My Personal Experience With The Debt Snowball

Let’s dive into my personal experience with the debt snowball.

A few years ago I went to the Dave Ramsey financial coach certification program in Tennessee and I found out that I was the only person in the room that had not gone to the Financial Peace University and had tackled their debt.

To be honest at the time I didn’t even know why I was there. You can read more about that experience here.

So here I was at this training with all these people around me that do not believe in credit card debt and potentially even mortgages. {I live in San Diego… I am going to have a mortgage if I want to own a home. It is just so freaking expensive here and my family does not help me out financially. Never have… never will.}

At night after the trainings I began to get curious about our credit card debt vs savings etc. So I turned on some fun music and dove into how much we were spending.

I started small.

I didn’t calculate every category I just started with what I was curious about which was groceries, dining out and supplements.

I used to have all of our personal finances in Quicken or Quickbooks so I new exactly how much we spent each month but I dropped that a few years ago because I had to manage two S-Corps and businesses and felt overwhelmed by the software.

I began with HAND WRITING (this gave me a really good idea of what I was spending since I was not paying attention) each transaction for groceries and for dining out in two separate columns for the last 3-4 months.

From there I made it a game to spend less than that the rest of the year (2017) because I decided to use the debt snowball method to get rid of debt.

Ok, let me dive into our debt situation.

In 2017 we had a few credit cards that we had balances on. I kept the balances because we had really lower interest rates and that way we could also contribute to savings.

This strategy is not looked upon kindly in the training I was attending sooooooo… things had to shift.

  1. I played a game with myself to try to spend less each month on dining out and groceries and we still ate really well. I focused on going to cheaper grocery stores that still had organic non-GMO foods. I started to prep foods so we didn’t go out for pizza last minute. I cut the CSA local farm delivery, I cut the prepared foods deliveries. I cut back on supplements and stuck with the ones that were absolutely neccessary.
  2. Next we paid off the personal credit card with money in savings.
  3. Then my business partner and I paid off the business credit card with new client enrollments. This was a full on momentous effort. We were ALL in.
  4. Lastly we started overpaying on the cars and looked into selling our BMW x5 because the payment was high.

{Note: We did not end up selling the BMW… we are still looking for options to replace it. However, I have money saved to buy the next car outright. Of course, this requires a bit of a downgrade from our BMW that we are in love with but it will feel so much better not having that ridiculously high monthly payment.)

With the focused efforts we were able to pay off the credit card debt and overpay on our cars.

Next steps for us:

  1. Sell the BMW and get something more reasonable because I would like the extra funds to go into a third income generating real estate property.
  2. Overpay on the mortgages (both our home in San Diego and our investment property in Napa) and set up the bi-weekly payments to pay down the loans in 20 years or so.

If you are struggling with debt here are some articles to help you with your debt snowball.

  1. Dave Ramsey Debt Snowball
  2. Girlboss Money Article on Debt


If you want a money mentor to help guide you step by step let’s chat.

I ultimately really learned a lot from the training I went to and now I have a fresh new perspective on credit card debt. In my 20’s I was much more strategic with savings and not having debt outside of my properties but alas I let things slip in my 30’s financially.

Now that I am in my 40’s it is all about building wealth and legacy by helping others with their money & money mindset and personally invest in more income generating real estate properties.


Author: Nicole Lombardo