Today I’m going to show you how to snowball your way out of debt using the popular Debt Snowball method.
To me, being in debt is the same as being in bondage. You are going to work today to pay for yesterday’s bills. You are never really free unless all of your debts are paid off. And by debt, I mean credit cards, student loans, auto loans, personal loans, collection accounts, medical bills and money you may owe to friends and/or family.
I believe that the best way to get out of debt is to apply the Debt Snowball method. This is how it works:
- Gather up all of your bills (excluding your mortgage) and list them on paper with the name of the account, the interest rate, the balance and the minimum payment.
- Put your bills in order from the smallest to the largest balance. You may have heard or read that you should pay off the highest interest rate accounts first, but I believe, like Dave Ramsey , that you get more excited if you can pay off the smaller balanced accounts first. When you see the smaller accounts being paid off, you are more likely to stick with the plan to get the larger accounts paid off as well.
- Pay only the minimum payments on each account. Try to find extra money to apply to the account with the smallest balance. This will help speed up the payoff date for that account.
- Once that account is paid off, all of the money you were using to pay for that account goes to the next account with the smallest balance. Continue paying the minimums on the other accounts.
- When the second account is paid off, use all of the money from the previous account to pay off the next bill and so on.
This is called the Debt Snowball method because the amounts you use to pay off each account gets larger because you are rolling the amounts from one account to the next-think of a snowball rolling down a hill.
Here’s an example:
You have 4 accounts.
- Bill #1 has a balance of $500-min payment of $50
- Bill #2 has a balance of $750-min payment of $75
- Bill #3 has a balance of $1,000-min payment of $100
- Bill #4 has a balance of $1,500-min payment of $150.
You would pay the minimum payments on all accounts. You find you are able to pay an additional $100 per month to Bill #1, so you are paying Bill #1 $150 per month.
Once Bill #1 is paid off, you apply the $150 to Bill #2. So you will now pay Bill #2 $225 per month($150 + the min payment of $75) until it is paid off. Continue paying the minimum payment on Bills #3 and 4.
Once Bill #2 is paid off, you will apply $225 to Bill #3. So now you are paying Bill #3 $325 per month ($225 + the min payment of $100) until it is paid off. Continue paying the minimum payment on Bill #4.
Once Bill #3 is paid off, you apply $325 to Bill #4. Now you pay Bill #4 $475 per month ($325 + min payment of $150) until it is paid off.
As you can see, the payments to each debt gets larger as other accounts are paid off. This helps speed up the date to becoming debt free. The key is to stay focused and committed to using the extra money to snowball the debt payments.
If you come into extra money while on the Debt Snowball plan, apply the extra money to the debt and watch it pay off even sooner.
It will definitely take patience and perseverance to get out of debt, but I am sure you can do it. Imagine how much freer you will feel knowing that you don’t owe anyone anymore.
My hope is that this information will get you inspired to create your own get-out-of-debt plan and will start you on your own path to financial freedom.
Have you heard of the Debt Snowball? Have you used this method to pay off debts? What was most challenging?
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