follow me

I'm a writer and personal finance expert from Halifax, Nova Scotia. I write about saving, budgeting, and debt.

More Categories

Hi, I'm Jordann

Subscribe for My Latest Letters

My Substack is where you'll find my latest letters about ruin and recovery from a millennial who has been in the money trenches and dug herself out.

subscribe →

Destroy Your Debt with this Spreadsheet (I Did)

Raise your hand if you’ve tried to become debt free and failed.

You aren’t alone. In fact, you’re with the majority of Canadians who try, time and again, to finally pay off their debt and fail at it over and over.

So many people fail at their debt payoff, but why?

Is it because they’re lazy and entitled? Because they can’t get their shit together? Because they don’t want it bad enough or aren’t disciplined enough?

No, no, no, no, and no.

It’s because they don’t have the right tools to pay off their debt.

Picture this for me.

You’ve been holding onto that student loan debt until you finally get that job that will allow you to prioritize debt repayment. It took about five years longer than you expected (and you racked up a little credit card debt along the way) but now you are finally in a position to prioritize your debt.

You set up a budget, you restrict your lifestyle, and you make a plan to slay your debt in under two years.

Six months later, you are sick of your budget (it’s too restrictive), you’ve only been able to reduce your total debt load by a few thousand dollars, and the whole thing seems like a pointless endeavour, especially since you seem to be the only one of your peers making debt a priority.

So you give up.

Of course you do! Why would you keep doing something that is so restrictive if you don’t see any real results?

But you are getting results, you just aren’t measuring the right metrics, so it’s hard to see them.

You need to measure more than just your total debt load. You need a spreadsheet or tool that is going to accurately predict how long it will take you to pay off your debt, that’s the real motivator. Your debt free date.

When I first started paying off my debt, I searched the internet high and low for a spreadsheet or tool that let me accurately forecast my debt free date. While there are some decent basic tools out there, they always fell short in a few fundamental ways.

Multiple Payments

When I first started paying off my student loan and car loan, I searched for a spreadsheet or tool that could handle a non-linear payment schedule. I wanted a tool that could factor in future raises, extra freelance income, and income tax returns, forecasting years into the future.

That debt repayment spreadsheet or tool did not exist.

Multiple Debts

Second, most spreadsheets and tools only allow you to plan for one debt, while most Canadians have at least two – if not three or four – debts to contend with. It doesn’t take much to rack up that number of debts. A student loan, car loan, and a little bit of credit card debt and boom. Three debts to contend with at once.

I had multiple debts to pay off when I was paying down my student loan debt, while simultaneously making the minimum payments on my car loan. I wanted a spreadsheet that would show me how long it would take to be free of both debts, not just one.

That debt repayment spreadsheet or tool did not exist.

A Debt Free Date

Finally, I wanted a tool that wouldn’t just tell me how long it would take to become debt free. I wanted an actual date. I wanted it to show me I would be debt free by September. Then, I wanted my extra payments to move that debt free date closer. I wanted to see that if I made an extra $1,000 payment from my income tax refund, my debt free date would move from September to July.

Because that, my friends, is damn motivating.

But, again, as far as I could find, that debt repayment spreadsheet or tool did not exist.

So I made one.

When I was $38,000 in debt, what I really needed was a spreadsheet that could:

  • Accommodate a fluctuating payment schedule
  • Forecast for two different debts being paid off simultaneously
  • Allow me to shift my resources to debt #2 when debt #1 was paid off
  • Forecast a realistic debt free date that evolved as my payments increased

The spreadsheet I made does all of that. It’s the spreadsheet that I used to pay off $38,000 in two years, and I dusted it off again to help me pay off my $18,500 car loan in 12 months.

It just works, and you can download it for free.

What You’ll Get

When you download this spreadsheet, you’ll get the excel file with room for two debts, plus a step-by-step guide explaining how to customize the spreadsheet for your needs.

When you fill in your information about your debts, you’ll be able to see the dollar value of the interest your debts are accumulating every month, your projected debt free date, and a running tally of your total debt payoff.

You’ll be able to factor in extra income, raises, and bonuses to see how they affect your debt free date, and most importantly, you’ll finally have a roadmap showing you how your debt repayment is going to play out.

So what are you waiting for? That debt isn’t going to pay itself off.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.