Tools

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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Investment Value Calculator Tool

Are you ever tempted to pull money out of your investment accounts? Sometimes it can sound like a good idea to withdraw money from retirement funds or other accounts to pay a debt or even go on a vacation. However, most of the time taking money out of the market is not a good idea! The one thing you will never be able to get back is TIME! If you take money out of an account or wait to start investing, it could be a decision that you really regret in the future when you see the value of your accounts. In most cases, people wish they had started investing sooner. I have never heard anyone say, “I should’ve waited ten more years before I started saving for retirement”.

It can be encouraging to get an idea of what your investments will be worth five, ten, fifteen, or twenty years down the road. I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. has a tool that can help you illustrate just that! The Investment Value Calculator Tool takes the current amount of the investment, the annual rate of return, the amount of time you plan to invest, and your monthly contribution and calculates the value of the investment. It also shows a range of your investment value from five years all the way to sixty years! While, of course, these returns cannot be guaranteed, the tool can allow you to imagine what these accounts have the potential to grow to. This can keep you from making an unwise decision to withdraw funds and can even tempt you to add more money to your accounts! Check it out today!

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