Jim and I are like most people; we’ve had our struggles managing our debt. We thought we are on top of things. We thought we knew how much debt we were accruing monthly. We thought we were managing our spending and saving. In reality, we were doing a lot of things wrong. Then, we got a white board. And the white board saved us.
I’m not sure how or why, but one day we decided to get a white board and use it to help us track our debt. We hung the board up in the kitchen, in a place where everyone could see. On the board, we wrote down every penny we owed in loans and credit cards. As bills came in, we would update the numbers. We celebrated when the numbers got smaller and had to really assess things if the number went up.
Before we got our white board we fell into a trap of paying off a card or two, only to run it up again. The minor wins of paying off one card felt much bigger to us because it felt like winning the race. We couldn’t see the whole picture until we invited those numbers into our kitchen.
The white board doesn’t have any magical powers, but it forced us to get honest about our debt and our spending. We’ve erased the debt from the board, but we still have it hanging in our kitchen. We have a reminder of where we were not long ago. Now instead of erasing the debt from the board, our goal is to keep the board clean.