Frugal Friday – Snowball Method

frugalfriday Hubby posted this for me last night as I began a funfilled night of puking. He is my white knight. Enjoy!!

Hello All,

Mr. Diaper Diaries here. The boss asked me to do a brief guest blog on a topic that I’m passionate about – getting out of debt. With all that’s written these days (and for good reason) about the dangers of debt, there’s not a ton of practical advice about how to do the hard work of getting OUT of debt.

For those that are ready to consider methods of debt reduction, the Snowball Method deserves a look. The idea? Start with paying off your smallest bills first. This may seem counterintuitive (“shouldn’t we pay off the big ones first?”), but this method acknowledges what you and I both know… that we need immediate gratification! Paying off the smallest bills first give us that shot in the arm to keep going while freeing up extra cash to apply to larger bills.

Here’s the gist. Say you’ve got three credit card payments – on one card you’ve got $4,000 in debt and the payment is $100 per month. On the second you’ve got $8,000 in debt and the payment is $200 per month. On the third you’ve got $12,000 and your monthly payment is $300 per month.

You’ll need to make payments on all of them, but which one should you focus on getting rid of first? The snowball method has you start with paying off the smallest balance first.

Instead of paying $100 per month, cut your living expenses (not fun but necessary) to pay more – say $250 per month – on it until that $4,000 is gone. This might take a little while. Keep paying the monthly payments on all of them, but focus all of your extra funds on paying off that smallest one. Why? Because once it’s gone, you’re going to have some serious momentum in paying off the rest!

Once the small one is gone, you get to celebrate paying off a credit card! YEAH! And even better, with the smallest credit card bill gone, you can take that $250 you were putting towards it and combine it with what you were already paying on the second bill ($200) and start paying a whopping $450 payment on eliminating that second credit card bill! Before you know it, the second bill will be gone and you can take all that cash, $750 per month, and pay off the last bill. Then, once you’re done, you get a HUGE reward – $750 a month to spend, save, and give!

Make sense? If not, consider learning from the master, Dave Ramsay, on his website.

Give it a try! And when you’re out of debt, feel free to use a little bit of that newfound cash to send some hockey tix over to the Diaper Diary household. It’s the perfect way to reward your favorite blogger. Trust me.


  1. No c.c. debt here, but also no extra cash for hockey tix since it all goes for our son’s ice fees! But you can watch a peewee hockey game for free; there’s even checking and slapshots, but no Datsyuk.

    Charitys last blog post..Ice Cream is always in season

  2. haha, somehow I doubt jill wants those hockey tix as much as you do.

    we used a similar method but we paid off the highest INTEREST debts first. it just gets easier from there – you’re right, once you have the momentum you’re much more likely to succeed. and being debt-free is ust plain awesome.

    Erin Gs last blog post..Dubai or Bust!

  3. lol a little shameless plug huh? I have never seen a hockey game. 2 CC’s not much on them and no extra $ Any of that goes in to the Youth fund at our church since DH is the Youth Pastor ;)

    Candices last blog post..2 down

  4. cherie says:

    I’m a financial analyst, and the part about applying your newly paid off debt to another credit card/debt and then continuing to apply it to the following debt until all the debt is gone is what we teach people to do. (we call it debt stacking, but I like snowballing better!)

  5. Hope Mrs. Diaper Diaries feels better soon!

    Great post Sir Diaper Diaries…we LOVE Dave Ramsey over here in the Potter’s Hand household. No CC debt here…just working on paying off our vehicle. Fortunately we heard about FPU (Financial Peace University…for those of you who aren’t on the Baby Steps, check out Dave’s website and you’ll see what I’m talking about)BEFORE we went and got ourselves into CC debt!

    Sorry, won’t be contributing to hockey tickets any time soon :)

    Mrs. Qs last blog post..The Makevoer Continues!

  6. Annie M says:

    I love Dave Ramsey! His radio show is the best! Unfortunately we don’t have the Fox Business Channel so I can’t check out his show there. We, too, have been through FPU and there is little better than being debt free, especially in these economic times! No recession in out house! LOL! Thanks for the Dave Ramsey plug in todays post!

  7. So good to hear from the Mister!
    We at the Shoe house are HUGE Dave Ramsey fans. We used the snowball method to get out of debt. It wasn’t fast. It wasn’t easy. But it worked. Of course, the victory dance was short lived as we began and are still struggling to get our 3-6 months savings!

    Great post!

    Will Blog For Shoess last blog post..Someday My Prince Will Come And Fix My Blog

  8. Hockey is my favorite!! Hockey season is hands-down the best season in all the world. I’m a huge Sharks fan (from the bay area, CA) and go to their games pretty regularly!! I’m excited for the post-season creeping up on us! GO SHARKS! :)

    Who is your favorite team, Mr. Diaper Diaries!?

  9. Heh heh. Nice ending, Monsieur Diaper Diaries!

    Jenny from Mommin’ It Up!s last blog post..Hairritating

  10. Snowballing is a great debt-reduction method. I need to put it back to work this year after a little bit of slacking.

    Hope you feel better quickly, and thanks for the guest post from the Mr.

    Jessicas last blog post..What I’m Loving on Wednesday

  11. Jen@BigBinder says:

    Wait, did you say puking?

    Jen@BigBinders last blog post..Mmmm… fishy!

  12. Dave Ramsey is the best! I love the snowball method and thankfully we are down to one car loan and student loans to get rid of. I am so looking forward to being entirely debt-free! After the student loans comes the mortgage!

    Esther Littlefields last blog post..A Key to Improving Your Speaking Skills

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