When a snowball is your friend: A simple tactic to reduce your debt

That’s what happens when you have focused intensity and start with your smallest debt — it leads to a big result! — Dave Ramsey

My family is about to step into uncharted lands in the next 30 days.

The Pre-Work

Facing the reality — with an open mind.

At some point in the spring/summer of 2015, I found the Dave Ramsey Podcast. After the first few episodes, I thought that the callers who reported tackling huge amounts of debt were just fake callers. No way someone could reduce their debt by that much on the salary they had.

Establishing a budget

You need a budget. Yes! You! Do! This is the mantra of one of my favorite companies and their flagship software: YNAB. (Stands for “You Need a Budget.”)

Enter the snowball

There are numerous ways to pay down debt. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks. The two most common are both characterized by winter-based metaphors. The avalanche and the snowball.

The snowball starts to roll.

We had a few smallish debts (store credit card, a small personal loan) and so after 2–3 months those were paid off. This gave us two wins and some excitement for what might actually be possible.

A Golgothan

The snowball crushes the monster

For the last 6 months, we’ve attacked that monster with every penny we could. We can now see the end of that debt coming in the next 30 days. The money is budgeted — the payment is scheduled. And we’re sitting — watching as this relic of many (many) short-sighted, impulsive decisions, gets crushed under the weight of our continually growing snowball.

Dad, husband, thinker, writer, exerciser. “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” — Dumbledore

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store