Tackling debt can be a big burden, especially when you have multiple accounts owing thousands of dollars each. Thanks to finance guru, Dave Ramsey, eliminating debt just got a whole lot easier with what’s known as the “snowball method.” So, what exactly is the snowball method, and how does it work?
Defining the snowball method
The snowball method is a debt-payoff strategy that is effective because it keeps people motivated to pay off their accounts. The snowball method focuses on addressing the smallest debts first. Once the smallest debt account is completely paid off, it’s a lot easier to tackle the other, larger accounts.
First things first
To begin using the snowball method, you’ll need to tally all of your debts and list them largest to smallest. This will give you the outline of which accounts you should tackle first, second, third, and so on. While looking at all of your debts at once may be overwhelming, it’s a necessary part of organizing your snowball payments.
Pay as much as possible
Once you have your debts outlined, you need to make the minimum payment on all of the accounts except the smallest one. For this account, you need to pay as much as possible toward it. Focusing on the smallest debt first is a good strategy because paying off accounts that you owe $500 toward is a lot easier than say, accounts totaling $20,000.
Knock ’em out
Once your first, smallest debt is paid off, you can tackle the second-smallest. Knocking out an entire account will feel amazing, and this motivation will inspire you to keep chugging along and overpaying each month. Even if you have to pick up a side gig, like driving for Uber, using all your extra money toward paying off debt will definitely be worth it in the long run.
Get fired up
You continue this debt payoff cycle until you’re completely debt-free.
“You need quick wins to get fired up,” Dave Ramsey wrote in his book, The Total Money Makeover. “When you start the debt snowball and in the first few days pay off a couple of little debts, trust me, it lights your fire.”