This is our debt snowball and yes, I do have a print out of it taped to the wall over my computer.
This was my husband Jeff’s idea. He wanted to see it everyday. He wanted to see it when he was sitting at the computer contemplating a purchase. He wanted to see it when we do our budget together. He wanted it to stare us down. And it does. Every time I make a payment, it’s right there. $132,388.41 is right there looking at me. Is it a huge number? Yes. Is it intimidating? Well, less so now that I have payoff dates. When we started this in August and the balance was $148,000 and there was no payoff date associated with that insanity, it was very intimidating. Seeing that this mess should be cleaned up in three years is much less so.
Having this up on the wall has already helped us to make different decisions. We should have the car paid off in April due to some extra money I’ve already scraped together, but my goal is March. We have become much more intense about paying things off. We have cut our lifestyle down to nothing so we can clean up our mess.
I’ve had a lot of people say that we are insane. We should just live our lives and someday, those payments will just finish up. Yup, that is true. But what would our lives look like if we didn’t have those payments? Imagine what we could do with that extra $4,000 per month we are throwing at the snowball. We could give more, save more for retirement, and pay down our house faster. I think it’s worth three years (or less) of sacrifice to get there and Jeff agrees.
Every time we pay off a debt, we will update the paper on the wall. We have both decided to leave the old versions behind it as motivation to keep winning. It’s turned into a game in our house. How fast can we do this? How many months can we shave off. Can we find extra money in the budget? Can we make some extra money to throw at this? We are both on the same page to get it done.
Note: I want to thank all of you who read my blog for helping me stay accountable. It was a bit of a struggle for me to post this, but these are our actual numbers. When I made the chart about a week ago, we were over $132,000 in debt. Sharing that with the world is a bit scary but we have made a lot of progress over the years and I hope that sharing my story will help encourage others. Please post your questions below or feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.