5 benefits of using a debt tracker

Debt is one of the great financial white whales – almost everyone has some sort of debt, but repayment seems to be increasingly out of reach for many. Student loans are crippling young adults' financial wellbeing young, while mortgage rates climb and a wider variety of credit options become available. Debt can be a vicious cycle of overuse and slow repayment that can leave you forced to open more credit to make ends meet.

So why is debt so hard to manage? Many people don't know how to get started paying off their debt efficiently. And that's where a debt tracker comes in. See how a debt tracker can help you get your debt under control.

1. A "Screenshot" of Your Financial Life

If you are utilizing credit from many different institutions, it can be hard to know all of your balances, rates, and monthly payments off of the top of your head. A good debt tracker will let you input the details of all your loans or credit lines, letting you view your repayment information in one place. No more bouncing from app to app or looking through old documents every month.

2. Setting Reasonable Goals

You might be tempted to aim high in your debt repayment goals – that's great! – but it is just as important to set goals that you can reasonably reach. While paying off $8,000 of debt in 90 days is realistic for some (including our editor, Lauren) it may not be an achievable goal for you personally. Since you'll have all your debt info in one place, it'll be even easier for you to prioritize what you want to pay off first.

3. Keeping Up with Your Due Dates

Late payment is a big financial no-no. Not only does late payment affect your credit score, but you could also be paying more because of late charges. It's amazing the difference just having your dates in one place can be. Your debt tracker will help you stay on top of what is due when, saving you the mid-day terror of trying to run from bank to bank during your lunch break.

4. Staying Motivated

Debt repayment burnout is real and dangerous. It can start with "Well, I've repaid a lot lately. I should treat myself," and end with "How did I max out my card again?" The trick to avoiding burnout is in not denying yourself rewards – but rewarding yourself responsibly. Think of little treats (around $25) that you can give yourself when you reach a milestone of repayment or other financial goal. Write these rewards down on your debt tracker so that you don't lose sight of your goals!

5. Kicking Bad Habits

Since you're using a debt tracker, you are probably already planning for your financial future. Why not take it a bit further? Debt repayment is a great time to reassess your financial priorities and habits. Always go over your grocery budget? Start making shopping lists! Can't go to the mall without buying a new outfit? Find other places to hang out with friends! Cutting out bad habits can help you pay off debt now while also hopefully keeping you from making the same mistakes later.

Overall, debt trackers are great tools which can help you succeed financially. Wondering where you can get one for free? You're in luck! Check out Financial Best Life's free resources to download our debt tracker – including all of the above information!

The post 5 Benefits of Using a Debt Tracker appeared first on Financial Best Life.

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17 countries with the highest level of gov debt (BI)
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17 countries with the highest level of gov debt (BI)

17. Iceland – 90.2%

Prior to the credit crisis in 2007, government debt was a modest 27% of GDP. At the time of WEF's rankings, its debt was still super high.

(Photo via Getty Images)

16. Barbados – 92.0%

The tax-haven nation is the wealthiest and most developed country in the eastern Caribbean, but its growth prospects look weak due to austerity measures to combat the effects of the credit crisis eight years ago.

(Photo via Alamy)

15. France – 93.9%

The eurozone's second-biggest economy has been recovering "in fits and starts," says the country's statistical agency.

(Photo by Allan Baxter via Getty Images)

14. Spain – 93.9%

S&P is confident that Spain's buoyant growth prospects and labour-market reforms will boost its outlook.

(Photo via Getty)

13. Cape Verde – 95.0%

The island nation is a service-orientated economy and suffers from a poor natural-resource base. This means it has to import 82% of its food, leading to vulnerability to market fluctuations.

(Photo via Getty Images)

12. Belgium – 99.8%

The country is known as "the sick man of Europe," because while the government managed to reduce the budget deficit from a peak of 6% of GDP in 2009 to 3.2% — its debt is still incredibly high.

(Photo via Shutterstock)

11. Singapore – 103.8%

It's one of the wealthiest countries in the world but the island nation suffers from high debt. The government is now trying to find new ways to grow the economy and raise productivity.

(Photo via Getty Images)

10. United States – 104.5%

The US hiked interest rates for the first time in seven years in December last year. In March, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the economy was on a path of slow and steady growth.

(Photo via Getty Images)

9. Bhutan – 110.7%

The small Asian economy is closely linked to India and depends heavily on it for financial assistance and foreign labourers for infrastructure.

(Photo via Getty Images)

8. Cyprus – 112.0%

The country's excessive exposure to Greece hit it hard when the European sovereign-debt crisis rippled across the world in 2010. Like Greece, it had to be bailed out by international creditors and enforce capital controls and austerity measures to get funding.

(Photo by Rosita So Image via Getty Images)

7. Ireland – 122.8%

The country exited its bailout programme two years ago but still faces a huge debt pile. But it's on the right track. Ireland has already had success in refinancing a large amount of banking-related debt.

(Photo via Getty Images)

6. Portugal – 128.8%

Portugal exited its own bailout programme in the middle of 2014. However, GDP was still 7.8% lower than it was at the end of 2007.

(Photo via Getty Images)

5. Italy – 132.5%

The country's proportion of debt to GDP is the second highest in the Eurozone.

(Photo via Getty Images)

4. Jamaica – 138.9%

The services industry accounts for 80% of GDP, but high crime, corruption, and large-scale unemployment drag the country's growth down. The International Monetary Fund said Jamaica has to reform its tax system, among other things.

(Photo via Getty Images)

3. Lebanon – 139.7%

The country used to be a tourist destination but war in Syria and domestic political turmoil have led to a lack of an official budget for months.

(Photo via Getty Images)

2. Greece – 173.8%

The country has taken over €320 billion worth of bailout cash and it's looking increasingly impossible to pay it all back — especially since it has had to implement painful austerity measures to get its loans. But it's surprisingly not the worse country in the world for government debt.

(Photo by Konstantin Kalishko via Getty Images)

1. Japan – 243.2%

The country is in a troubling spot. Its economy is growing very slowly and now the central bank has implemented negative interest rates.

(Photo via Getty Images)


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