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For only about 60-70 years, the world has been a place where you can buy stuff without being able to actually pay for it. Isn’t that insane?

My parents have been alive for longer than 60 years! That is not that long!

This didn’t used to be the way things were done and I think it has gotten a bit out of hand.

The Secret to Paying Off Debt FAST

We’ve made it the norm to live “paycheck to paycheck” and have all the things you want right now. Is that really healthy?

There are many dangerous qualities debt has awarded us: impatience, greed, envy.

However, many still believe that good things have come from the increasing availability of credit options. For example, people will argue that debt allows people to purchase homes, who otherwise would have never been able to afford it. The catch is that the mortgage industry also caused a dramatic increase in home prices.

You think you can “afford” to pay more, so everyone quickly begins charging more. People who should not buy a house, have been buying houses. People who can’t afford luxury cars, have been buying Mercedes, Lexus, and BMW’s.

No one is forced to wait to buy what their friends and parents have bought, so why should they? The fall of the housing market in 2008 is a great example of why the credit industry is so dangerous. Many people were convinced to buy on credit when they really couldn’t afford it, and they should not have even been approved.

“Keeping up with the Joneses” has become the day-to-day reality of too many families!


If you want to learn more about how to live your life without envy of your friends on social media, I highly recommend reading Love Your Life Not Theirs: 7 Money Habits for Living the Life You Want by Rachel Cruze. This book inspired me and helped me maintain focus while I paid off my debt!

Here’s the good news: things are starting to change. As a society, we are beginning to realize that debt and having an abundance of material items isn’t the way to live your best life.

People are paying off their debt and selling their stuff all the time now! Isn’t that exciting?

Every week on The Ramsey Show, a new family calls in with excitement that they sold their big house, fancy cars, cool gadgets, and much more! All on the quest for true happiness and freedom. Now those people get to retire at a young age, travel the world with CASH, and enjoy giving to others.

THIS COULD BE YOU! Want to know how?

Pay off all your debt using the debt snowball method.

This is the method that I used to pay off $60,000 in 20 months, so I know that it works. (Read more about my debt-free journey.)


First, know that I learned this strategy from Dave Ramsey (the most successful teacher of biblical finance). While I am unsure if he actually created the strategy or if it already existed, he is by far the biggest advocate. In large part, this is due to the success of his thousands of financial coaching students (myself included).


Dave’s book The Total Money Makeover and his course Financial Peace University both teach his methods for financial success. I personally used both of these to help me pay off my debt, but recommend that you choose at least one. You will find success if you follow Dave’s teachings, as long as you are ready to put in the work.

The debt snowball method is the fastest because it accounts for our human nature and the psychology behind what motivates us to accomplish difficult goals.

Paying off debt, as Dave learned through years of researching the habits of his financial coaching clients, has more to do with mindset than it does math. If you focus on the math too much, you’ll think the debt snowball is the wrong strategy for paying off debt.

What you do is pay off your debts from smallest to largest. Since your first debt is the smallest, you’ll pay it off quickly and feel that boost of energy from earning your first win. You gain momentum with each win, which will push you to work harder at paying off your debt.

Give it a try and watch the debt snowball work its magic!

STEP 1 – List ALL your debts from smallest to largest, ignoring interest rates.

Don’t leave anything out! Include every single debt: your car loan, student loans, your cell phone payoff plan, your credit cards, your Kohl’s charge card, medical bills, (you get the point).

Don’t panic when you see the total, either. It can be scary to list it all out together. Especially because a lot of people don’t think about some debt as, well… debt!

If you are completing step 1, that means you are motivated to get out of debt and willing to put in the work. That, my friends, is awesome! There is no need for worry, fear, or panic because you now have a plan.

STEP 2 – Create a zero-based budget (if you don’t already have one) and continue to make minimum payments on all debt.

Using the debt snowball method for paying off debt requires the use of a budget or spending plan. You can’t pay off debt if you don’t have a plan for your income and spending.

Zero-based budget, defined: A budget where your total income for the month is equal to your total expenses for the month. This means that you will need to plan out where every dollar will go, including savings, giving, and regular monthly expenses.

There are tons of apps and templates out there to help with this!


If you are in a position that you can’t currently pay your minimum payments, you are not ready to use this method.

FIRST, you must increase your income AND lower your expenses. Cut out anything you can: monthly subscriptions, eating out, cars, cable, etc. Get a second job, ask for a raise, or get a better-paying job.

Your initial priority should be to get back to a zero-based budget and away from a negative budget. You can’t get out of debt if you are continuing to add to it!

Prioritize the 4 walls: food, utilities, housing, and transportation. These are your basic needs.

Once you have a plan for your spending (budget) and you are able to make all of your minimum debt payments, you can move on to the next step.

STEP 3: Cut expenses & increase income.


