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New Debt Thermometers


After completing our last debt thermometer (for the car loan – yay!!!) I decided to make some new debt thermometers.

Only one thing…. I like to keep our old debt thermometers because they’re motivating to look at. I had pulled them off the fridge to take a picture of them and they had been sitting on our kitchen table….and the girls destroyed them. Thought they were playing arts and crafts and basically tore them apart.

So I remade the old ones, too. Heh. Not quite the same, but I really like having that visual motivation and seeing how far we’ve come!

So here are the (new) old ones:


The Auto Loan (left), I was able to re-use the back-paper, but the thermometer part had to be made anew after the old one was torn to pieces. The Wells Fargo card (right), I was able to re-use the original thermometer, but I had to remake the back-paper anew when the old one was torn apart. So at least on each of them I was able to retain a bit of the original piece.

And here are my New Thermometers:


On the left I’ve targeted two of my mid-sized Navient student loans.

On the right, I’ve targeted a savings goal (the $10,000 for a house down payment) and the Navient thermometer is actually a conglomeration of 3 separate, smaller sized Navient loans. Separately they seemed too small to warrant a debt thermometer, but combined they’re still a decent sized chunk of debt.

I’ll be starting with the thermometers on the right (yellow thermometers on green paper), but it’s kind of fun to have the next thermometers lined up and ready to go when it comes time to target them.

Having the visual reminder has been such a great thing for me! I used to be nervous or embarrassed about them. Whenever we’d have people over I’d take them off our fridge and hide them. But for about the past year, I’ve always kept them up. I almost want friends to ask about them (so far no one has). Finances tend to be such a personal matter but after feeling so much success on our debt reduction journey I have a hard time shutting up about it! Even if friends don’t actually ask about the thermometers, I hope that people do notice them. I hope that maybe it sparks an interest in someone else; that maybe they think about making one of their own. This debt reduction journey road of ours is a long one, but it’s been 100% worth it!

Time to fill up some debt (and savings) thermometers!!!


  • Reply AT |

    The most interesting thing about your post is this: ” they seemed too small to warrant a debt thermometer.” It shows how much your confidence in your ability to pay off this mound of debt has grown. Way to go!

  • Reply C@thesingledollar |

    I love that by the time you’ve filled those new thermometers up — and really, they don’t seem like huge hurdles! — you’ll have eliminated half your Navient loans. (As I understand it, you’ll have 02, 03, 07, 09, and 10 left to go, having killed 01, 04, 05, 05, and 08.) Still a long way to go, but I think it’ll feel really good to reduce the number of lines on the balance sheet.

    • Reply Ashley |

      Kind of…though its a bit more confusing than that. I have Navient Dept of Ed & Federal Loans. So I’ve got Federal (01 & 02) and Dept of Ed (01-the balance transfer, 02, 03, 04, 05, 07, 08, 09, 10). After the thermometers are done, I’ll have paid 5 of 11 total. So I’ll be roughly half way in terms of # of loans…but less than half way in terms of $$ owed. Still, a fun milestone that I hadn’t considered!

  • Reply Susanne |

    These are great! I love visuals when working towards my goals. It helps me stay motivated. Congratulations on your success in paying down debt.

So, what do you think ?