Looking for an easy to use debt snowball calculator?
A debt snowball calculator tracks the debts you owe. You’ll be able to enter your debt balances, your interest rates, and your minimum payments.
With that information, a good debt snowball calculator will calculate how much you can pay each month and when you’ll have each debt paid off. There should even be a place you can add in amounts for extra payments each month.
When my husband and I first read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and then attended Financial Peace University in 2007, we were so excited to get started on our snowball. Because I’ve long been a spreadsheet nerd, I even created a printable debt snowball tracker (available at the end of this post and in my resource library).
In this post, I’ll answer the following questions:
- What is a debt snowball?
- Why you should use a debt snowball calculator when paying off debt?
- How you use the debt snowball calculator in Google sheets?
What is a Debt Snowball?
I first learned the term ‘debt snowball’ when I read Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. Paying off all debt except your mortgage is Step 2 of his money management program.
When you pay off debt using the debt snowball method, there are a few steps to take.
- List debts in order from smallest to largest
- Pay minimum amounts on all debt.
- If you can, pay extra (throw a snowball even if it’s small) on the smallest debt. The extra will help you pay it off quickly.
- When the smallest debt is paid off, roll the minimum payment you were paying to it plus any extra and ‘throw’ it at the next smallest debt in your list.
- Keep rolling minimum payments into the next debt once something is paid off.
Just like with a snowball rolling down a mountain, your payments will get bigger and bigger as they ‘roll’ through your debts.
The debt snowball doesn’t take into account high interest rates, and so some financial advisers don’t agree. Instead, they believe you should pay off the higher interest loans first.
While paying off highest interest loans first makes number sense, Dave Ramsey says it doesn’t make emotional sense. There’s something emotional and exciting about paying off those lower balances first. It makes you feel like you’re accomplishing huge things.
I agree with Dave. From our own experience, I know how exciting it is to pay off a credit card and just be DONE with it!
Because of those emotional wins, it was easier for us to stick with our debt snowball.
Why should you use a debt snowball calculator when paying off debt?
A debt snowball calculator is an extra tool that isn’t essential, but there are several reasons why you may like to use one.
- While debt snowball trackers are great to stay on course, calculators can quickly give you your debt-free date. Seeing when you’ll be debt free will highly motivate you.
- With a calculator, you can run various scenarios based on additional snowball amounts and extra payments without having to do all the math.
- Having a visual reminder of where you are in your debt payoff journey helps tremendously. Being able to see your progress and being able to make easy changes as you go, makes a huge difference in your progress.
Can you pay off debt without a debt snowball calculator? Absolutely! However, a tool like this will help you pay off all your balances quickly and make it easy to track milestones so you can celebrate!
How to use the debt snowball calculator in Google Sheets?
I created this debt snowball calculator for you to use in Google Sheets.
I chose Google Sheets for the calculator because Sheets is completely free. If you already have a Google account, you won’t need to do anything to get it. Simply sign in, and you’ll be able to make a copy of the calculator and begin using it right away.
If you prefer Excel, you can still use this debt snowball calculator. After you make a copy in Sheets, click File on the menu bar, Download, Microsoft Excel.
For directions on using the calculator, watch the video below. Email or comment on the video if you have any questions at all!
Free Trial Version of the Debt Snowball Calculator
Fill out the form below to sign up for my newsletter and to get your free trial version of the calculator.
The trial version offers space to add three creditors complete with balances, interest, and minimum payments. You’ll be able to see your running totals and how the snowball works plus the dates you’ll have your three debts completely paid off.
If you decide later to get the full version, you’ll be able to enter up to twenty creditors.
I’m excited for you and your debt free journey. Getting our debt paid off (we still have some student loans and our mortgage to go as of April 2020) will get us one step closer to being able to retire – on time for my husband and early for me!
I’m thankful for Financial Peace University for teaching us how to change our financial lives and for Elite Blog Academy for teaching me how to create a blog that earns extra income.
If you’re interested in starting a blog too, visit How to Start a Blog for Retirement Income for information.
Do you also have a debt snowball worksheet?
Yes! If you’d rather have worksheets you can print instead of use online, you can grab my free worksheets here: Debt Snowball Worksheets by Julie Pfeifer
You Might Also Like:
- How to Live Intentionally So You Can Retire on Time (or Sooner)
- 10 Fun Ideas for Retirement Income
- Start a Debt Snowball – 4 Easy Steps
- Free Debt Snowball Calculator