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What's the deal with Undebt.it?

Undebt.it was officially born on February 28, 2012 as part of personal side project to handle paying off my debt. When I started to get a handle on my debt, I used an Excel spreadsheet and a couple of iOS apps to keep myself organized. These tools worked fine, but I really wanted one tool to do everything - and I wanted it to be web-based and easy to use. There really wasn't anything out there at the time that would do all of the things I needed the way I wanted them done so I decided to build it myself. At the time, I had a few years of experience with an ASP-based e-commerce site that was part of my day job. I thought this would be a perfect project to get to know the PHP programming language and I've been building the site up ever since.

My main motivation for making this site public (and free) is that I wanted to make the tools that work for me available to everyone. Being in debt has a major impact on your life by limiting the amount of financial flexibility you have. Interest paid on consumer debt is wasted money, plain and simple. The sooner you get out of debt, the sooner you can start enjoying life a little more. Have some fun and live debt free!

Version #1

February 2012 - April 2012

version 1 logo

The first version was a little rough around the edges but it worked ok. It only had a few very basic features. In fact, the only settings you had to choose from was one of the two payoff plans and your monthly budget amount. This version also introduced some elements that are still used on the current version today - the dashboard concept and the statbar. I always liked the idea of having key stats, like debt free date, easily accessible at all times to help improve motivation. I've always been a "numbers" guy so the statbar is one of my favorite parts of the site. These are the features that came with version #1

  • Only had the debt snowball & debt avalanche payoff plans
  • "Debt snowflake" additional payments
  • Very basic debt dashboard
  • Transaction history

Version #2

April 2012 - August 2014

version 2 logo

After only a couple of months I redesigned the home page, but kept most of the same color scheme. The second version saw some minor design improvements and overall page layout consistancy. It worked much better on different browsers, but mobile device support was still a ways off. This version was based off of a professionally designed theme and that helped improve the development time quite a bit.

One of the biggest changes this version introduced was the freemium concept. Undebt.it Gold (now called Undebt.it+) allowed users to purchase premium account access for a small yearly fee. Of course, the free account still works just fine for many users. All of the pages received upgrades as well. The debt dashboard added the payment manager so you could quickly record your debt payments. Credit utilization was also added in a few areas too.

I did do some developement work to try and get a mobile version going. I used JQuery to build a mobile version, but it was really hard to work with and I didn't like having to maintain a full screen and desktop version of the same page so the mobile version never made it past testing. Here are some of the improvements that version #2 brought to the table

  • Export the debt snowball table directly to an Excel file
  • Create your own custom debt payoff order
  • Compare the different payoff methods on one page
  • Credit utilization table & dynamic graph
  • Text message payment reminders
  • Support for promotional interest rates
  • Premium account option
  • Quick pay from the dashboard

Version #3

September 2014 - October 2016

version 3 logo

Major changes came along with the third version of site. Released in September of 2014, the main objective of the upgrade was to provide a better experince for mobile users. To make this happen, I moved the websites' front-end template over to use Twitter Bootstrap. Bootstrap is an excellent HTML, CSS & javascript framework that automatically adjusts the content to fit on the users' screen. I went for a very bright and clean look with the template and tried to improve the basic navigation.

There were also many big changes in this version behind the scenes too.

  • Major rework to the debt snowball table logic making it much more accurate.
  • Bill management (non-debt account) support
  • Interest acrual history
  • Support for deferred payments (next due date in the future)
  • Full amortization table for each debt account
  • Support for escrow payments on mortgage accounts
  • Login with your Google account
  • Localized currency
  • Spanish translation
  • Debt snowball & DTI calculators (no signup required)
  • Private labeling
  • New debt payoff methods: highest credit utilization, highest monthly payment, drag & drop custom order
  • Debt Blaster
  • Monthly payment calendar for bills & debts
@undebt_it I made some changes to the logic tonight...please check out the snowball table page and let me know if you see any problems.
9:47 PM - Jan 12th 2017
@undebt_it The DEBTFREENEWYEAR promo code is still good for the rest of the week. This will get you a year of Undebt.it+ for way under a dollar a month
8:31 AM - Jan 3rd 2017
@undebt_it Announcing the Undebt.it Affiliate Program: Earn a commission on every premium sign-up your… https://t.co/UI0m23N443 https://t.co/V5cO1kkACs
3:50 PM - Dec 30th 2016
@undebt_it I'm starting up an affiliate program that will pay 15% of any referral sales of Undebt.it+ memberships. DM me if you'd like to test it out.
11:34 AM - Dec 30th 2016
@undebt_it If you had started the 52-week savings challenge this time last year, you'd have over $1400 in the bank. Roll your… https://t.co/2GRVOz1WH4
11:00 AM - Dec 28th 2016