I love the idea of the Debt Cemetery, as well as the debt paid thermometer

I may just go ahead and use those for motivation. And Jan, I think your idea of posting your snowball right to your phone, so that you can see how much that eat-out money would have contributed to the debt payoff, is absolutely brilliant. Wicked, but brilliant.
I have to admit, when I realized that I’d really have to hustle to become debt free by my 50th birthday, I went through several days of “this really STINKS!” I did it entirely to myself, no question. And somewhere in my brain I knew how that compound interest worked. And paying off a few of the smaller debts in 2012 was a great start. But somehow, doing the debt snowball and seeing how far out that date was, was just so depressing. I have wanted to do something “special” for my 50th for quite awhile now, but something along the lines of going back to school, or starting some major new project, or going on a fantasy trip somewhere. Knowing now that all my efforts will be used between now and then to pay down debt that I racked up along the line? Still makes me sick to my stomach just thinking about it.

If there’s a silver lining here, it means the gloves are off this year in terms of cutting back on costs and spending. But folks might want to be ready for the psychological “hit” when they use that snowball calculator for the first time. Sure rang my little bell.

We just added a copy of our debt

snowball spreadsheet to our cell phones to help keep us motivated. Whenever we are tempted to eat out (our biggest downfall) we will now estimate how much that meal would cost us and then plug that amount into the spreadsheet to see how much further it would get us toward our goal if we put the money there instead. Then our plan is to make that payment that day instead of eating out, so we can actually SEE how giving up that little bit each time we are tempted really brings down the debt. We feel it will be a great motivator to stay on track.
Dh also added the wallpaper someone posted recently to my computer in hot pink. So every day when I am on the computer I am reminded in brilliant color what we are working so hard for. If that wallpaper isn’t for you how about one that shows something you are striving for? How about on your cell phone wallpaper too? A photo of the car you want some day, or a getaway destination, your kids in a cap and gown. Etc.