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Discover the method that will help you pay off your debt faster.
When it comes to paying off debt, there are many strategies out there that can help you get out of debt. One of the most popular strategies, which you probably have heard of, is the debt snowball. And another less popular method is the debt snowflake.
Both of them are good debt pay-off strategies, but one is better for you. Today, we will go over debt snowball vs. debt snowflake and find out which one you should use.
Let’s dive in.
Debt Snowball Method
The debt snowball method is a popular debt pay-off strategy where you start tackling your debts from the smallest to the largest, regardless of the interest rates. You pay off the smallest debt first and then roll over your payment to the next smallest debt.
The feeling of satisfaction of seeing your debts paid off will keep you motivated to focus on your goal. Therefore, if you need encouragement to stay focused, then this method is for you.
How To Use Debt Snowball Method
Now, let’s take a look at how the debt snowball method works.
Step 1: Make A List
Gather all your bank statements and list down all your debts including the debt name, balance, and the minimum payment.
|Credit Card 1
|Credit Card 2
Step 2: Arrange
Arrange the debts by balance, from smallest to largest. The example above will now look like this.
|Credit Card 2
|Credit Card 1
Step 3: Pay The Minimum
Make minimum payments on all debts except the smallest. You will then start throwing as much money as you can at that one.
Once the smallest debt is repaid (in the example it will be the credit card 1), take the minimum amount you were paying toward it, which is $25.46 in the example, and add it to the minimum payment of the next smallest debt.
Therefore, in the example above, your payment for medical bill will be $60.62 ($25.46 + $35.16).
Step 4: Repeat
Repeat this strategy until all of your debts are paid off. The more you pay off, the more your freed-up money toward the next debt in line —hence the snowball effect.
Benefits Of Debt Snowball
Since the debt snowball method prioritizes your smallest debt, you will see small victories sooner. These small victories build motivation as you start seeing your debt paid off.
Pays Off Debt Faster
As you gain traction because you are motivated to pay off your debts, you will pay off all your debts sooner. On average, people who use the debt snowball method paid off their debts in 18-24 months.
You can use this handy debt snowball calculator to check how long will it take you to be debt free.
Debt Snowflake Method
While the debt snowball method uses money that you already budgeted towards debt repayment, the debt snowflake method uses small amounts from your day-to-day savings.
For example, you usually grab a $3 coffee on your way to work. But today, you decided to have coffee at home. You saved $3. You also brought your lunch to work, which saved you $5. Then after work, while walking towards your car, you found a $5 bill.
At the end of the day, you accummulated $13 that you can snowflake towards your debt.
Accumulation is the key to making snowflakes work. It may not seem much, but tiny savings collected over time can have a big impact.
How To Use Debt Snowflake Method
The great thing about the debt snowflake method is it can work well with any debt repayment plan, be it debt snowball, debt avalanche, etc. But the real trick to make debt snowflake work is to actually use that money for extra payments.
So here’s how you do it.
1) Have A Repayment Plan
Having a plan sets you up for success. Take all of your debts, seek ways to consolidate them, and reduce their interest rates.
And then order them by interest rate (debt avalanche method) or by balance (debt snowball). Then, you make a minimum payment to all of your debts, then strive to make a big extra payment to your number one debt.
2) Find And Gather Snowflakes
Snowflaking refers to any little action you take that immediately saves money. That money is then directly applied to the debt on top of your debt repayment plan.
You can find snowflakes when you opt for a smaller size coffee which costs $1.50 instead of what you usually get, which is a large coffee that is $3.00. The $1.50 that you save from the coffee can go towards your debt repayment.
There are a lot of ways to find snowflakes in your life. You can do a yard sale, brown bag your lunch, bike to work, etc. You can find more saving money ideas here.
3) Move Quickly Before Your Snowflakes Melt
Snowflakes melt fast, so if you are going to use this debt payoff method, you need to move fast. It would be best if you made your micropayments before they disappear.
Here are some of the ways to capture your snowflakes.
If you use cash, you can use a change jar to collect your savings for the day. Then make it a habit to deposit your savings in your bank account at the end of the week or month. Make sure to use the entire amount to pay off the debt regularly.
If you are using a debit card, immediately make a money transfer using your phone each time you make a “snowflake.” But watch out for the limit on the number of transfers you can make in a month. The last you want is to have all your snowflakes end up paying for transaction fees.
You will then make your micropayments either right away or at the end of the day. Most banks will allow you to make several small payments like this to the same company each day.
Keeping A Log
Many of us do not have the time to stop what we’re doing and make payments multiple times a day, so a better way to do it is to keep a log of all “snowflakes.”
Use a notebook or your phone, then at the end of the day, tally up all your “snowflakes” do a money transfer. You can then make a single extra debt payment for that total amount.
You can also keep a running log of all your savings for a week, every other week, or for a month, then pay the total amount at the end of the period.
Benefits Of Debt Snowflake Method
The debt snowflake method will likely produce such small results that you’ll think, why even bother.
However, this method will help you develop a habit of constantly looking for ways to save money and taking action to eliminate your debt. These steps might be small, but they have the power to change your life.
Which is better debt snowball or debt snowflake?
After reading all about these two debt repayment methods, it is obvious that debt snowball will give you a better result. However, if you want to get out of debt faster, these two can work together to get you there.
Final Thoughts On Snowball And Snowflake Debt Payment Methods
The debt snowball and debt snowflake are both excellent strategies to get you out of debt. If you’re facing a big pile of debt, these two methods can help you chip away those debts faster.
So, debt snowball vs debt snowflake, which one is for you?
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