# Tools

## Debt Freedom Date Calculator

Are you ready to pay off some serious debt in 2019? To say “goodbye” to the car payment, Sallie Mae and credit cards? If you said yes, the Debt Freedom Date Calculator found HERE on our website can really help you. This tool combined with the Debt Snowball Technique is how I became debt free and you can too!

Step One: Identify All Debts Owed (Lender, Amount Owed, Monthly Payment)

Make sure you list out all of the debts that you owe and how much each one is. You can check your credit report just to double check that you have no outstanding debts that you may have forgotten about.

Step Two: Sort Debts By Amount Owed (Smallest to Largest)

List your debts out by sorting the debts from smallest to largest by the amount owed. Make sure you have sorted by the amount owed and not the payment amount.

Step Three: Pay Minimum Payments on All Debts, Except The Smallest Debt

Make the minimum payment on all of the debts except the smallest one. It can be very tempting to start to attack your credit card bills or car payment but if that is not the smallest amount you owe, make minimum payments for now.

Step Four: Apply Any Extra Money to Smallest Debt

If you have leftover money in your budget, apply that to the smallest debt that you owe. The quicker you can see a victory, the more effective this technique will be!

Step Five: When Smallest Debt is Eliminated, Add Its Monthly Payment to Next Smallest Debt

Once you have paid off the smallest debt, take the payment you were allocating towards it, and apply it to your next smallest debt. That way, as you pay off more and more debts, you’re creating a debt snowball!

If you would like more information on this topic, check out this quick YouTube video HERE where I explain the technique and give visual examples.

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## Debt Payoff Spectaculars

Did you make a resolution this year to finally off that debt that has been hanging over your head? Once that debt is gone, that payment will be freed up for you to start making progress towards your plans, hopes and dreams. If you need a visual tool that can help you gain traction in your debt freedom journey, you should check out our Debt Payoff Spectaculars found HERE on our website.

These spectaculars are incredibly easy to use and can give you a visual representation of your debt being paid off. All you have to do is take the amount of debt you owe, and divide that by the number of squares on the payoff spectacular. This will give you the amount of debt that each square represents. Each time you make a payment in that amount, color off a square!

While it may sound simple, there is something cathartic about visually marking that debt out of your life. If you’re paying off a truck, you can physically see the amount of that truck that you now own and you will find yourself wanting to color more and more squares. You might even go crazy and adjust your budget to cut your spending and allocate more towards debt!

Check out our Debt Payoff Spectaculars HERE!

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## Known, Upcoming Non-Monthly Expenses Calculator

Have you ever prepared a budget and faithfully followed it only to have it crushed in the middle of the month because of an expense you forgot about? Does Christmas seem to creep up on you every year? Have you had to suddenly replace the tires on your car? Chances are, you answered yes to at least one of these questions.

These budget busters are called “Known, Upcoming Non-Monthly Expenses.” The reason these expenses get forgotten is because they are non-monthly so they tend to be pushed to the back of the mind until the bill suddenly comes in the mail. But when they do finally appear, they can create a financial emergency causing you to either break your budget or go into debt.

Think about what non-monthly expenses you know will come up throughout the year. Here are a couple of common expenses that people have:

1. Car tires need to be replaced
2. Heating & Air goes out
3. Christmas
4. Vacation
5. Life insurance premium
6. Property taxes
7. Health Insurance deductible

Once you have these expenses listed out, you can plan to save monthly for them in your regular budget. Check out our Known, Upcoming Non-Monthly Expenses Calculator to do this with ease. Below is an example of the calculator in action:

By knowing what these expenses are and saving for them monthly, you’ll no longer have to “come up” with the money when the bill arrives. You will simply be able to pay the bill in cash. A cool feature of this tool is that not only does it calculate what you would need to save per month, but it also calculates the amount based on different pay frequencies. If you get paid twice per month, you would need to save \$289.58 out of each paycheck. For a bi-weekly frequency, you would save \$267.31. Regardless of how often you get paid, you can save accordingly and have the money available when you need it.

Tips for using the tool:

• Be sure to recalculate your monthly savings number at least once per year.
• Don’t forget more long-term expenses such as college, weddings, vehicle replacement, and major home renovations.
• Make your savings for these expenses AUTOMATIC by establishing an auto-draft.

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## Yearly Financial Goals

With each passing day, we are getting closer and closer to a new year. A new year brings new goals and resolutions. As you think about the goals you would like to achieve in 2019, I would encourage you to set financial goals as well.

As you think about the financial goals you want to achieve in 2019, you can use our Yearly Financial Goals template to help you plan. All you need to do in order to use this template is print! After printing, simply write down your financial goals for 2019. Then, you can categorize them using the key at the bottom of the document (Earnings, Giving, Saving, Investing, Debt Elimination). The last column of the template allows you to choose a date by which you want to accomplish your goal.

Make sure you take some time this December to plan out your goals for 2019. Once you know what you want to accomplish, write it down! You are way more likely to complete something if you have it in writing. Hang this template up on your fridge so you can see it and you can also see if you’re making progress towards your financial goals.

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## Retirement Nest Egg Calculator

Do you know how much money you will need per year in retirement? Do you know how that number will be affected by inflation? I would encourage you to check out our Retirement Nest-Egg Calculator Tool. While it may trigger a shock to your system when you see the numbers, it can help you get into gear to retire well.

This calculator is incredibly easy to use and only needs two pieces of information from you! All you need to do is enter the amount of money you would like annually in retirement and how many years until you expect to retire. After that, the calculator will compute the amount of money that you need to have saved and how different annual rates of return will change that number.

Below you can see a calculation that I ran for an “annual amount I want” of \$75,000 if I hypothetically retire in 20 years:

As you use this calculator, keep a couple of things in mind:

1. The calculator assumes that you will never touch the principal.
2. The calculator assumes that you will give your nest-egg a “cost-of-living-raise” of 4% each year.
3. This calculator adjusts the “annual amount your want” for an average annual inflation of 4%.

So, at 4% annual inflation, I will need \$164,334 per year in 20 years to have the same purchasing power that \$75,000 has today.

The bottom six rows tell you what you need to have in your nest-egg at different rates of annual growth. At 8% annual return, I would need \$4,108,356 when I retire. That number drops significantly if I expect growth of 12% and I would only need \$2,054,178 when I retire.

These numbers may seem astronomical and you might feel like you will never build a nest-egg of that size. But remember, the power of compound interest can work in your favor! By starting early and investing consistently, you can watch your nest-egg grow to numbers you may have only dreamed of.

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