Facing debt is not easy. Various credit card statements, phone bills, overdue utility bills and other IOUs are not pleasurable sights. As a responsible citizen, I know we all have our shares in keeping ourselves debt-free; however, there are times that we can’t really say no to those tempting things we see on the display stores.
”Those shoes are just so me. I’ve got to have them.”
”I love the feel of this fabric in me. They won’t be on sale next week, or maybe tomorrow, so I’ve got to buy them now.”
”It won’t hurt to have another cup of coffee, right?”
”The latest brand of mobile phone really fits my lifestyle. I have to have it.”
And so on and so forth. We just can’t stop ourselves from spending. Other people might contest and say it’s just a way to reward themselves after working so hard. Of course, we can’t question that. That’s the reason why you’re working – so you can have the money to have the things that you want. So you can buy the food that you want to eat. So you can go to the places where you want to be. If that’s the way to keep you motivated and have the energy to work, then that’s okay. As long as you don’t put yourselves in debt just to put your life in luxury, then go ahead.
But what if it’s the other way around? What if you’ve been slightly ambitious and you’ve wanted things that are sadly out of your budget for the next few months?
Some of us succumb to debt, unfortunately – Credit cards, loans, to name a few. We keep on buying and spending, because we now have the means. Before we know it, our debts had gotten bigger than we had planned to, and more than we expect. Houston, we have a problem.
There’s still hope, though. Through the debt-snowball method, you can survive.
But what is the debt-snowball method?
The debt snowball method may be able to save you after all. It is a strategy aimed to reduce debt. A financial guru, Dave Ramsey has proposed this method for borrowers to get out of debt.
(Related – How to get out of Debt in 51 ways)
How is it done? First, you list down all the accounts that you owe, the payable amounts that you need to settle. Then you arrange them from the smallest to the biggest amount. You then pay them off, one by one, starting from the smallest.
Sounds easy, right?
Let me then go right ahead and give you more reasons on why the debt snowball method is the way to go in settling your debts.
1. Being able to accomplish something feels so good.
This applies to most activities in life, but now more focused on settling debts. Let’s say you’ve organized all the amounts that you owe. Then you’ve paid off the first two on your list. Crossing them out will give you much satisfaction, and will keep you motivated to pay off all the other remaining amounts.
2. It won’t feel like it puts a hole on your pocket.
Settling the small amounts first will mean that it’s not too expensive yet. It will just feel like you’ve bought something and you’ve paid in cash. Sometimes you just won’t feel it.
3. Your income and savings can work for you.
While you’re on the process of paying off your smaller debts (and not adding up more expenses in between), you can save money that you can use to pay off the larger debts later on.
4. You learn to develop patience.
You begin to understand that things are not to be rushed. As long as you do the right way, you’ll be fine.
5. You begin to be practical.
Since you’re already eliminating debt, you start to see if something is worth buying, and if it’s not, you don’t have it. And if ever that you do have the money to pay for it, you’ll think first of the value and quality.
6. You realize that the best things in life are indeed free.
If you want to spend time with a special someone, sometimes just staying home is as nice as spending it on a lavish vacation. You don’t have to be in debt to be happy.
7. You get to be confident because of yourself and not because of what you have.
You don’t have to be adorned with glamorous things to be happy and confident. If these things just put you in debt, then don’t have it.
8. You learn to have commitment with your list.
Even with just paying off the minimum payment, commit to settling your debts.
9. It makes you focus.
You get to focus on one thing – paying off your debts.
10. It makes you realize your priorities.
You start to think, why am I paying off my debts? Whatever your purpose is, it’s good because it motivates you to proceed and succeed.
11. It serves as a wake-up call.
When you look at your list initially, it may make you regret on the things you spent on. Food that you didn’t like? A phone that got lost? The list goes on.
12. You realize that slavery to debt is not cool.
Why would you want to earn money if you won’t get to enjoy it? Why are you not able to enjoy it? Because it’s already allotted to settle debts. Really not cool.
13. Paying not only bills, but also paying attention.
You will now be more attentive to where you put your money in.
14. You get to be more independent.
Have you experienced having to rely on someone when you were hungry, because all your money was paid to settle bills? Once you’re done paying them off, that will no longer happen.
15. Everyday gets to be a learning process.
You are aware how you will settle your current bills. However, you will try to learn more on how you could save on more money, or find ways on how you can make your money grow.
16. Your outlook changes.
You are no longer that person who gets to be a ‘one-day millionaire’. You understand that your money should be spent wisely, and that continues each day.
17. Battling bills add up to your experience.
This experience will be added as a lesson you may want to share to your kids or grandchildren. Who knows, maybe you can help them stay out of debt as well.
18. You get to be a better person.
People who are debt-free have a cheerful attitude and can sleep well at night, because they have no worries about debt.
19. You achieve financial freedom.
After settling all the bills, you can say you are free from all the burden debt brings.
After paying off all your debts, won’t it make you give out a sigh of relief? Yes, it’s not easy, but it’s not impossible. You just have to fight the small battles first, after which, you’ll win the war.
About the Author : Bill Achola is the writer and owner of BillAchola.com a personal finance blog that teaches people how to get out of debt. For more details on Debt Free, check out this post on: How to Get Out of Debt Fast in 25 Ways
We have many readers who are struggling to become debt free. I am sure this article would help you in some way. Let us know your opinion and what you are doing in your life to cope with the debt burden, stay focused and motivated.
Jenny @ Frugal Guru Guide says
A good way to keep out of debt it to make yourself write down the thing that you want and then wait a month before you decide whether to buy it. Most things that seemed so pressing at the time you wanted them don’t seem all that important a month later.
Yea its good to have a detailed plan written and evaluate the needs and wants.
[email protected] says
I like the fact that when you pay off a smaller balance first having the ability to start applying that money to larger balances. You are right that it does give you a sort of satisfaction.
Thanks Alan for the extra bonus points. Definately paying small debts will give you a sigh of relief
My Multiple Incomes says
Great post! I find writing things down or making a list really works, even with the most minor tasks I have to take care of, so it will definitely work for debts, but then again it will still depends on your motivation.
Thanks Multiple Income, yea i agree with you, it all comes down to motivation and the ability to execute the debt payment.
The speed at which debt snowballing occurs is also faster when combined with effective cost cutting. For example, converting a land-line to a VoIP line or doing away with it altogether frees up budget funds to pay off more debt. Another method is to refinance existing debt such as a mortgage provided the closing costs and new amortization of interest do not outweigh the financial benefits of the lower mortgage rate.
Natalie F says
A good way I use to watch my spending is to not buy things the first time I see them. If I go home and still want them then I know I should get them. If i go home and don’t care for them, then it wasnt worth it.
[email protected] With a Few says
I love this method because it makes me feel like things are really happening! Motivating list!
Hey Jules, am happy to here that it makes you feel motivated and happy