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.

Tracking your money

One of the best things you can do for your life and your finances before starting to pay off debt is to become fully aware of where all of your money is being spent.

Often times we aren’t even aware where our money is going every month which is what usually leads to things like credit card debt in the first place.

If you need more help keeping a simple, but effective budget, duse coupon code BUNDLE20 to save 20% on my Fun Sized Budget Bundle. There are 18 easy-to-use printouts, including debt payoff printouts, plus a video tutorial that walks you through how to use each one.

Before starting the Debt Snowball

Before you get started with the Debt Snowball, there are a few things I always recommend looking into that could help you reduce the amount of debt you have and could also reduce your monthly payments.

Debt consolidation

One of the first things we did before paying off debt was to take out a loan to get a lower interest rate. Another option is debt consolidation.

Top debt consolidation companies:

  • LendingTree – Get loans for several purposes including debt consolidation or credit card consolidation.
  • Payoff – Reduce multiple high-interest payments with one lower monthly payments and interest rates starting at 5.4%
  • Loan Exchange – Get pre-approved at a variety of companies without affecting your credit score

Negotiate interest rates

If you’re worried about taking out a loan or are looking for alternative ways to lower your payments, you can always try negotiating your interest rates.

Grab my FREE negotiation scripts that will walk you through how to talk to your credit card company about lowering your interest rate.

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. A quick run down looks like this:

  1. Apply $200 to your smallest debt
  2. Pay off the smallest debt
  3. Begin working on next smallest debt

Finding an extra $200

The first step in starting the Debt Snowball is finding an additional $200 per month to put toward debt.

A lot of people believe that finding extra money means working more. In reality, there is a good chance you already have $200 hiding in your budget.

Strategies for finding $200

Build a Bucket List Budget

I created a course that walks you step by step how our family was able to free up an additional $40,000 per year without working more hours!

Cut your monthly expenses

One of the best and fastest ways to get more money in your budget is by cutting those expenses that you pay every month. Go through your budget and find ways that you can reduce or eliminate the expenses that you pay for every single month.

Reduce your phone plan

There are companies and strategies that will help you significantly lower the cost of your phone plan each month so you have more money to put toward debt payoff.

Reduce your food budget

Chances are you are spending way more on food each month than you realize. Grab my free Shop Your Pantry guide to learn how to shop smarter or get a pre-planned grocery list and meal plan from the $5 Meal Plan.

Sell stuff online

A great way to make more money every month is by decluttering some of what you currently have. When it comes to big-ticket items like electronics, I have found a lot of success with the Mercari app.

Start your Debt Snowball

Grab the Debt Snowball Printout to get started!

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.

Get 17 more printouts in the Fun Sized Budget Bundle including the Debt Snowball printout. Use the code: BUNDLE20 to get 20% off.

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. Write out your debts – In the top column of the Debt Snowball Printout, write out your debts with the biggest debt in box #1. The #2 box will be your second largest, and so on and so on.
  2. Fill in your totals – Below each of these, fill in your total balance owed for each debt.
  3. Enter your monthly payment amount – Below that, fill in your minimum monthly payment for each debt.
  4. Apply your $200 – 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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Can everyone pay off $6,000 of debt in 6 months?

While we were able to get out of debt $6,000 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.

Tips for faster debt payoff

  • Maximize your money – Imagine being able to apply more than $200 per month toward your debt! Get the steps, strategies, and tools you need to totally transform your budget and maximize your money in my Bucket List Budget course.
  • Debt Consolidation – Again, I always recommend looking into debt consolidation if you have large amounts of debt and/or high-interest rates.
  • Debt relief – In some cases, you may qualify for debt relief to help you lower the amount you owe. See if you qualify.
  • Side hustle – As I said, the more money you can put toward debt payoff, the faster you can get out. Here are some easy start side hustles and money-making ideas that you can do on your lunch break.

Who should use the Debt Snowball?

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.

Join the community!

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 in to the latest budgeting and debt payoff updates!

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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.

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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