It is extremely DE-motivating when there is no end in sight. Without that “light at the end of the tunnel” it can be hard to keep going. That little bar that shows us the progress that we have made gives us hope. What if there were no status bars? Or what if you saw no progress on the bar until you got to the 70% loaded point? Would you keep waiting or would you reboot assuming it there was a problem?

When on the phone, have you ever been waiting on hold for 15 minutes wondering, “Did they forget about me? Should I wait it out? What if the never remember that I am on hold?” Do you cut your losses or wait it out having no idea when they will pick up, or if they ever will?

This is the advantage of using the snowball approach to paying down debt. If you focus on the highest interest rate, it could be months or even years before you reach that first milestone. Would you have the endurance to keep going that long without reaching that first milestone?

It is a wonderful feeling to be able to celebrate your first milestone – paying off the first credit card is a blast! Speaking from experience, I was fueled with motivation after reaching that first milestone. The fact is that most people are strengthened by seeing even a small goal accomplished. I love the snowball approach to paying down debt because it focuses on reaching these small goals first and using them as motivation to keep going. Let me know how it works for you!

Homework

Follow steps 1-3 tonight and get your debt snowball rolling!

Bob Lotich is the Founder of Christian Personal Finance, a free resource to help Christians manage their money using timeless Biblical principles. He is also the Co-Founder of Blogging Your Passion.

Publication date: January 9, 2013