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Pay Off Debt Using The Debt Snowball

The debt snowball method is absolutely the best and quickest way to eliminate debt. Why? Because, while other methods focus on "math" (i.e. interest rates and ratios), the debt snowball focuses on momentum. There is even data suggesting that paying down your debts from smallest to largest provides the psychological juice you need to successfully eliminate your debt. We'll explore that data later in this post.
And when it comes to getting out of debt, “hope" is greater than “math”. What exactly does that mean? It means that "hope" is emotional, while "math" is largely academic.
Hope is a much more powerful driver of behavior than math and if you want to eliminate your debt, you're going to need some emotional drivers to keep you in the game.
So, when it comes to fueling hope (which is what you want), the debt snowball is the greatest tool to foster that. Let's break it down.
Here's an infographic to illustrate what it is and how it works. You could even share it on Pinterest if you like:

What’s This “Debt Snowball" 

The debt snowball is a list of your debts, from smallest to largest, regardless of the interest rate.
What!? Regardless of interest rate?!
Now, there are exceptions to this in certain extremely high interest rate cases, but as a general rule, this applies to 98% of our students.
Just remember that “hope” is greater than “math” and the debt-snowball is your hope’s “teeth”.
The real truth is that your debt is not a math problem, it’s a behavior problem, so don’t focus on interest rates (again except in "extreme" cases.
By the way, go ahead and download our free Debt-Snowball Printable here in our “Free Products & Printables” Library.
Here’s what it looks like (click image to download):

How The Debt Snowball Works 

The debt snowball works. I promise you. My successful students promise you. And actually, even science promises you.
To  illustrate, here are a couple of articles about the “science" for you to ingest just so you’re not taking my word for it. I never want you to just take my word for it.
So, hopefully you’re tracking with me that it works, right?
And indeed it does work, but it also requires for you to be inside a certain framework in order for it to have maximum effectiveness.

Do you Pinterest? Would you consider pinning this to your favorite board?

Here’s an outline of the proper framework (The "8 Steps To Erase Debt"):

0. Stop All Retirement Investing (Until Step 4)
2. Starter Emergency Fund of $1000
3. Eliminate Debts Smallest To Largest (a.k.a The Debt Snowball)
4. Full Emergency Fund of 3-6+ Months’ Expenses
5. Invest A Minimum of 15% Income Into Retirement Accounts (and increase savings rate to 50%+ if possible)
6. College Funding (if applicable)
7. Pay Off The Home Mortgage
8. Build Wealth, Serve, Be Ridiculously Generous and Prepare For "FI" (Financial Independence)
Here's a resource to get you up and running quickly.
This free guide will get you up and running with your Debt Snowball in the proper context and order. Super important!
Additionally, here are some more “mindset” points to help you get into the mental context in order that the debt snowball has maximum effectiveness.
  • You MUST organize your finances
  • You’ve GOT TO get on a written budget.
  • You’re going to have to go for a “scorched earth" lifestyle.
  • No eating in restaurants.
  • Beans and rice. Ramen noodles. 
  • Sell everything that’s not bolted to the foundation.
  • Side hustles for days.
  • Stop all investing for now.
  • Learn to HATE debt.
  • Cut up and close credit cards.
  • Go crazy on your debt!

 The "Debt Elimination Quick Start Guide" will show you exactly how to do it.


Also, check out my totally free 30-day YouTube video course that goes along with this material:


Addressing The “Optimum” Argument

Sick of this? Well, then let's snowball your debt and get it out of your life forever!
So, I’ll just tell you right now that, at some point you’re going to be tempted away from the debt snowball method by some "plausible arguments" floating around out there. I want for you to be prepared for these arguments ahead of time.
This other method is commonly called the “Debt Avalanche” method and you might as well be able to identify it now.
So, the “Debt Avalanche” method is the method embraced by all the math nerds and “sophisticates” the will try to convince you that this way is “optimum”.
The “Debt Avalanche” method is where you work your debt list in order of highest interest rate to lowest.
If you believe what I told you earlier about your debt not being a math problem, then I don’t have to explain.
Just remember, despite avalanches’ claims about "optimum”, "momentum" and hope is what ACTUALLY works.
Actually, I would argue that the truly "optimum" method (i.e. the debt-snowball) equals momentum, traction and success, NOT theoretically correct and spreadsheet-tidy math.
Remember, if it were a math problem, you’d be out of debt by this afternoon. :)

Conclusion And A Call To Action

I mean sure, it's a little dramatic, but man it represents well what debt-freedom feels like.

So now that you understand what the debt snowball is, are you going to go ahead and implement it?
As you might have picked up on, I'm all about action here. So I want to offer you something for free that, if you’re serious about this debt-elimination thing will be the next GIANT step toward your ultimate debt-freedom.
So, if you’re serious about this process, don’t procrastinate. Take action now.
If so, I put together this FREE “Debt-Elimination Quick-Start Guide” and keep this budding momentum going. And don't worry, the debt-snowball printable is a part of this guide, so you'll be able to take what you've learned here and fast track your debt-elimination efforts.  
There is also a FREE YouTube video course/challenge you can follow to make sure you get started successfully.
Leave a comment below and let me know if/how this has been helpful for you. As a teacher, your feedback is the greatest gift you can give me. Thanks in advance!

Next: The 8 Steps To Obliterate Your Debt

This is the blog post that outlines the 8 steps I followed to eliminated $43,000 in debt in 2.5 years.
And whether this is your first or thousandth time on the blog, I want to make sure you have this “8 Steps” framework that ALL of our content is centered around. 
These are the steps I personally followed to obliterate $43,000+ of debt in 2.5 years
Maybe your number is bigger, maybe it’s smaller. Either way the principles are the same and I want you to have them.
0. Stop All Retirement Investing (Until Step 4)
2. Starter Emergency Fund of $1000
3. Eliminate Debts Smallest To Largest (a.k.a The Debt Snowball)
4. Full Emergency Fund of 3-6+ Months’ Expenses
5. Invest A Minimum of 15% Income Into Retirement Accounts (and increase savings rate to 50%+ if possible)
6. College Funding (if applicable)
7. Pay Off The Home Mortgage
8. Build Wealth, Serve, Be Ridiculously Generous And Go FI (Financial Independence)!
I’ve created a simple, easy to follow guide that you can use as your foundation as you navigate the absolute annihilation of your debt forever.


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When You Need More Help

And again, if you’re looking for some resources to get started, you can download our free budgeting forms. Also, if you’re in a place where you’re ready to kick your debt in the teeth, here's the link to our free “8 Steps To Erase Debt” guide for you to use as your foundation.
To your freedom,
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click & make a purchase, I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) that helps keep Zero Debt Coach up and running. Read my full disclosure policy.

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