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Topic Title: Debt Thermometer
Topic Summary: Our Progress in Photos - DEBT FREE photos! pg 16
Created On: 10/12/2008 05:20 PM
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 10/12/2008 05:20 PM
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MyTMMO User
Why call it The Dave Ramsey Show when I’m around?

Posts: 9784
Joined: 07/11/2007


To add a level of motivation for myself and hopefully provide some encouragement for others I've decided to start keeping a photo log of our debt thermometer from month to month. I hope you like it!

Smitty/Ben please lock or delete if this is somehow not allowed.

Our Start - July 31, 2007
$62,933.21







Today - September 30, 2008





edited to add dates

Edited: 10/02/2009 at 08:07 AM by MyTMMO User
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 10/12/2008 06:22 PM
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MyTMMO User
Writing Dave’s next book

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That is too cool!
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 10/12/2008 08:16 PM
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MyTMMO User
TMMO Guru

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Joined: 09/20/2008


Hey, good job. I like the concept.
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 10/12/2008 08:26 PM
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MyTMMO User
Shaved head

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Wow guys, that's awesome.

Libby, it seems as your thermometer gets taller, your hair gets shorter. By the time this is over, you'll be bald! And wierd!!
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 10/13/2008 03:24 AM
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MyTMMO User
Sold the kids

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Hey b&l we've been doing something similar and the best part (and I'm sure you'll agree) of it is that as you get more and more paid off the less you have to stoop and crouch to fill in your thermometer. I find that quite motivating. On the other hand by the end you'll probably have quite a stretch to fill it in and might even need to get on stool or something to be able to do it. I hope that won't blunt your enthusiasm. It looks great keep at it you two.
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 10/13/2008 05:10 AM
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MyTMMO User
Finally Weird

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Wow a great visual aid. You two are really rolling.
B
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 10/13/2008 07:04 AM
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MyTMMO User
Why call it The Dave Ramsey Show when I’m around?

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Wefour you're so right! We started out laying on our bellies to color the line. It was exciting as we progressed to sitting then kneeling and then just yesterday standing for the first time to color the line! The thermometer has been my greatest motivation throughout the process. I look forward to coloring the line every month!
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 10/13/2008 11:12 AM
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MyTMMO User
Don't give me advice, you're broke!

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Wow! We're seriously thinking about ripping off - I mean, borrowing your idea, for our progress. We just have to find a place tall enough in our house!

Hey! DS is going to be 4 in December, and DD will be 1 in January. We could use the other margin as a height chart! That would really put things into perspective.
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 10/13/2008 06:45 PM
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MyTMMO User
Sold the kids

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I drew a debt thermometer (borrowing your term) on a dry erase board when we were paying off our debt. That is some great motivation right here. I can't tell if you've got this in your pics or not, but for us a big part of the motivation was have a date when we wanted it all to be paid off and plan the monthly budgets to make it happen. We beat our goal (Christmas 2007) by about 2 weeks.
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 10/13/2008 10:29 PM
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MyTMMO User
What's a Baby Step?

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Good Idea ! ! !
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 10/15/2008 08:58 AM
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MyTMMO User
Shaved head

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I love your guys debt-O-meter. It's super fun to follow your progress, helps me with my own. Keep those photos coming (if it's allowed)
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 10/15/2008 12:57 PM
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MyTMMO User
I'm not normal

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Great Debt Meter - nice to see all that red going up - Great job you guys!
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 10/15/2008 09:28 PM
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MyTMMO User
I confess, I've done stupid

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WTG! I need to do that!
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 10/17/2008 01:55 PM
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MyTMMO User
What's a Baby Step?

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What's that on your fridge??
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 10/17/2008 05:18 PM
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MyTMMO User
Why call it The Dave Ramsey Show when I’m around?

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On our fridge is our debt snowball list. It lists each debt (in order of smallest to largest balance of course), starting amount, remaining amount when we started TMMO, minimum payment, new payment when the debt before it is killed and the kill date. It's another fun visual but not as frequently motivating as the thermometer.
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 10/20/2008 04:38 PM
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MyTMMO User
Don't give me advice, you're broke!

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At the risk of straight-up copying your thermometer, could you describe how it's labeled? Or maybe even give a good close-up of a portion of it? I would hate start our own, and realize we screwed it up halfway up the wall.
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 10/20/2008 09:27 PM
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MyTMMO User
Why call it The Dave Ramsey Show when I’m around?

Posts: 9784
Joined: 07/11/2007


Sadoucir - to answer your question, the pre-set labels are our debts (in the photo where it says "AES SL" is a debt marker). At the end of each month, we measure the amount paid off the month and draw the red line up to that spot. We mark that with the date and amount paid. Here's a close up.




Making a handmade Debt Thermometer

1) Calculate the total amount of your debt.

2) Measure the length of the wall on which you will hang the thermometer to determine the number of inches available.

3) Divide the total amount of debt by the total number of inches to determine your $/inch. (Ex: $20,000/60 inches = $333.33 per inch)

4) Divide each individual debt by the $/inch to determine how many inches for that debt. Repeat for each debt. (Ex: $5,000 car loan / $333.33 = 15 inches)

5) Cut construction paper in wide strips (2-3 strips longwise per sheet) and tape together to fit the length of your wall.

6) Measure the number of inches calculated for each debt from the bottom of the thermometer one at a time in order from smallest to largest by balance and mark on your blank thermometer to mark each debt. (Ex: $500 credit card /$333.33 = 1.5 inches - starting from the bottom of the paper, measure 1.5 inches and label credit card. From this line measure the amount for the next debt and so on.)

7) Each time you make a snowball payment to your current debt, divide the amount paid by the $/inch to determine how many inches you get to color. (Ex: Say you send $789 to debt this month. $789 / $333.33 = 2.37 inches.)

8) Measure out your inches and color in the block to the current payment amount. (Ex: Using numbers from the example in #7, Starting from the bottom (or where your last line ended) measure 2.37 inches. Mark with a red line and color in from last line to the new line with red.)

9) Have fun!

Please let me know if you need clarification on anything.

Edited: 10/20/2008 at 09:29 PM by MyTMMO User
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 10/20/2008 11:17 PM
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MyTMMO User
Why call it The Dave Ramsey Show when I’m around?

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Love it, Lib! You guys are doing awesome!
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 10/21/2008 12:29 PM
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MyTMMO User
Writing Dave’s next book

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Joined: 05/18/2006


You guys definitely have the "heart of a teacher." This should inspire lots of folks to follow your instructions for a debt-o-meter.

A son and DIL are in BS3 and have a thermometer on their fridge for that. Interestingly, the first thing friends and family do when they visit them is check out their progress on the refrigerator.

Way to go, Brian and Libby! Your TMMO "family" is super proud of you both.

Edited: 05/29/2009 at 11:00 PM by MyTMMO User
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 10/28/2008 06:23 PM
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MyTMMO User
Why call it The Dave Ramsey Show when I’m around?

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Bless you both for putting the directions on here. My brain would have went kaput trying to figure it out. AWESOME IDEA. And you know, it has TRULY motivated me in more ways than one. You rock!
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FORUMS : Success Stories : Debt Thermometer

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