I can’t preach this enough: Debt is Dumb.
If you have been reading my blog long enough, you’ll know that we have been on a debt free journey for a while now. We got serious about our debt snowball and Dave Ramsey in 2019, because we decided we want to “live like no one else, so we can live like no one else.” We were what fellow snowballers refer to as “Dave-ish” until last summer, and we’ve been cracking the whip ever since to get out of debt.
So far, we have paid off roughly $53,000 and we have roughly $202,000 to go. To be brutally honest, that doesn’t even include our house; suffice to say, we were very stupid in our 20s with cars, RVs, and moving and college is criminally expensive.
With the latest round of stimulus payments that went out and impending tax refunds we have coming our way (from 2019 finally and 2020), I’ve been making some awesome progress in paying things off. So, I thought it would be great timing to share my tips for paying off debt with your stimulus or tax refund!
Tips For Paying Off Debt With Your Stimulus or Tax Refund
My first tip: pay off the smallest debt first and snowball your way through the rest.
Yep, just Papa Dave says: order your debts in the order of smallest to biggest. Pay your smallest debt off first, and then work your way down your list.
My second tip: call and speak to a human being.
Don’t just log in to your account on your computer, use the app or set up some sort of automatic payment with your bank. Call your debtor and speak with a human being! I know it can be daunting and scary, but it’s the absolute best thing you can do. Why? Because …
My third tip: ask for a discount.
When you speak with an actual human being, you can ask for discounts. This can be a set discount rate like most medical debts will settle for – I’ve gotten up to 20% of my bill taken off just by asking for a discount! I’ve had late fees waived, I’ve had service fees waived and interest taken off, too. There is a lot of power in asking for a discount, so don’t dismiss it. But the real power lies in …
My fourth tip: pay it off in full.
The last two tips really only work if you’re prepared to pay your debts in full right there and then. There is so much power in saying, “I’m prepared to pay this off in full right now – what kind of discount can you offer me?”
Ashley Durham is a Wisconsin mom blogger, oversharing about life on the hobby farm, adventures in parenting and marriage, and everything else that happens in life.