The Debt Slow-Ball vs The Debt Snowball

Updated: May 19, 2020

First things first: Getting out of debt is 80% MINDSET and only about 20% MATH

My Story: I had the ball rolling toward my goal of Financial Freedom, but it was rolling much too slowly, specifically in regards to lowering my overall debt. I was paying my credit cards, but my balances never seemed to go down. Sound familiar?

If you have NO DEBT, then Congratulations!! 🎉 You are waaayyy ahead of the game and I am TRULY happy and excited for you.

If you are wondering how you can get your current debt under control, consider using the snowball method, like I am.

Random Fact: I’ve only ever participated in a snowball ‘fight’ ONCE in my entire life (I'm from a tropical island and currently live in Louisiana), and I have NEVER seen what I am about to describe in the next paragraph in real life, but I have seen it on TV before ☺️.

It starts with about two handfuls of snow that you pack together until it looks like a ball. But you don’t stop there… you make it bigger. You start rolling your ‘ball’ through the snow. As you roll it, your ball sticks to more snow, increasing the layers continuously, until you end up with a GIANT snowball.

So what does this giant snowball have to do with decreasing your debt?

Well, imagine for a minute that you have a stack of regular-sized snowballs; of course they’re not all exactly the same size. These snowballs represent the amount of your regular monthly payments for each credit card or loan. Right now you’re aiming at each ‘debt’ with just one snowball, but it’s not working. Here’s what I do instead:

Step #1. Make a list of all your debts from lowest to highest, based on CURRENT BALANCE.

Step #2. Focus on the LOWEST debt amount (for me, this was a store credit card).

Step #2 continued - Use some of your ‘hustle’ money (aka your extra income from your part-time opportunity) to increase your monthly payment. Ideally, you want to double, or triple it, if you can.

Also Step #2 - Continue making at least the minimum payments on your other debts ON TIME.

Step #3 - Now that you are applying more than the minimum to the lowest debt, you will notice that this amount is lowering your balance for this debt ALOT faster than it was previously. Keep paying in higher amounts until it is paid off.

PAUSE - Now I know you’re going to get excited and think, ‘Oh look, I’ve got some extra money to use this month.’ …… STOP!🛑 And go to Step #4.

Step #4 - Take the amount that you were previously applying to your first debt, in addition to the amount that you have already been paying, to the second lowest debt. This is essentially adding two snowballs together, to get a BIGGER snowball to throw at your second lowest debt.

Step #5 - Rinse and Repeat 😉. Each time you pay off a debt, add the amount you were paying to the next lowest debt until they are ALL paid off.

Note 1. DO NOT get discouraged when you realize that you have to wait until the next month, or the next payday, to continue to see success. It is a PROCESS and it will take some time. DON’T GIVE UP!

Note 2. 🍾🎊 CELEBRATE the WINS!! 🍾🎊 Each time you pay off a debt, find a way to celebrate. This celebration could be in the form of an extra Starbucks treat (if you’ve been denying yourself in order to save money), or a special dinner. If you have some other ideas, I would love for you to share them in the comments 🤗.

Note 3. 🗣️ RESIST THE TEMPTATION! to swipe that card again. Don't cripple your efforts by adding more debt to your list.

If you haven’t already seen my other posts on Budgeting and Hustlin’ you should definitely check them out for some more tips and resources.

As an independent, licensed representative of Primerica Life, I can provide a complimentary, personal, confidential analysis of your financial situation using our Financial Needs Analysis tool. Schedule your appointment now. **Appointments will be held via Zoom.

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