So…this isn’t plantbased related but I thought I would share it with you because I believe not enough people talk openly about their finances, yet they are a huge part of our lives. Over the past seven months we have been following Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball method, applying all extra money we have leftover each month to our debts in order from lowest to highest. We didn’t follow his plan to a T, but we did what worked for us and I am happy to report it does work. If you are struggling to pay off debt, maybe you are reading this post at just the right time. So, let’s dig in…
First per the plan we started with a $1,000 emergency fund that was hit up twice for car repairs during the 7 months, so I’m thankful we had that to cover the costs. Along the way I also lowered my 401k contribution to allow us to throw more money at debt, which at first I didn’t do, but now I understand why he has you do it – temporary sacrifice for long term gain. Plus I have compounding interest on my 401k money that I started 7 years ago so I am still making money on it which makes me feel better about not contributing for a bit. Once we are totally done with debt I will go back to contributing.
In seven months we paid off 4 credit cards, 1 Lowes card and 2 student loans totaling $22,068! That is averaging about $3k a month being thrown at debt which was painful, but necessary. This now means I no longer have to log into 7 different accounts anymore. #winning
How We Did It:
Stuck to a Budget
Tracked daily purchases on a notepad to stay within allotted amount
Lived below our means – packed lunches, no dinners out, no Starbucks
No miscellaneous shopping or purchases that aren’t necessities
Picked up overtime when available
The snowball method says to list out your debts smallest to largest, despite interest amounts. But we started with our credit cards first because their minimums were so high and if we lost our jobs they would still demand money from us (vs student loans you could defer). After we paid them off we cut them up together and called all of them to cancel. It was an amazing feeling and we feel so free to have these weights lifted from us. There is something so freeing when you no longer have to login to seven different accounts online and remember to pay them all. The Lowes card had been lingering from our home build and hit its high interest rate this year so we knew we needed to get that one kicked to the curb. After all the credit cards were done and then Lowes, we ordered the student loans lowest to highest and were able to pay off two of them quickly.
// Our current Amex account //
Listen to Dave’s podcast (I listened every single weekday for 7 months)
Have monthly meetings with your spouse to review the budget
Pay off your debts together so you feel like you are a team
Meal plan for the week and shop once on Sundays to save on groceries
The more we got into paying off debt, the more I realized how much the snowball method works. I even created a spreadsheet to see the math of it vs. doing highest interest first and the snowball still won. There is a reason the debt snowball has helped millions of people out of debt so don’t question it, just do it to the level it works for you.