How to Create a Debt Goal Chart

Couple creating debt goal chart in kitchen
Couple creating debt goal chart in kitchen (Image: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images)

Once you have determined you want to get out of debt, one important tool is a debt goal chart. This chart allows you to break up your goals and matching dates into a visual chart, which can help motivate you as you get out of debt. The debt goal chart can be hung in a place where it serves as a constant reminder of what you are working for.

Things You'll Need

  • List of debts
  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Poster board
  • Markers

List all of your debts on a piece of paper. You should include the minimum payment amount, the interest rate and the total amount you need to pay the debts off. This list will help you design your debt goal chart and give you guidance in the order that you pay your debt off.

Put the debts in order from smallest to largest or from highest interest rate to lowest interest rate. The smallest to largest will help you build momentum as you pay off the debts, because once you pay off one debt you should apply that monthly amount to your next debt. The highest to lowest interest rate will allow you to save money on interest over time. Total the amount of your debts.

Decide how to organize your chart. You can list your debts in separate columns and mark out amounts as you reach them or you can create one giant chart for all of your debt. One simple design is a thermometer. Decide how much you want each line to represent. Some common increments for each mark are $100 or $500.

Draw a large chart on a piece of poster board. You can either have the amount paid fill up to the top of the thermometer, or you can start with it full and work toward emptying your thermometer. Write down the amount that you will fill in at each increment.

Fill in the chart as you pay off your debts. This can be motivating, and it helps you see how much you have accomplished as you have worked toward getting out of debt.

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