How Much Is That Debt Costing You?

How much interest am I paying?Have you had that “holy crap!” moment regarding your debt?

You know, it’s that point where you say, “What the %#!& have I been doing?”

If you have, I’m hoping that you’ve taken the steps to start attacking your debt like crazy.

If you haven’t had that moment, I want to get you to utter that phrase right now.

It’s time to sit down and find out just how much interest you’re paying on a monthly basis.

I’m not talking about just skimming over your credit card statements. I mean totaling the interest from all of your debts.

There’s nothing more motivating than seeing that you are paying $100, $500 or more in monthly interest. Wouldn’t that money be better focused somewhere else?

Start this exercise by gathering the following information for your debts:

  • Total Balance
  • Annual Interest Rate
  • Most Recent Payment

When you have all of that information ready, use the following spreadsheet to calculate the cost of your debt.

Download: My Debt Over Time (Excel)

Note: This download requires Microsoft Excel. If you do not own Excel, you can open the file in Google Drive. You will need to be careful not to overwrite the formulas if using Google Drive. Click the “Use This Template” button at the top to enter in your numbers.

So how did you make out? Were the numbers a little surprising?

I hope those numbers triggered an emotion in you so intense that you are now considering selling your expensive car and buying a cheaper alternative (or something equally as extreme). That’s the kind of commitment you need to end your reliance on debt forever! Start attacking it!

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How did the numbers affect you? Were you surprised at how much your debt is costing you? Share in the comments!



  1. Sheri on September 19, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    Without even opening this file, I know that the cost of debt is far greater than I ever need or desire it to be. I came from a background where we weren’t taught the importance of saving, planning and budgeting. It wasn’t until I got in my 20’s that it became important to me. I had no idea how to manage my money and often times let my desire to be able to keep up with others deter me from making smart decisions. Once I figured it out, I had no credit history and therefore always had to pay deposits for things, and trying to make it through two divorces and learn to rely on my own abilities to take care of myself, I still struggle. Student Loan debt, poor payment history and a recent repossession have reeked havoc on me, my ability to even apply for a loan to help through the difficult times. While I hope to be able to pull out of this, it appears it’ll only get worse before I can make any progress. Thank you for trying to help others make good choices, establish budgets and plans so they can be free of mounting debt and troubles!

    • Adam Hagerman on September 19, 2013 at 3:19 PM

      Thanks for sharing your story Sheri.

      This stuff is tough and it doesn’t help when you’re forced to learn some of these things in a “trial by fire” manner. As you mentioned, some things may need to get worse before they get better.

      When I am working with clients, I have them focus on one thing at a time. If you can do that and take small steps toward financial freedom, I know you can succeed.

      I hope you can find some valuable resources throughout this site. I know there isn’t a ton of articles at this point but there are a lot of great things coming.

      Thank you for your kind words and good luck!

  2. Patti on September 19, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    This article was a real eyeopener for me. I recently retired on SS disability about 15 years sooner than I planned. I am ready to take my first steps to see my true financial picture.

    • Adam Hagerman on September 20, 2013 at 12:56 PM

      I’m glad it helped open your eyes.

      I LOVE how you said “First Steps”! The name of my business is First Step Financial!

      Good Luck!

  3. Michael on September 19, 2013 at 10:36 PM

    This is really good. I’ve already run the numbers through and it’s not pretty.

  4. Nicole Walker on September 20, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    When I found out how much debt I had and how much it was costing me to just pay the minimum payments… I was actually pretty frustrated and overwhelmed. You don’t realize how much it is costing you to be in debt till you drop your pride and add it up.

    • Adam Hagerman on September 20, 2013 at 12:54 PM

      Hey Nicole!

      You know, it can be pretty frustrating and overwhelming when you find this stuff out.

      That’s why I work in steps with my clients. Focus on one thing at a time, achieve the goal and move forward. It allows you to focus more clearly and give that step your all vs. just trying to do it all.

      You can do it!