New Excel Debt Payoff Planner And Tracker

View of the debt planner payoff planner and tracker spreadsheet for The Happy Giraffe Budget

We have a new debt payoff planner and tracking spreadsheet! Download it here! We know a lot of people who are interested in budgeting are also trying to get out of debt. It can be confusing to know where to start. Also, because it often takes a long time to get out of debt, it’s hard to stay motivated through the process.

Why We Made It

I’ve looked through a lot of free online excel spreadsheets designed to help you create a debt payoff  plan and track your progress. Most focused on just one part, creating the plan, or tracking. For people who love Excel, it’s exciting to create the plan, with every detail imaginable, down to the penny. But in real life, it’s not possible to follow that plan perfectly. So the plan is helpful to give you hope and to get you started, but you need more than that. You need something that’s flexible and keeps you motivated when things change.

I found some good tracking spreadsheets, but they weren’t tied to a plan. It felt like you had to go to one place to get some direction (often with way too much detail for the average person), and then go to another place to write down how you are doing month by month (again with too many details and things that are exciting for an Excel nerd, but not needed by most people). So I created one for The Happy Giraffe so I could combine the two sides and simplify things down to what you need to see if you aren’t an Excel techie.

(I personally use Excel every day and love the extra financial details. But I think most people just want help getting out of debt and Excel is a necessary thing they have to deal with to make that happen. I assume they want the experience to be as simple and quick as possible. I get that. That’s why my wife helped me make the original budget spreadsheet and this one too. She still thinks a pivot table is a physical table that pivots somehow!)

So with that background in mind, I’m excited to show you what we have and I hope it helps you on your debt free journey. 


How to use it

The spreadsheet can handle up to 20 debts. (If you need more than that, email us. We can go up to 70 but the spreadsheet gets really slow with that many!) Enter in a name, the current balance due, the rate, and the next due date. You’ll also need to enter how much you can pay on top of the minimum payments.

Choose a plan and see the steps

For the plan you can decide to use either the avalanche method (focusing all your money on paying the debt with the highest interest rate first. This one is usually the best option financially, but can be harder to stick to because it may take a while to get the first debt paid off.) Or the snowball method (focusing all your money on paying the debt with the lowest balance first. This one is usually the best option emotionally, because you get some quick wins paying off the smaller balances which is exciting).

Instead of showing every detail of the estimated plan’s payments (you can still see them in the “nerdy details” tab), we show you the basic steps you need to take. The spreadsheet will say, “Start by focusing all your extra money on this debt. It’ll take about this many months to get it paid off. Then focus all your money on this next debt. It’ll take about this long to get paid off.” And on down the line until you are debt free.

In this example you would start by paying $95 a month on Debt1 while making minimum payments on the others. Do that for 7 months and you’ll have Debt 1 paid off. Then roll all of the money into paying off Debt 3 while making minimum payments on the rest. Do that for another 7 months and Debt3 will be done with!

Track your progress

Once you know the basic steps, you’ll spend most of your time on the tracking sheet. Here you can decide what to do, follow the plan exactly, do your own thing, pay more than expected one time, or pay less than expected another time. It’s up to you and your circumstances. Each time you enter in a payment you’ll see the progress you’re making for each individual debt and you’ll also see the progress for your total debt. The spreadsheet will update your expected debt free date and you can see if you are beating your original plan. This helps keep you motivated and you can easily see the progress you are making until you make that final payment.

Is It really free? What’s the catch?

We get this question a lot! There’s no catch.

It doesn’t feel right to charge people when they are having a hard time and doing their best to get their finances under control. So we created a non-profit, volunteer our time, and made everything free on or website.

(Our book is the only thing we charge for because we haven’t figured out how to make that free. It’s a great book, but it isn’t required to learn or use anything we have.)

Because of the decision to make everything free, donations are important! If you like what we do, and you are in a place to afford a small donation, please support us!

