A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. - Confucius
Trying to become debt free can seem like trying to climb Mt. Everest in a blizzard, especially in these economic times. But as in mountain climbing, paying down debt does not have to be done at a sprint - it can be done at a limp or even a crawl.
Pete and I are a long way from being out of debt, but by God's grace we have less debt this year than last. One way that this has been possible for us is by making what Dave Ramsey calls "debt snowflakes". (Dave Ramsey is a little too extreme for me on some particulars - but I have gleaned a lot from his writings). A debt snowflake is any little payment you make toward your smallest debt - the idea is that a lot of debt snowflakes can add up to a "debt snowball" (which I will explain in a later post). For example, putting the 5$ you squeezed out of last week's grocery budget on your smallest credit card (in addition to your minimum payment of course) is a debt snowflake.
This week I decided to use the money in the change jar that sits on the window sill near our kitchen table as a debt snowball. Those pennies, nickels, and dimes were not helping us get out of debt sitting there collecting dust, so I rolled them into coin rolls while watching "The Saint" with Roger Moore with Pete tonight. The 17.58 will go to pay off our smallest debt, which happens to be a library fine of 9 dollars, and the rest will go into savings. It may sound silly, but I feel slightly freer knowing that we have one less debt to pay.
Challenge: Find a change jar (or the loose change at the bottom of your purse or between your couch cushions) and put it towards your smallest debt, whether that be a library fine of nine dollars, a credit card with a 1000 dollar balance, or a student loan of 30,000$.