{Money Hack} Quick Guide to the Debt Snowball

If you are a frequent reader of shemakescents, then you will constantly hear me referring to a snowball, but what exactly does a snow ball have to do with personal finance? The snowball is a metaphor that represents my current financial goals. Picture this… someone picks up a small handful of snow and creates a ball. That ball is then pushed down a hill and with every rotation picks up more snow and speed. By the time it reaches the bottom of the hill, the ball has multiplied in size. Money SnowballPhoto Credit: PM Images

Now let’s break it down…

  •  Simply picking up the ice to form a ball represents motivation. Most people would have seen the snow but left it alone because it’s too cold to bother with.
  •  The small ball, created from motivation, is a manifestation of the strength of my current financial situation. It’s small right now, but will grow with better money habits ahead.
  •  The snow ball being pushed represents my obligation to myself not to settle or stay stagnant. You have to keep moving to make progress. With every rotation (aka payment above the minimum) the fight against debt gains momentum until it gets to the bottom of the hill aka “The Land of Financial Freedom”.

Financially speaking, it looks like this:

Current Credit Card Minimum Payment = $89.00
The Average Monthly Payment I Make = $450.00 ($300.00 per month + the average of the 2016 version 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge) will have me credit card free in 9 months at the longest.

Once the credit card has a zero balance, that money will be “snowballed” onto my monthly student loans. Instead of paying the $200.00 minimum for those, I will then pay $200.00 + $450.00 to equal $650.00 per month on student loan debt. Doing this will shave 12 years and 7 months off my expected repayment term and save me about $6,555.55 on interest alone.

Once the student loans are eliminated, I will then have an extra $650.00 every month.  That’s an extra $7,800 per year that could be applied to savings, investments, or a down payment for a large purchase.

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