I really hope this is helpful and simplifies things down to what really matters to help you reach your goals. I’m happy to help anyone fill it out or answer questions. You can also reach out just to let us know if you are using it. We’re putting this out there for free because people need it. It shouldn’t be expensive to get help paying off your debt and to learn how to budget. Download the spreadsheet here!


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38 responses to “New Excel Debt Payoff Planner And Tracker”

  1. Amanda Sumner Avatar
    Amanda Sumner

    How can I add more rows to the 1) State my situation book for the debt payoff tracker? Yes, I do need more than rows, haha. Multiple homes and student loans with various lenders….

    Thanks!

    1. nigelbloomfield Avatar
      nigelbloomfield

      Haha! I made it to handle 15 items! I thought that would be more than enough for anyone! I’m working on a new version this week and I can add more rows if you need it. How many do you want?

    2. nigelbloomfield Avatar
      nigelbloomfield

      I just uploaded a new version that can handle 20 debts. Hopefully that helps. There’s a lot of work in the formulas and the formatting in order to add more rows. The way I have it set up makes it hard to let you do that on your own. But I’m happy to add more if you need me to!

      Thank you for using our spreadsheet!

      1. JoAnna Hewett Avatar
        JoAnna Hewett

        Thanks so much for adding new rows!! I actually had 23, but combined a couple of same interest credit cards into one line item. This is an amazing spreadsheet and I’ve shared it to my Facebook page for others!

        1. nigelbloomfield Avatar
          nigelbloomfield

          Thank you so much JoAnna! We are happy to give it away to as many people as possible!

      2. Gregory Avatar
        Gregory

        Good afternoon, Nigel. Is there any way that you can either create a sheet with 40 debts, or figure out a way for use to add as many as we need?

        1. nigelbloomfield Avatar
          nigelbloomfield

          I emailed you a version that can handle 40! It does run a little slower, but it still works! (There are tens of thousands of formulas running in the background! We tried to make it look simple, but there is a lot going on!)

  2. Stephanie Avatar
    Stephanie

    When I start entering my debts on the “State my Situation” page the rest of the functions on the excel sheets stop working. Any suggestions on what I am doing wrong?

    1. nigelbloomfield Avatar
      nigelbloomfield

      I just updated this spreadsheet so it will work with older versions of Excel. Try it out here: http://happygiraffe.org/Debt-Spreadsheet.xlsx

      The old version used some newer formulas that weren’t backward compatible or friendly with google sheets or numbers. This new version fixes those issues.

      I also have a version that can handle up to 40 debts. It’s slower because there are a lot more formulas working in the background. (At least 96,000 just on one of the tabs!) Because it is slower I didn’t make it the default one people download. Email us if you need it though!

  3. Danny Avatar
    Danny

    Thanks for making your spreadsheet. I’ve tried others and I guess I didn’t understand how they worked so I just gave up on them, but yours is exactly what my wife and I need to tackle this mountain of debt we have accumulated.

    The only problem is that we have way more accounts than you allow. Between the two of us, with credit cards, personal loans, car payments, student loans, etc we need a good 60 entries. Would you be willing to quote me a price to add a total of 60 entries?

    Also is there a way to resize the fields? I need just a bit more room to add the names of the debt and which of us it belongs to.

    Thanks in advance!!

    1. nigelbloomfield Avatar
      nigelbloomfield

      I don’t know why I made the space so small for the names! I am so sorry! That is fixed now. Thank you for pointing that out. If you download it again it should have more space.

      I’m so glad that this spreadsheet works in a way that makes sense for you! I tried hard to make it different than anything else out there and to make it easier to use for people who aren’t spreadsheet nerds.

      I am so sorry you have that many debts to deal with! If you email us at Hello@HappyGiraffe.org I can talk to you about making an even bigger version. The biggest reason the current one can’t go that high is just because it gets really slow when it gets big. But if you need it and your computer can handle it, I’ll build it!

