September 13, 2003

By Michael Strickland

Debt Snowball

Needing to kill a couple of hours while waiting to pick up a friend from the airport, I wandered into the local Borders store. One of my favorite retail hangouts, Borders has all of my favorite stuff: books on virtually every topic, a wide selection of movies on DVD, and row upon row of music CDs with headphones to sample tunes. It had been some time since I last set foot in the store, so it took me more than 15 minutes to get further than 10 feet beyond the entrance.

Amongst the new releases, I found my first purchase: Dave Ramsey's new book, "The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness." A coworker recently turned me on to Ramsey's "Debt Snowball" concept of paying off consumer debt. In a nutshell, he advises paying the minimum on all of your credit cards except one, on which you pay as much as you can; then, once that card is paid off, pay the amount you paid on card #1 plus as much as you can pay on card #2, and stick with the minimum on the rest; when #2 is paid off, pay what you paid on #1 and #2, plus whatever else you can afford, on #3 until it's paid off, and so on and so on. Pretty soon, the payments you're making begin to snowball, and your credit card debt begins shrinking at a rapidly increasing rate.

Browsing through the book, I saw that Ramsey offered many other highly useful techniques in an overall plan to eliminate one's debt. It seemed a bit counter-intuitive to spend more money to get a handle on my debt, but as the old adage goes, you gotta spend money to make money (and I consider becoming debt-free "making money").

If I intend to follow Ramsey's plan, however, I should stay away from this store for a long time. Like a kid in a candy store, I can rarely get out the door without buying something. Too much good stuff!


©2003 Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year (almost), I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

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September Columns:

9/29: Open Season
9/28: Runaway Train
9/27: The Seven
9/25: Dreamscape
9/24: Survivor: Sacramento
9/23: What Am I Doing at Work?
9/21: San Diego Chokers
9/20: Farewell, Galileo
9/17: Anything Can Happen
9/16: Midnight Writing
9/15: Decline and Fall
9/14: Loyalty By Default
9/13: Debt Snowball
9/12: My Cup Runneth Over
9/11: Unforgettable Day
9/10: Fall Approaches
9/9: Total Recall
9/8: Legal Illegals
9/7: 116 More Days
Previous months in The Archive

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