Above is a blank version of the Debt Snowball Worksheet. We used the debt snowball method to payoff $52,000 in debt in 18 months and it was crucial for us to get out of debt so quickly. For those that you are not familiar with the Debt Snowball, this is where you list your debts smallest to largest regardless of the interest rate. The idea is that if you take any extra money you have to pay down the smallest debt, you will have victories early on that will help you pay off your debt even faster. After you pay off the first debt, then you take the money your were paying on that debt and roll it into the next smallest debt. Hence why they call it the Debt Snowball.
Not convinced this is the best method to pay down your debt? Well, the Harvard Business Review did a study involving 6000 people over a 36 month time-frame and this is what they said:
“The one-account-at-a-time strategy led subjects to work harder and repay their debts more quickly because they feel they are making greater progress toward the ultimate goal of becoming debt free.”
They also concluded the following:
Participants assigned to the concentrated repayment strategy worked harder than those who dispersed their repayments, producing more words and repaying their debt 15% more quickly.
Just goes to show, the Debt Snowball method is the way to go. An not just because it worked for me but because it has worked for millions of other people as well.
Here is an example of the Debt Snowball Spreadsheet filled out:
Debt Snowball Worksheet Explained
Surplus – This is the amount of money you have left over each month to pay down your debt. If you dont have a surplus, then you need to find a way to reduce your expenses or increase your income.
Lender – Who you owe the money to. If you owe a person, feel free to put their name here.
Amount owed – Total balance you owe to the lender. You should be able to find this on your most recent statement. If you dont get paper statements, you should be able to access your electronic statements by logging into your lenders site.
Minimum payment – The minimum amount of money the lender will accept each month. You will make this payment on all debts accept the smallest debt.
Snowball payment – This is the surplus in addition to the minimum payment for the first debt. Keep in mind that you only have one snowball payment, however, it grows after you pay off a debt.
Keep in mind, you need to have Microsoft Excel or a program that can edit Excel files to properly use this worksheet.
The goal of the worksheet is to show you how many months it will take for you to become debt free. There are other methods to paying off debt, however, this is by far the most successful way because it is simple and easy to execute. Not only that, but you start to see progress in the first month which helps motivate you to keep going.