Look through your budget and cut out every possible expense: unused subscriptions, gym memberships, cable, eating out, etc. I would even recommend pausing retirement contributions while paying off debt. The more you are willing to cut, the quicker you’ll reach debt freedom!


Get a second job, if you are able to. You can also ask for a raise, work overtime, or find a better-paying job.

Side gigs are a great way to earn extra too! Be creative and use your skills to find temporary work you can do in your free time. Share with your community that you are looking for extra work and you’ll increase your odds of finding ideal opportunities.

To learn more about successfully paying off debt sign up for my FREE eBook (plus, get exclusive updates about our website):

Brainstorm multiple solutions to increase how much you can put toward your debt snowball. Every little bit helps (collect change, return bottles and cans, etc.) and it all adds up quickly.

STEP 4: Put all extra cash toward the SMALLEST DEBT.

Now that you have your list, your budget, and your maximum “extra cash” amount, put all of that extra cash toward paying off your smallest debt.

Once that debt is paid off, take your minimum monthly payment for that debt PLUS your “extra cash” and put that toward paying off the next smallest debt. Continue with this pattern until all debt is paid off!

The Debt Snowball Method


Easier said than done, right?

You will have to put in a lot of work. This process takes patience, discipline, and grit. Remember that the sacrifices are only temporary and this is the fastest route to debt freedom.

You can do it! Believe in yourself and focus on how your life will change for the better once you are debt-free. You’ll be done in no time.


Having any debt, let alone a lot of debt, can feel terrifying. When you pay off your small debts first, you gain confidence that you can actually become debt-free.

As I’ve mentioned, the debt snowball method gives you MOMENTUM and MOTIVATION to continue on at a fast pace.

Now let’s discuss the most common argument against this method…


Many “financial experts” argue that it is smarter to pay off debt in order of interest rate, starting with the highest rate and working down to the lowest rate. While this is correct mathematically, for the everyday consumer this is not the best method.

“Honey, if we were doing math, we wouldn’t have credit card debt to start with. This is not a math problem. This is a ‘you’ problem.”

Dave Ramsey

As Dave says in this quote, if you were truly trying to be smarter financially, you wouldn’t be using credit cards or other debt. Paying interest on any purchase increases the cost and is not a “smart” financial decision. Instead, you would use patience and wait until you could pay in full when you had enough cash.

With the debt snowball method, the goal is to pay off debt as fast as possible. Based on this fact, the savings in interest between the two methods is miniscule and not worth losing the momentum provided using the debt snowball method.

We will compare the two methods in an example below.

Imagine you have the following 4 debts:

  • $500 @ 0% interest, with $25 monthly payment
  • $600 @ 3% interest, with $30 monthly payment
  • $5,000 @ 7% interest, with $150 monthly payment
  • $16,500 @ 2.5% interest, with $325 monthly payment

You are able to scrape together $200 in “extra cash” to pay toward your debts.

(NOTE: This example uses rough estimates.)

Using the Interest Rates method, you start with the $5,000 debt first because it has the highest interest rate at 7%. Paying the $150 minimum payment plus the extra cash of $200, it would take you a little over 15 months to pay off your first debt.


$150 minimum payment + $200 “extra cash” = $350 total monthly payment

$5,000 x 7% interest = $350 in additional interest owed (estimate)

$5,350 (debt + interest) / $350 monthly payment = 15.3 months

If you began your debt-free journey and didn’t get your first win for over a year, it is more likely that you would give up before you even paid off the first debt.

Using the Debt Snowball method, you reach your first win of paying off the $500 debt in three months! After that is paid off, you focus on the $600 debt and pay that off in two more months. In only five months, you will have paid off two debts already, motivating you to make additional sacrifices (like working overtime, a second job, or cutting out more expenses).

Calculation: $500 Debt, 0% interest

MonthBeginning BalanceMin. Monthly PaymentExtra Money AppliedEnding Balance
TOTAL $75$425 

Calculation: $600 Debt, 3% interest

MonthBeginning BalanceInterest (rounded)Min. Monthly PaymentExtra Money AppliedEnding Balance
TOTAL $5$150$455 

Can you see how much quicker it FEELS with the debt snowball method? It’s all about having those little wins along the way to keep you motivated!

For a more thorough example, sign up for my FREE eBook (plus, get exclusive updates about our website):


After you have paid off all your debts, you will feel a freedom that you never knew you desired. It’s a powerful experience to become debt-free!

Not only will you feel more confidence in your financial future, but you will have more control over your purchasing impulses and more knowledge of your personal finances.

Most people who fight and climb their way out of debt never get back into debt. That has been my experience so far and I hope it will be yours too.

Get inspired to begin your journey toward debt freedom and financial peace!

I believe you can do it, and so should you! 🙂