Over the last couple of weeks, we have been working to put together a tool that better shows the debt reduction progress Claire has achieved thus far, as well as show what debt she started with. There were a number of readers who expressed that they would really like to be able to see what each of the debt amounts were originally even after the debts had been paid off. You can see the results in the right sidebar. We figured that since we were putting it together for Claire, that other bloggers might like to use it as well, so we turned it into a free debt, asset, networth wordpress plugin. Anyone with a wordpress blog can use it and if there is sufficient interest from those of you on another blogging platform, we would be willing to make it so you could use the tool as well.
The tool is pretty simple and straightforward. Each of the debts shows both the current amount and the starting amount of the debt. To the left of these is a small graph that can be clicked to bring up a larger graph which shows the entire history of the debt. Since Claire has had some non-typical things happen as she has been paying off her debt, we also included an area where a comment can be made with each payment. This means if there is something that needs to be explained, you can do so and even someone that comes to your blog at a later date can understand what went on without having to go through all your old posts. For example, when Claire consolidated a few credit cards into a consolidated loan, all those debts went to $0. The tool allows her to explain this with the graph so that anyone looking at it will know it wasn’t paid off, but consolidated into another debt.
While the tool is used to track debt on this blog, we also added an asset area so that someone who blogs about increasing wealth can track how their asset building is going. It’s also possible to combine both debts and assets to create a net worth list. The graphs can be placed in the sidebar if desired (see the graph on top) and the size of the graph can be customized to fit your sidebar.
The best part is there is no need to go to another site to do all of this — it can now all be done within your wordpress admin area making updating your numbers easy and efficient. If you are a blogger that tracks and shares finances with your readers, I think you’ll really like the ease of this tool, the ongoing history it can provide, as well as having it in your blog admin area rather than another website. If you do decide to use it, we would love to hear what you think of it and what other functions you would like to see implemented in the future.
You can find out more technical information and download the tool here