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.