Arrange Your Funds
With list in hand, set aside enough money to cover the minimum payments on each debt. With the funds you have remaining, apply an additional payment amount to the debt that is on the top of your list, in other words, make two payments. If the minimum payment is too steep and you do not have enough funds for making an additional payment, move down your list to debt that you can afford to make an additional payment on.
Yes, you could go ahead and apply your remaining funds to the remaining balance on the debt that you have on the top of your list, however, our goal is to pay off your debts, not pay them down. This will all become clearer a little later on.
Set’ em Up and Knock’ em Down
Once you have started this plan, keep going until you have the first debt completely paid off. When it is gone, you can take the money from that payment you no longer have and apply it to the next debt on your list. If you had to skip the top debt, go back and see if you now have enough to be able to make two payments. Continue paying off your debts in this manner until you have completely cleared your list. Before long, you will have accomplished what you initially thought would be impossible, you have eliminated your debts.
Does this plan sound familiar? It is commonly referred to as the “debt snowball”. No, I am not saying this little slice of genius is my creation. I am simply saying that it is the best way to eliminate your debts without causing, even more, financial hardships. Just keep in mind that if you are having a hard time making even the minimum payments, you will have to either find an extra source of income to initiate this plan, or look for financial counseling to help via alternative methods.