      1. Danny Avatar
        Danny

        Thank you so much! I just sent you an email!

  4. Jessica Queen Avatar
    Jessica Queen

    How do I enter a biweekly payment for a loan? I make biweekly payments for 3 of my loans.

    1. nigelbloomfield Avatar
      nigelbloomfield

      I hadn’t thought of Bi-weekly payments when I made this spreadsheet (even though they are a great idea). I emailed you as well, but just so other people know, my best idea is to multiply the payment by 26 and divide by 12 to get a monthly amount for the “state my situation” tab. The plan doesn’t need to be perfect. It’s just to help you get started in the right direction. Most of your time will be spent on the “tracking” tab. For bi-weekly payments you can enter your first payment of the month in the payment cell, and put the new balance due in the balance cell. For the second payment in a month you can just add it to the payment you already made and update the balance again. There might even be a couple times a year when you make 3 payments in one month! That would be great. Just keep adding it in when you make the payment and update the balance cell with the new balance due.

  5. Latifa Avatar
    Latifa

    Hello;
    Thank you so much for this very useful spreadsheet. Is there any way to unlock the spreadsheet so that I can more space, use colour code etc.?

    Thank you.

    1. nigelbloomfield Avatar
      nigelbloomfield

      I just emailed you one where the permissions are a little different. If that works like you need it to, I’ll make that the new default so others can use it that way too.

  6. Isabella Avatar
    Isabella

    Hi! Thank you so much for this amaizing spreadsheet. I have using google sheets and after I completed the first part of state my situation when I go the plan tab if I choose the lowest balance option it wont show me the list of all the debts listed. Only the last one place in first tab. If choose the highest interest rate it will show me all the debets listed. Do you have any recomendation for it? Am I doing something wrong?

    1. nigelbloomfield Avatar
      nigelbloomfield

      Thank you for finding us! That’s definitely not how it should be working. I emailed you to get some more information so we can figure it out.

  7. Shannon Avatar
    Shannon

    Is there a version that works in google sheets?

    1. nigelbloomfield Avatar
      nigelbloomfield

      I emailed you as well. If you open the Excel file in Google Sheets it will do the conversion for you. It won’t have the best formatting, but from what I’ve tested, all of the formulas work the same. Hopefully that helps!

  8. Rob Avatar
    Rob

    Does this sheet include entries for all of your monthly expenses outside of you debts (i.e., groceries, gas, insurance, cell phone, utilities, etc.)? I’m trying to find something that encompasses both a debt payoff calculator and a monthly budget.

    1. nigelbloomfield Avatar
      nigelbloomfield

      This spreadsheet is specifically for organizing your debts, figuring out a plan to get them paid off, and tracking your progress.

      We do have another free spreadsheet to help you create a budget. Part of your budget can be the minimum payments for each debt. Then you can also add in a line for the extra amount you are wanting to add in order to pay off all the debts.

  9. Hayley Avatar
    Hayley

    This is an amazing tool! I greatly appreciate the effort and time you have put into this. Do you happen to have the same spreadsheet where I can input weekly payments? I am paid weekly, therefore, pay all my debts weekly! If not, no worries, but doesn’t hurt to ask!

    1. nigelbloomfield Avatar
      nigelbloomfield

      Well thank you! I don’t have anything for weekly although that is a great idea to pay down your debts every time you get paid! In order to use the current spreadsheet I think you could update the month you are in by adding more to the payment amount and updating the balance each time.

      So if you were paying off a debt, and you had already paid $300 so far in November and the current balance due was $1000. Then when you make a 4th payment in November for $100, you could update the paid amount to show $400 and the new balance due to show $900 (or whatever the new balance is after interest). That doesn’t give you a week by week history, which would be nice, but it does keep track of your progress.

      I hope that helps! I’ll look into what it would take to consider weekly instead of monthly payments.

