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Big wins are important and for most people it's what gets them motivated.
I highly recommend that you start off with the big stuff because I know from personal experience how seeing that cash in your account pumps you up.
Your hard earned money is staying with you, not going towards some nebulous cloud of bills.
Imagine when you are debt free and all the payments you're making now will instead be used to:
- grow your savings,
- pay for your vacations,
- build your retirement portfolio, or
- fund the business you've always wanted to start
Becoming debt free can help achieve those dreams.
Paying Off Debt Faster with Snowflakes
I think after the initial thrill of starting the debt free journey and making some big wins, couples naturally find themselves at a plateau where they ask ‘What now?' when reviewing their budget.
They have cut out needless luxuries that weren't making them significantly happier and they negotiated with their cable, insurance, and credit card companies.
All the low hanging fruit has been picked and while they have made some great progress with their payments, it still seems like being debt free is still years away.
Welcome to the solution of debt snowflakes.
What are Debt Snowflakes?
Debt snowflakes are smaller, more frequent amounts of money that can be used to whittle down your debt. That money can grow your debt snowball so you be debt free quicker.
The big take away with the snowflakes is that no amount is too small to include. You have to be willing to use that extra $5, $10 towards your debt.
Debt snowflakes have the power to speed up your debt snowball or avalanche not because of their size individually (I consider a snowflake $20 or less), but because of what they represent – the ability to adjust your money habits in small yet meaningful ways.
Pick and Choose Your Adventure
I think sometimes the hardest part with snowflakes is getting started.
One big tip I can give you is look at your own talents, gifts, and interests and see if there is a way for the two of you to enjoy that once more.
Sometimes we let our paycheck job take up so much our energy and thoughts we lose sights of others ways to earn and save money.
Cutting back doesn't mean depriving yourself of fun. You two can find ways to enjoy your time together without forking over a lot of money.
- Cook more at home. Spruce up your culinary skills and invite friends over for nights in at the house.
- Know your town. Become local experts and discover some of the free and low cost events in your area such as concerts and festivals.
- Play again. You don't have to be the next tennis great to enjoy a good game. Pick up a racket or whatever sport you love and start a weekly get together with friends. You'll have a great time and get in shape.
For some couples, earning more money is both more appealing and practical than trimming their expenses.
Here are a few ways you two can pump up your income.
- Start a side business. Many of us have talents beyond what we receive a paycheck for. Set aside a few hours each week and handle a project or a client for money.
- Quick jobs: Take care of household errands for others by signing up and using sites like TaskRabbit. You can also wor from home and use your talents with Fiverr.
- Sell your old tech. Upgraded your phone or tablet? Consider using eBay or Craigslist to sell your old stuff.
- Start a blog. I have to include this one 🙂 You may not become rich with this one, but sharing your expertise can help you earn some money on the side while helping others.
Here's the kicker: Only pick the ones you're interested in. Hate couponing? Then don't clip.
Worried about selling your stuff on Craigslist, then skip it. You decide what works for the both of you.
Automate Your Payments
Don't forget that your snowflakes only help you when you put them to use.
Go ahead and set up transfers so your extra money gets directed towards the debt you're attacking.
If you decide to do regular gigs on side side for sites like TaskRabbit and Fiverr, go ahead and start automating a monthly deposit.
It'll save you time and help you become debt free that much faster.
Build Up Your Debt Payments
I hope these suggestions helps you brhelporm your debt free plan. I'd love to hear from you. What tips do you have on bumping up your debt payments?