Vertex42, a site devoted to Microsoft Excel templates, spreadsheets, and calendars, has posted a free debt snowball calculator. From the description:

This spreadsheet allows you to choose different debt reduction strategies, including the debt snowball effect (paying the lowest balance first) and highest interest first. Just choose the strategy from a dropdown box after you enter your creditor information into the worksheet.

This file contains two worksheets:

  1. A debt reduction calculator, which allows you to list your debts, their balances, interest rates, and monthly payments.
  2. A payment schedule telling you which bills to pay when.

The brilliant thing about this spreadsheet — other than the fact it does all the math for you — is that it allows you to choose from a variety of snowball methods. You can use the Dave Ramsey-esque “low balance first” debt snowball, the mathematically superior “high interest first” method, opt for no snowball at all, or — and this is the best part — enter your own payoff order. Got a loan from your brother-in-law that drives you nuts? Prioritize it and this spreadsheet will make sure it’s finished first.

I wish I had access to a tool like this when I was first starting to dig out of debt…