I am a fan of Dave Ramsey and his method. We have been on the plan for a while now and it works. It is in no way a "get rich quick" scheme though. It takes time. The meat of the plan is to list all of your debts from smallest to largest. You start with the smallest, throwing everything you have at it until it gets paid off. Then, instead of using your newly freed money to go buy something, you throw that along with everything else at the next largest. The amount you pay keeps getting bigger and bigger giving this the "Snowball Effect." This continues until you have everything paid off.
I have multiple Excel spreadsheets (partly because I am a nerd and like to look at numbers in little boxes like that) that have all of our debts listed along with interest rates, minimum payments, total balance, and a payoff date. Those spreadsheets are great, but they could be better. Today is our lucky day.
As I was looking at the daily list of free apps (see the post below this one) I noticed one called Debt Strategy. After checking it out, I loved it. It is not in any way endorsed by Dave Ramsey or his organization, but it uses the snowball method perfectly.
You hit the "+" at the top corner to add information for each of your debts including categories. Once you have entered all of your debts you can view them all on one very good looking screen. Go to the Payoff Strategy section and you can choose multiple methods (minimum payments, lowest balance, highest interest) for paying off these debts. Lowest balance will set you up for the snowball. This screen also lets you choose how much extra you want to put each month. If you really want to get out of debt, you put everything extra you can in that box. Look at your payoff date with $0 in the box and then try with $100. For me, an extra $100/month moves the final date up by 20 months!
After being amazed at how soon you may actually be able to be debt free, head on over to the Payment Schedule tab. This breaks down each of your debts by month showing amount paid, interest for that month, amount towards principal, and remaining amount. If you are a numbers nerd, you will love this page. If not, just go to the Charts & Reports page.
This final page will let you see a colorful representation with very few numbers. This breaks everything down into categories and puts them into a pie chart so you can see how much you have left in different areas. You can also email these charts directly from the app. Very nice.
One final feature that is a must have on apps like this is a password protection. Enter a 4 digit code and any time the app is opened, it must be entered. This keeps everyone who sees your iPhone/iPad from accessing your personal information.
I have tried a lot of different apps that I have not liked for some reason. This one seems like it might be the one I keep for a while. Maybe even making it to my home page.
This app is beautifully designed and free for a limited time so jump on it soon! There is a lite version that is always free but only allows for 2 debts. The full version doesn't seem to have any limits on it.
This app will not magically make your debts go away, but it will show you how soon you can make them disappear!
Click here if you are on an iPhone or iPad to get it in the App Store
I have not seen an android version of this app. Maybe someday.