We sat down and for the first time really took stock of all of the debt we had racked up. I still can’t forget how nervous and scared we were at the kitchen table that night. I also remember an overwhelming feeling of shame the first time we truly looked at all of our income for each month and thought… where the f*ck did that go?! When we got past the shame and embarrassment of it all… it looked something like this.
Our Debt Snowball
1. $1,500 – Student Loan
2. $1,500 – Student Loan
3. $2,000 – Student Loan
4. $2,500 – Student Loan
5. $3,000 – Lowe’s Credit Card (leftover kitchen remodel costs)
6. $3,000 – Discover Card (Lady’s TPLO Surgery)
7. $4,500 – Student Loan
8. $4,500 – American Express Card (general overspending rollover balance)
We spent the next 8 months cutting our budget to the bone and putting the phenomenal income we’ve been blessed with to work. It’s amazing that when you start paying attention to your money, it starts to work for you. Now that we weren’t looking for it, extra work seemed to find us. I parlayed my new found financial interest and penchant for budgeting into a bookkeeping position that previously didn’t exist (along with some personal training on the side) that paid us an extra $1,000 a month. My wife found a job with a contract company working with a few additional clients that netted us another $1,000 a month and before you knew it we had more money coming in than we knew what to do with.
As fate would have it shortly after the completion of our debt snowball, as we were building up our emergency fund.. Lady tore the other knee ligament. That’s right! Our rewards for being such dutiful, responsible stewards of capital? We got to spend it. Another $3,000.
I can’t tell you the difference in the experience between the first and the second. There was no overwhelming sense of dread. There was no panic. No Stress. Our newfound financial stability turned what was once a life altering emergency into a mere inconvenience. We were actually able to take advantage a little. I signed up for a credit card with a large sign-on bonus if you spent $3,000 in the first 3 months (we spent it in the first 3 minutes). We recently used those reward points to fully pay for a romantic Valentine’s Day weekend!
If you have your own story with the debt snowball please share in the comments sections below!