Debt Snowball Helped Us Pay off $6,000 of Debt in 6 Months

You may or may not have heard of Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball, but if you have, believe me, you’re going to want to hear how we managed to make the snowball even faster. In just 6 months, we were able to pay off over $6,000 worth of debt! If you had told me 5 years ago that I would be able to put $1,000 per month toward debt I would have told you you were crazy. We were living paycheck to paycheck. There was no way. Here’s the breakdown of how we made it happen and how you can too.

*This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures

The serious setbacks of debt 

Some people truly believe that some debt is ok and it’s just a part of life. While it may sound harmless in theory, it can be detrimental to your finances and could really be holding you back from living out the life you really want.

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Great budgeting resources:

  • Fun Sized Budget Bundle – This bundle has everything you need to start a simple budget, plan your savings and start paying off debt. It’s perfect for beginner budgeters and has a full guide that walks you through how to make the bundle work for you.
  • Fun Sized Budgeters Facebook Group – Join my totally FREE Facebook group to get in on daily chats about budgeting and debt payoff. Get a support group of like minded individuals who want to help keep you on track!
  • Don’t forget to join the Basic Budget Crash Course waitlist and get access before anyone else!

Before starting the Debt Snowball

Before you get started with the Debt Snowball, I highly recommend looking into debt consolidation if you have multiple debts through different companies.

What is debt consolidation?

Working with a company like Lending Tree for debt consolidation you could receive one lump sum payment between, $1,000 and $50,000.

You can then use this money to pay off your multiple debts.

Doing this gives you one easy to make, monthly payment and may give you a lower interest rate so you end up paying less interest on your debt.

This is especially helpful if you have debts with credit card companies because most credit cards companies are charging you an interest of around 20%!

Opting for debt consolidation can help you pay off those high-interest debts and avoid the additional costs while simultaneously simplifying your payments.

Apply online for debt consolidation.

How does the Debt Snowball work?

I’m going to try to keep this cut and dry. The idea of the debt snowball is all about starting small and accumulating more and more (payoff) as you go.

The first thing you need:

The first step in starting the Debt Snowball is finding an additional $200 per month to put toward debt. If you have no idea how to even get started finding an additional $200 per month, I have some great posts that can help you get started.

How we made an extra $200 per month:

It can be stressful trying to come up with an additional $200 per month to put toward the Debt Snowball.

Maybe you have already cut your memberships, you don’t have cable and don’t know what else to do.

Personally, our family single-handedly paid off our debt by running a blog part-time from home. Check out my FREE course on How to Make Your First $1,000 Blogging

Can everyone pay off debt in 6 months?

While we were able to get out of debt in 6 months, this isn’t going to be the case for everyone. Depending on the amount of debt you have, your income and your motivation, debt payoff will look differently for everyone.

How to pay off debt off faster

Starting the Debt Snowball

Once you have your $200 extra per month, the Debt Snowball gets pretty simple. I recommend downloading my Debt Snowball printable to help you keep track of your debt payoff and to get an idea of how quickly you can pay off your debt.

The Debt Snowball helped us pay off debt in 6 months. If you need to get out of debt, try the Debt Snowball and use my free printout to get you started.
Don’t forget to download your Debt Snowball Method Printout at the end of this post!

How to fill out the Debt Snowball printout:

  1. In the top column of the Debt Snowball Printout, write out your debts with the biggest debt in box #1.
  2. The #2 box will be your second largest, and so on and so on. (These steps will be much easier if you have consolidated your debts because there will be less payments to make).
  3. Below each of these, fill in your total balance owed for each debt.
  4. Below that, fill in your minimum monthly payment for each debt.
  5. Lastly, you are going to take your $200 and apply it to your smallest debt first.

Applying $200 to your smallest debt

As you can see below, our $300 credit card was our smallest debt.

Our minimum monthly payment was $30.

By adding the additional $200 to that $30 we were able to put $230 toward our smallest debt of $300.

*Remember, you can always put more money toward debt if you are able to! This will help you pay off debt faster and save you from additional interest!

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What if you have money left over?

As you can see, after we finished paying off our remaining $70 from our credit card, we took the remaining $160 and applied it to our next smallest debt.

Getting the debt snowball rolling

Once we paid off our smallest debt, we were able to take the full $230 that we applied toward it and begin putting that money toward our next smallest debt.

