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debt snowball january

A debt snowball is when you list all of your debts smallest to largest (regardless of interest rate) and begin paying as much as you can toward the smallest debt. Once that debt is paid you put the amount you were paying on that first debt, plus any extra money you have toward the second debt. You continue this until you have all of your debts paid off. Like a snowball gets bigger as you add snow, the amount of money you are putting towards debt grows as you pay off each debt.

I am posting our progress with the debt snowball, partially to keep us accountable and chronicle our journey, and partially in hopes that it motivates someone else. I cannot even count the number of people I have told the joys of Dave Ramsey’s program, podcast and books. Working his plan has us paying off our debt in an accelerated way, which provides yet another way to control our controllables.

A car repair, heating repair, or trip to the emergency room used to send me into a tailspin. I’d get so frustrated and worried about money. Now, I get frustrated for a different reason. It means we won’t pay off our debt as fast, not because I’m wondering how we’ll pay the bill. I am already getting a small taste of financial freedom.

We are currently beefing up our emergency fund due to the state of Illinois budget crisis, which impacts the security of Brian’s job and mine.  Right now we are more worried about my job than Brian’s since I have zero seniority where I am.  Our goal is $18,000 in our emergency fund and then we will begin throwing more money at the law school loan.

So here’s the lowdown for January:


Extra income report from January

Extra money from regular paychecks      $991

Money from Varage Sale sales                 $ 21

Total extra income towards savings        $1012


Previous months’ savings                   $6997

January savings                                  $1012



Total still needed to reach goal           $9,991


Debt Snowball Updates:

February 2016

March 2016

April 2016

May 2016



2 Comments on Debt Snowball Update-January

  1. Reading this made me smile. We too are beefing up our emergency fund (agreed upon between us and our financial planner who is not 100% on board with Dave Ramsey) due to to a possible job change. After listening to Dave for so long it took awhile to wrap my head around this idea :-). I sure hope your jobs are ok. We have a friend who is the AD at Western and sounds like they have to take a 12 day furlough– do you have to do that?

    • No furloughs for us as of now. They just laid off 31 people this week. I may be safe for another 6 months, but nothing is certain in these difficult times. The main principles of Dave Ramsey’s plan I agree with, and even he would say stop your debt snowball when faced with uncertainty with your income.

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