Just as it takes many small snowflakes to create a snowball, it takes many pennies to pay off thousands of pounds in debt. Snowballing debt is a debt reduction plan where you commit to paying a certain amount every month until you are debt-free. You don’t reduce your monthly payments as your debt decreases. This way those monthly payments take on a snowball effect. As your balance decreases so does your monthly interest charges. Your monthly payment then increasingly goes towards your principal balances. Much like a snowball that gets bigger and picks up momentum as it rolls downhill, your monthly payment also pick up momentum and makes a bigger impact on your debt every month.
Snowflaking is an additional component to snowballing your debt. Snowflaking in money management comes from the idea that every snowflake counts in a snowball. In debt reduction, this translates to every penny you can add to that monthly payment makes a difference. Snowflaking is the practice of doing all you can to add to that monthly debt payment from taking on odd jobs to selling items on eBay.
Snowflake Your Debt Away with a Part-Time Job
The most productive way to snowflake your debt away is to take on a part-time job. However, when taking on another job, the idea is not to go into more debt or increase your expenses by taking on educational loans. So you want to take a part-time job that requires little prior experience, training, or education. Take a side job as a retail clerk, waitress, mystery shopper, babysitter, pet sitter, or housecleaner, and put your entire extra paycheck towards your debt. This by far is the best snowflake strategy that will give you the quickest results. For some, a holiday retail job that lasts just a few weeks can wipe away all their debt.
You can also earn cash by selling items you no longer use or need on eBay and Craigslist. People looking for a bargain will buy everything from clothes to kids stuff to electronics on eBay and Craigslist. Holding a yard sale can net you several hundred pounds in just a weekend to put towards your debt and clear your house of junk. Do you like to scrapbook, knit, or build birdhouses? Turn a hobby into a business by selling your crafts on eBay or Craigslist. Even if you only sell one or two items a month, those snowflake pounds will add up over the year.
Saved Money Becomes a Snowflake
If you are living within your budget, anytime you save money that saved money can become a snowflake for your debt reduction plan. For example, if you’ve budgeted £500 a month for food, but through the use of coupons and buying items on sale you only spent £475 on food, you can send the £25 you saved to your debt holders. Love your morning coffee break? Skip one day a week and sent that £5 to your debt instead and you’ll have paid off and extra £260 by the end of the year.
Look Online for Snowflakes
There’s more money to be made online other than just through eBay and Craigslist. Websites need developers, graphic designers, writers, and editors. Many companies use contractors that work from home as customer service agents. Marketing companies pay people to take quick surveys online on a variety of products.
Other Snowflake Sources
Rebates, collected coins, dividend checks, and any other sources of extra and unexpected money that was not part of your monthly budgeted income should also be applied to your debt.
At the end of the month, £25 saved at the grocery store, selling used clothes on eBay for another £25, and babysitting the neighbour’s kids for one Saturday night for £40 can earn you an extra £90 to pay down your debt. Find an extra £90 a month for a year and you will have added an extra £1080 or over 1000 snowflakes to your debt payments.
The key to snowflaking is that any extra income you make, even if it’s just a pound, goes directly to your debt. If you think you will be tempted to spend any of your snowflakes meant to pay off your debt, you can send the money to your debt holder immediately or on a weekly basis. You don’t usually have to wait until your bill’s due date to make a payment. This way you can see your snowflakes add up and grow into a snowball quickly with each payment you make and you will pay less interest.
Many snowflakers find that once their debt is paid off, they have formed new habits they can’t break. However this time they are good financial habits of counting pennies and looking around every corner for ways to make another pound. Become a snowflaker and once you’ve paid off your debt, you can use the same principals to build your savings.
Post contributed by Lucy Harper on behalf of CarFinance24.co.uk, vehicle finance solution providers. Use the Car Finance Calculator to calculate loan payments.