty.  I wonder if it will be more or less rewarding watching it grow full. 


Pee Ess:  Save a few toothpicks by entering my Yoplait Giveaway HERE if you haven't done so already.  Today's the final day to enter and I'll announce the winner tomorrow!

Search & Win


Lisa B. said...

Great job! I seen this method a couple years ago I think on the Oprah show. It was suggested by Suze Orman or Dave Ramsey.

Annie Jones said...

Lisa B: I tried looking back to see the source of the idea as I read it, but the link leads nowhere now. But I would be at all surprised if it was Orman or Ramsey who suggested it.

slugmama said...

Well even if it isn't rewarding WATCHING that jar grow full, it WILL be 'rewarding'. ;-)

Good job!

Frances said...

Great job gettin that debt paid off. And that is a really good visualization tool.

Shelli said...

That is a really cool idea!

Jill said...

That is a really neat idea and a great visual. Thanks for sharing.

Alea said...

What a great idea! You have really worked hard on reducing your debt and what a wonderful visual to demonstrate that fact!

smoothzie said...

I love this visual! I am new to your blog, but love your writing!
The Petticoat Polymath -or- Jane-of-all-trades

Musings on Disability, Health, Parenting, Politics, and all sorts of other stuff!