UPDATE! (9 months later…)
Love seeing the progress!!!
I’ve read (and even said it myself) that what you pay attention to gets better. I believe it’s true.
Enter, Debt Art!
I’ve seen a few people post what I’m calling ‘debt art’.
You know, like one of those fundraiser thermometers at school or church.
Cheesy, maybe. But maybe it could help motivate you to pay off your debt faster? (It worked for the people featured in this post.) As long as you have to pay those debts off anyway, might as well make it as tolerable as possible.
So I decided to make my own debt art masterpiece. I’m not very artsy, obvi. (That’s mine at the top.)
Each square is $250. We will fill in each square as each debt gets smaller and smaller. I kinda wish I had made this years ago, it would look a lot better with more than half the squares filled in.
We’re on the home stretch with our debts. At one time we owed $16k in student loans. Now it’s down to $6k. But then we added another $4k in taxes to the IRS, oops!
The idea is that seeing your debt payment plan displayed every day will get you thinking about it every day. And coloring in the squares or flowers or whatever will be motivating! You can see and feel the progress.
Some people bury their head in the sand and think out of sight, out of mind is better. It’s not.
We need to face our debts head on and fight!!
Displaying your debt art in your kitchen could even start conversations with friends. You might inspire someone else to pay more attention to paying off their debts!
Here’s a few examples from artsy people…
Amy Jones has it nailed over at Map Your Progress.
With my map on display in my living room, I could see it every day and stare at the art I was creating. I joke that it’s the most expensive piece of art I own, because of how much money it represents to me. Money that has been paid off.
My map worked for me. It really, truly helped motivate me and get my debt paid off.
Ashley Barnett used this to track paying off her house.
Here’s one from Candice at Young Yet Wise
This one is for her Roth IRA, each flower is $100.
To stay motivated I kept it old school, and I kept it new school. I decided to make the old school thermometer graphs on paper and color it along the way. I didn’t put it on our fridge like your children’s finger paintings, but I did put it on our bedroom door where I saw it every day. It was pretty fun. Every time I would make a big payment, I would grab my green marker and color on up the thermometer. Coloring never felt so good!
Here’s another from Marg…
The nighttime tree picture was inspired by my husband’s passion for plants and nature and, less interestingly, the shapes offered by Microsoft PowerPoint (which has moons and stars but not birds, for example). I developed this as a countdown to my husband’s retirement–each block is a month rather than a dollar amount. But I wish I had come across this idea when we were still in the process of getting out of debt because it’s such a good one. All the same, seeing this graphic and looking forward to coloring in the first block seems to have really brought home to my hubby that his early retirement is real, which he hadn’t really believed until that point despite all the charts and spreadsheets I had developed. (I’m the nerd of the family.) He also has some chronic pain issues, so having this graphic to look at keeps him motivated when he’s having a hard time with pain at work.
Here’s another great one from Krista and Jayson
You can do this for other non-debt stuff too…
- Saving for a car.
- Saving for kids college.
- Saving for retirement, that would probably take up a whole wall!
- Losing 20 pounds.
- Drinking 8 glasses of water a day.
- Months until you get out of jail?
Download and print your own wall chart!
- Debt payoff printables from Pinterest
- Debt free charts from Debt Free Charts
- From Joseph Sangl: Item specific printables for debt and savings! (Cars, trucks, furniture, computers, vacation, braces,
Pretty cool stuff, uh?!
P.S. If you are paying off debt and would like to pay it off FASTER check out my easy debt snowball template. A free download that will help you organize your debts and pay them off fast.