I prefer to visualize things. It makes things easier to, well, see. Okay, that didn’t come out right — stating the obvious…
Anyway, the above graph displays how the principle balance has dropped on my mortgage since October of 2006.
The total dollar number isn’t really impressive — around $8k over 20 months of so.
What is impressive is the change in slope that occurred right when I began making automatic weekly payments. Can you see where it is?
Yep, by July 2007, you can see that I’d started my weekly payment plan. I’d actually begun in June, with just $25 per week extra, but it didn’t really make a noticeable impact on the trend for around a month.
Prior to that, I’d just been paying the minimum payment each month with a little extra tagged on to make each check I wrote a nice round number.
I was going to add trend lines to the graph but didn’t want anyone to have long forgotten nightmares of statistics — but believe me, even a $25/week extra payment makes a HUGE difference.
By January of 2008, I’d started making $125/week extra payments and, well, you can “see” the results. In just 6 months, I’ve managed to knock off the same amount that previously took me over 12 months.
Sure, $125 per week is a pretty hefty sum, but $25 is not.
Even $10 per week would make a noticeable difference.
Basically, when it comes to paying down debt, automatic weekly payments have gotten me a long way…