Visualizing becoming debt free using big, round numbers can be a helpful tool when you ask yourself, “How in the world can I make this work?”

I’ve worked with a number of folks who have had a pile of debt, but didn’t know how they could work through it, despite having a good income.  Sometimes, we get too caught up in the month-to-month, week-to-week grind, and we put our heads down just trying to push through.

So at times it’s important to go back and look at the numbers in the big picture.  The big-math formula is simple math, really, and can be expressed this way:

______D_____ =  Y
  ( I – T – L)

                 Total Debt                      =      Years to debt freedom
(Income  –  Taxes  –  Lifestyle)

Let’s take a common example:

A dual-income household with $65,000 in debt, and a $70,000 income between the two.  Looking at the big picture of that, if I can control my lifestyle and live off $40,000 (or less), and pay $15,000 in taxes, I’ve got at least $15,000 left to pay on the debt.  Looks like a little more than a four-year journey if our income stays static and nothing else changes.

But there’s the beauty: a four-year journey can be reduced to two and a half with some hustle and sacrifice!

Plug your numbers in and get a realistic estimate of your journey.  How long will it really take you?  Then, change the numbers to reflect what you can do if you really sacrifice and get intense!  It will be shorter than you think!