I paid off one of my credit cards this month, and I’m ecstatic. It’s got to be the best feeling ever to knock those debts down!
This year, I’ve implemented the Snowball Method into my debt repayment strategies. If you’re looking for a way to pay off your debts quickly without traumatizing your super tight budget, then this might be for you.
What is the Snowball Method?
Imagine the creation of a snowball. You start off with a small ball of snow, and in order to make it bigger, you must roll it and add on more snow until you have the size snowball that you want.
When it comes to debt repayment, the idea of the Snowball Method is to pay off one debt account at a time, and once you’re done paying that off, you rollover your payments into the next debt that you want to pay off. Start knocking off smaller debts, and work your way up to larger accounts.
An Example of the Debt Snowball Strategy
Let’s say you have 3 debt accounts:
- Small – $500 balance, $25 minimum monthly payment.
- Medium – $1,000 balance, $75 minimum monthly payment.
- Large – $24,000 balance, $400 minimum monthly payment
You want to pay off the Small account first by paying more than the minimum monthly payment. Let’s say you can afford to pay $100 monthly for the Small account. For the Medium and Large accounts, you’ll be paying the minimum monthly payments (or more, if your budget allows). Considering your budget is very tight, pay at least the minimum on the Medium and Large accounts.
You’ll do this until the Small account is completely paid in full, which should take 5 months. Celebrate! You’ve kicked one debt to the curb!
Building off of your debt snowball, now you’re going to take the amount you were putting towards the Small account and ADD that amount to your monthly payments for the Medium account.
If you were paying $100 monthly for the Small account, you now have $100 free in your budget to dedicate to paying off the now smallest debt account, the Medium account. So now, you would be paying $75 + $100 = $175 every month, at least, for the Medium account. Repeat until the Medium account has been paid in full, which should take 6 months.
When that’s paid off, celebrate again! You’re on a roll! You’ve got ONE MORE debt to knock off your budget – the Large account.
So now, you’ll be taking that $175 + $400 = $575 to pay off your Large account, which will take 3.5 years rather than 5 years. You’re shaving off 1.5 years of payments! After this debt is paid, you are DEBT FREE!
Here’s a sample Excel Strategy Guide that I created to help you reach your debt saving goals.
Grab the Free Snowball Strategy Sheet here.
How to Pay Off Debt Quickly
If you implement this strategy and really stretch out your budget, you can shave off years of debt payments. You’ll need to really sit down and face your debts. Take a look at what the numbers really look like, and you can develop a budget that works in your favor.
I’ve spoken about side hustles before, and I am a firm believer in never laying all of your eggs in one basket. This means that you should never really on just one source of income. Always keep money coming in. Maximize your time and your talents to bring in more money. If you need side hustle ideas, I talk about mine and share a bunch right here!
Facing the Truth
I see a lot of people hiding from their debts, pretending to be better off than they really are. I used to be like that. It’s when I learned to face my real financial situation that I was able to finally get down to business. There is nothing good that comes from pretending to be something I’m not. Life is hard, and it can get really cruel. I cannot control how the world treats me. However, I can control my actions and how I react to my circumstances.
No one likes the idea of struggling or making sacrifices or having to live without something they really want. I have nothing against buying what you want, but don’t buy it if you can’t pay cash for it. Otherwise, it’s not really yours until it’s paid off in full.
Living Cash Basis
There’s a real freedom in paying for things in cash. There’s no commitment to a bill that’ll come in the future after the high of my purchase has died down. I want something, and I can buy it with cash. It’s mine, and that’s that. You’ll know what I’m talking about when you get there. Believe me – it’s everything you’re imagining it to be.
What are some of your tips of how to pay off debt quickly? Do you think you’ll give the Snowball payment strategy a try?