Because our minimum payment for our next smallest debt was $100, that gave us a grand total of $330 to apply toward that debt. Once that debt was paid off, we had $330 to begin applying to the next debt in line.

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Now we had racked up a huge debt snowball and it just rolled faster and faster.

By the time we got to our biggest debt it only took a little over a month to completely polish off that remaining balance.

When we were finished paying off debt in 6 months, we still managed to have an additional $210 leftover.

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When the Debt Snowball is over

We were able to get debt free in 6 months and we found ourselves with an additional $930 a month!

Even if you skim off that additional $200, there is still a $630 surplus in our bank account each month!

Using the Debt Snowball to get out of debt definitely requires discipline, but has a huge payout if you can stick to it!

It has been over a year since we were able to dig ourselves out of this much debt in just 6 months and I am still amazed at how easy it really was and how great it felt to watch those numbers get smaller and smaller each month.

Who should use the Debt Snowball?

There are a ton of debt payoff strategies out there these days, so how do you know if the Debt Snowball is the one for you?

My best advice is, if you struggle with impulse control and shopping addictions, then the Debt Snowball is the debt payoff method for you!

It works so nicely because paying off your smallest debt gives you the quickest reward — just like shopping — except in reverse.

You can use the printouts in this post and my Fun Sized Budget Bundle to help keep you visually motivated.

Don’t forget to join my Fun Sized Budgeters Facebook group to help keep you motivated, get advice from like-minded people and stay plugged into the latest budgeting and debt payoff updates!

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24 COMMENTS

  1. Gloria Harvley | 9th Nov 17

    This is really awesome! I’ve used the Dave Ramsey Method before but didn’t always stick with it. I definitely can ‘t wait to try this method!

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 9th Nov 17

      Same here! When we did stick to it though…ahhhh feels so awesome to be done with all of that debt.

  2. Lauren | 9th Nov 17

    Holy moly, that’s incredible! I have heard of this method before but I haven’t used it yet. Thank you so much for sharing this story, you have inspired me to check out my finances tonight!

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 9th Nov 17

      You are welcome. I hope you can find some wiggle room to make some improvements!

  3. Kim | 9th Nov 17

    Love this! My family is debt free, but we weren’t ALWAYS that way. I will be sharing this with my not so financially sound friends as well!

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 9th Nov 17

      That’s awesome to hear! Talk about life goals!

  4. Prerna Garg | 9th Nov 17

    Getting a side hustle and creating a monthly budget really helps multiply the income and work on the debts. Really helpful post!

    http://www.allshethings.com

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 9th Nov 17

      Thanks! Glad you liked it! Have a good day!

  5. Kristin | Life of Stones | 9th Nov 17

    Wayyyyy to go!!!! We recently paid off $35,000 using Dave’s steps…feels so great! Congrats to you!!

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 10th Nov 17

      That is awesome!! How exciting for you guys!

  6. Sincerely Ophelia | 10th Nov 17

    This is interesting. Def need this for my credit card bills!

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 10th Nov 17

      Give it a try! It’s really great to watch all those bills fade away!

  7. Mary | 10th Nov 17

    This is really handy!

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 10th Nov 17

      Thanks so much! Have a great day!

  8. Emma @ Muddy Boots and Diamonds | 10th Nov 17

    Thank you for this breakdown. It’s something I have in mind to do for my credit card. Target and eating out are my downfalls. I’m really trying to cut back on the eating out. And I gave myself a pat on the back for returning something to Target and NOT buying something else 🙂

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 10th Nov 17

      That is impressive. I may or may not have made a tiny splurge at Target today too! (face palm) It was in the “dollar section” though so…it’s all good, right?

  9. Eunice Ann | 10th Nov 17

    So helpful. Thank you for this clever idea. 🙂

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 10th Nov 17

      You bet! Glad you liked it!

  10. Chad | 10th Nov 17

    Very cool idea, thank you!

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 10th Nov 17

      You bet! Have a good one!

  11. sarah | 14th Nov 17

    hello i was trying to download the printout but it doesn’t have the columns?? is this on my end??

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 14th Nov 17

      Hi Sarah,

      Thank you for bringing that to my attention! Not quite sure how that happened, but it should be all fixed! I will email you the printout as well to ensure that you get it. Thank you, Renee

  12. Linda | 18th Nov 17

    Need to specify that you need an extra $200 per month. Took me a while to figure this out.

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 19th Nov 17

      I’m sorry if that wasn’t clear.

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