  10. Heather Avatar
    Heather

    I keep getting a message that a password is needed. FYI. I could also use 40 spaces for debts.

    1. nigelbloomfield Avatar
      nigelbloomfield

      I just emailed you one that can handle 40! I’m assuming that’s why you were getting the errors about needing the password.

  11. Sheree Avatar
    Sheree

    Hi! Thank you so much for sharing this incredible resource for free! Its going to make planning for the year so much easier. Is there a possibility to change the currency? I am in South Africa and use Rand (R)

    1. nigelbloomfield Avatar
      nigelbloomfield

      We have a dropdown on our budgeting spreadsheet that lets users change the currency. I haven’t added that to the debt payoff spreadsheet yet. I will add it to the list for the next release though! I’m excited that we have people all over the world using the spreadsheets and that they are helpful! I’m glad you found us!

    2. nigelbloomfield Avatar
      nigelbloomfield

      I just added a new version that has the ability to change currency! The option is on the second tab (State My Situation), in the top right of the tab. If you download it now, the file name should end with “2024-01-29” or later. Let me know if there are any issues with it!

  12. Aamrin Avatar
    Aamrin

    Hi,

    Is it possible to get an unprotected workbook? also is it possible to change the currency from $ to KES or remove the currency?

    1. nigelbloomfield Avatar
      nigelbloomfield

      We can’t unprotect the spreadsheet. But we are planning to add more currency options to the debt payoff spreadsheet! I will add KES to the list.

    2. nigelbloomfield Avatar
      nigelbloomfield

      I just added a new version that has the ability to change currency! The option is on the second tab (State My Situation), in the top right of the tab. If you download it now, the file name should end with “2024-01-29” or later. Let me know if there are any issues with it!

  13. Lesley Avatar
    Lesley

    Would you be able to send me the spreadsheet with 40 entries? I definitely thought that the 20 would be enough, but I was shocked to find out it wasn’t. Finally going to get my debt under control and having a plan of attack will hopefully help keep me on track. I love the spreadsheet so far!

    1. nigelbloomfield Avatar
      nigelbloomfield

      I just emailed it to you! Good luck! I hope it helps you!

  14. James Sandy Avatar
    James Sandy

    How do add a new debt after you’ve been using it for several months. It says don’t change anything after you put debts in on the first page.
    Thanks James

    1. nigelbloomfield Avatar
      nigelbloomfield

      That is a very understandable situation and I did not build the spreadsheet to handle that very well. I will try to think of how I could change it to make that easier. I am sure it happens fairly often.
      Here’s the best idea I can come up with right now: make a copy of your current spreadsheet with all of the history in there. In the copy, add in the new debt. In the tracking tab in the copy, copy and paste the history into the right areas. The main reason not to add more debts is because it could change the order you want to pay them off. If that happens, then the order will change on the tracking tab and the history you have right now won’t be lined up with the right debts anymore.
      I just tried that though and the timing isn’t right in the spreadsheet. If you have a due date that is 6 months or so after the rest, the spreadsheet still starts the payoff timing with the other debts. I will look and see if or how I could change that.
      So right now the best case is to take the numbers you have already, make a new copy, and start today as though you are starting over again. That way the timing will be right on everything, but you lose the history you had and the visual progress you have made already. You don’t lose your progress in real life, but it isn’t very motivating to have to start over like that.
      I will see what I can do to make that better! Thanks for giving me a new situation I hadn’t considered!

  15. hollah Avatar
    hollah

    could you allow for the change of currency symbol ?

    i would like to use it but locked out to $ and i want £ – im sure others in euro and around would use it more also if they could change the currency symbol.

    thanks

    1. nigelbloomfield Avatar
      nigelbloomfield

      We actually added the ability to do that recently! You are right it was a popular request. on the tab called “State My Situation” in the top right corner there should be a section called “Currency” with a dropdown where you can choose euro and several other options.

      Currency selector on the state my situation tab

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