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Why I’m choosing to go against Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball rules.

Last week, as I was preparing to make my first payment in Baby Step 2, I received this email:

You got hit with a finance charge! $78.35 APR 22.99%

I immediately panicked! Am I making the right choice by paying off my smallest balance first? Do I really have to pay off a 2% interest loan – before a 22.99% interest credit card?!

Sorry Dave but there is just NO WAY that I can rationalize that. I understand the reasoning behind small wins helping us to stay motivated but I feel so sick and tired of this debt game that I’m determined to reach financial freedom! and SOON! So, I’m going against the grain and altering my payoff plan… I’m going to eliminate my credit cards before my low interest rate loans. It’s the only way I can sleep at night.

I know some of you may not agree with me (Dave definitely wouldn’t) but I’m convinced I can pull this off! Thanks for following my journey and helping me to stay accountable 🙂

Balance:               $4,370.50
Payment:            –$1,432.55

New Balance:     $2,937.95


How about you – Do you follow The Baby Steps perfectly?

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  • Reply Elyse

    I have been back and forth with it through my debt free journey, but all of my loans are under 8% interest. Part of me wants to start with knocking out my big loans with high interest, but part of me thinks that I won’t be motivated trying to get my $13,000 student loan knocked out while I have a $1,200 student loan that could be completely gone in general.

    I really think it is situation by situation based. Good luck though!

    -The Savvy Sagittarius

    March 27, 2017 at 10:54 am
    • Reply msrob0t

      Definitely! If my loans weren’t so close in total amounts I would for sure follow his steps 100%. Keep up the great work! And thank you so much for the encouragement 🙂

      March 27, 2017 at 3:04 pm
  • Reply Melanie of Mindfully Spent

    I am also Dave defiant! 😀 We started a savings account for home repairs/emergencies even though we have a final credit card to wipe out. I say to do what motivates you! If you can stay motivated and make the more practical choice of paying off by interest rate, then I think that’s great!

    March 30, 2017 at 10:03 pm
    • Reply msrob0t

      Thank you Melanie! It’s so helpful to hear I’m not the only one altering my path. Dave has gotten me this far and I’m beyond grateful for that 🙂

      April 19, 2017 at 9:39 am
  • Reply Jackie - Undo My Debt

    I definitely agree with you on this one for the most part. I’m lucky though that my smallest debt also happens to have a nearly identical interest rate as my largest. I would be saving maybe $30-$50 if I were focussing on my largest debt/highest interest rate first. For that amount, I would much rather knock one off the list early on to have less to keep track of during the course of my debt payoff year.

    I’m not a 100% supporter of the smallest first idea though. I think each person’s situation is different and they should make the best decision for them. Good for you for breaking away from what has become the norm.

    April 1, 2017 at 12:34 pm
    • Reply msrob0t

      Hi Jackie! Thanks so much for sharing! That’s awesome your interest rates are similar. I love Dave’s way and can’t wait to knock out this high interest rate so I can go back to the snowball method. Lots of little wins are super motivating 🙂

      April 19, 2017 at 9:42 am
  • Reply Natalie

    No way, it’s an incredibly irrational. Those who support and abide by it are suffering from a muddled perception of the situation. I wrote about the topic in my post as well.
    I’m glad you came to your senses 😃

    April 2, 2017 at 7:03 pm
    • Reply msrob0t

      Thanks for sharing… I will check out your post!

      April 19, 2017 at 9:43 am
  • Reply Kevin@DebtFreeHappens

    The big draw of the Debt Snowball plan is that it factors in emotion by giving you those small wins up front. It sounds as though you are more emotional about and motivated to pay off the high interest loans first so I don’t see why you shouldn’t do it. I also imagine that you are above and beyond the typical person trying to pay off their debt as you have a blog about it and sound as though the switch has flipped on whatever got you to this point. We implemented the debt snowball method yet paid a few loans out of order for various reasons including being really frustrated with one particular lender. We didn’t have the big spread in rates that you do but if we found more reason to be extra aggressive we did so. With that said, I still believe the debt snowball plan is the way to start rather than the debt avalanche method.
    Part of Dave Ramsey’s message is that it is for the average person. I think he is OK (whether he’ll say it or not) with the idea that some people can still have success without following every little direction he provides. He has to be strict though with his average audience member because they are looking for any reason to not buckle down and pay off their debt.

    April 16, 2017 at 3:37 pm
    • Reply msrob0t

      Hi Kevin! Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I’m going to do it Dave’s Snowball way as soon as this higher than usual interest rate is gone. I’m so thankful to be able to share my journey with this community. It’s super encouraging to hear from others navigating their own debt payoffs. Thanks again for the support:)

      April 19, 2017 at 9:37 am

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