How We Paid Off Our First Credit Card Using the Debt Snowball
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This is a little embarrassing to admit, but Keith and I are carrying a pretty hefty amount of credit card debt. We accumulated most of it while I was staying home and we needed to make up for his low salary with credit… And also, we ate a lot of fast food! Keith has worked really hard to climb the ladder and make what he does now. And now we’re paying for our past mistakes. The good news is, we have everything we need and we have enough left over to start paying it off for real. Here’s how we used the debt snowball method to pay off our first credit card!
The Debt Snowball
The debt snowball is a method used by Dave Ramsey. You basically start by paying off your smallest debt first. Then you use what you’re now saving from that debt’s monthly payment towards your next biggest debt, and so own. Our smallest high-interest debt was about $2,500. We paid it off over about three months. The debt was on our Target RedCard! We still use our RedCard for our weekly Target run, so we can save 5% on everything. (Want to save 5% on everything, too? Apply here for your own Target RedCard!) Now we just make sure to pay it off immediately, and still get the benefits.
What We Cut
In order to have more money to put towards our debt, we had to make a few cuts! Here’s what we got rid of in order to be able to put more money into our debt snowball.
We stopped eating fast food multiple times a week for dinner. Keith started bringing lunch to work instead of stopping for the dollar menu. We make sure to stick to our list as closely as possible when we go to the grocery store. We stopped buying so many packaged snack foods. And most importantly, we try really hard to stick to our meal plan and avoid letting food go bad.
A lot of our debt is from important things, like beds to sleep in, a couch, a dining room table, and all from IKEA at great prices. But we found ourselves still going to IKEA and other stores, just looking for things to buy. We still do need to shop, especially for clothes for our quickly-growing daughter. And we enjoy picking up something perfect that catches our eyes at Costco for a great price. But shopping for pleasure is no longer part of our weekend routine. We’re saving so much money for our debt snowball by avoiding shopping so often!
One of the things I don’t want to give up is having fun experiences together as a family. So for birthdays and holidays, we’re been asking for memberships to fun things like the zoo! That way, we can go whenever we want and it’s already paid for. Thankfully, we also have friends who invite us as guests on their memberships to new places. We’ve also been exploring parks and playgrounds around our great city. And our new favorite summer activity is driving up to a low-cost beach in Michigan!
We’re going to keep going with our debt snowball until all our debt is paid off! It will take a few years, even if we don’t get interrupted with any emergencies or live events. But that’s okay – we’re already feeling how good it is to have a little less debt weighing on us. And we have the debt snowball method to thank!
How are you paying off your debt? Tell me in the comments!
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