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Posts tagged with: debt reduction

Visual Motivation: Debt Thermometer


We have had a couple conversations lately where I’ve asked for tips on how you stay motivated in the debt-payoff process.

I received so many great tips and ideas and I thank you for them all!

One thing that I thought would work well for us was to have a visual image of our debt lowering every month.

I’m a little “old school” in some ways and a 3-D physical paper seemed to appeal to me more than a graphic on a computer screen.

So, I made a Wells Fargo CC Debt Thermometer!


My arts and crafts skills leave much to be desired.

I have no idea why I did such random increments (increments of $1,000 in some places and only $500 in others), and I’m positive its not to scale. But I try.

On the right side I have the amount paid listed, capping out at $7,000 (for reference, I owed just under $7700 when I first started blogging in March); on the left side I have the amount due remaining. After my $800 May payment plus the $1,000 snowflake payment from March’s surplus, I’ve been able to color about $3,000 of debt paid off.

I am so excited to figure out how much we can put toward Wells Fargo from our April surplus! If our earnings stay steady, I should be able to have the card paid in full in less than 4 months (!!!!!!!) This is HUGE! And staying on this track will have us paying off our final credit card (Bank of America) by November or December (remember my “official” goal was March 2015, so this is really early)! CAN NOT WAIT!!!


I was originally going to make a debt thermometer with ALL of our debts, but I think I’m only going to make them 1-at-a-time for whatever debt we are currently focusing on. It makes it so much more motivating to see huge payments every month, instead of only small minimum payments being made. Plus, it will be fun with each new “debt focus” to make a new debt thermometer as a way to track our progress.

Thanks for all the suggestions and support along this process!


Ashley’s Top 5 Favorite Blogs


I’ve been an avid blog-reader for years. I have lots of different “genres” that I enjoy reading about (e.g., personal finance, healthy living, mommy blogs, etc etc etc).

But I want to share my…

Top 5 Favorite Debt-Repayment/Frugal-Living Blogs

5. Zero Waste Home. Technically not a finance/frugal blog, the purpose of this blog is to document a family who lives a life with no waste (they don’t have trash cans or anything!) I love the message of making do with less and the ideas for recycling (or “upcycling”) items. She has some cool tips about clothing (which she purchases all second-hand) and how she can wear a single outfit a TON of different ways so she can have fewer total wardrobe items. The website is a little bulky and I don’t like how there’s no “search” box (I wanted to link to a favorite post and I couldn’t find it!), and I’m more of an intermittent rather than daily reader, but still think its a great and inspirational resource for thriving with a more simplistic lifestyle.

4. Blissful and Domestic. A stay-at-home Mom’s homemade-cooking and frugal-living tips.This is another one I don’t check daily, but love to browse the archives. My favorites are the menu plans (and her ideas about how to plan rollover meals and grocery shop for a month at a time), homemade recipes, and thrifty living posts. It’s incredibly encouraging. This family of four lives on $14,000 per year and have no debt at all (owning their vehicles and home outright)! If they can do it, anyone can do it, right?

3. Blogging Away Debt. Okay, okay, I had to give BAD a shout-out. But for real, I have loved this blog for a long time (been a reader since the days of Beks) and really enjoy being able to read and follow along with the other bloggers’ journeys, too! It’s so motivating to be a part of this community! A big shout-out to YOU (the collective readers) because I have already learned a TON from you guys in the comments! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Keep the comments coming!

2. No More Harvard Debt. He’s actually well beyond his debt-reduction journey at this point, but its fun to read the archives of his story (this is how I did it). I love hearing about the great lengths he went to in order to make some extra money (pedi-cab driver! landscaper! taking on 2 roommates!), and the sacrifices he made along the way (selling his vehicles! foregoing friends’ weddings! staying home – alone – instead of traveling for Christmas!) He really went all-in and I admire his enthusiasm (and his financial transparency). 

1. The Fun Cheap or Free Queen. Another stay-at-home Mom who blogs about frugality. She’s got some great budgeting tips, and is really encouraging. Her tagline is “where frugal gets a facelift.” She’s got a bubbly, contagious personality (she does lots of video how-to’s and live streaming Q&As) and talks about how you can live frugally and within a strict budget, and yet not feel deprived! I don’t know about you, but it feels more sustainable to live a super-frugal lifestyle long-term if you find ways to still sneak indulgences by fitting them into your budget! This is the only one of my top 5 (other than BAD) that I read almost daily. Love!

I have lots of other personal finance blogs I enjoy too (Mr. Money Mustache, The Simple Dollar, Money Saving Mom, Saving Money in Your 20s, and Frugal Beautiful, to name a few). It’s hard to narrow it down to only 5 and I wanted to give a good mix of smaller/less-well-known blogs and larger ones, from the areas of debt-repayment and frugal living so hopefully everyone was able to find one or two new-to-them blogs that you can enjoy in addition to your daily BAD fix.


What about you? What are your favorite debt-repayment/personal finance/frugal living blogs? Anything fantastic I need to check out?