One way to pay down your debt is to take small amounts of money and apply it toward your debt as you receive it. This is called debt snowflaking.
One of the more interesting methods of debt reduction that has come to my attention in recent months is the idea of debt snowflaking. This is not something that I ever did with my debt (I was more of a debt avalanche girl), but I can see the merit in it.
What is Debt Snowflaking?
The idea with debt snowflaking is to attack your debt almost constantly with the help of small amounts of money. So, you set up your debt reduction plan, and you make your regular payments, and maybe an extra principal payment, to reduce your debt. However, when you free small amounts of money, you also apply that to your debt. This means that if you save $5 by not buying a latte one morning, or if you earn an extra $20 by selling a piece of sporting equipment on Craigslist, you put that money toward your debt reduction.
You should be constantly looking for ways to reduce your debt, in anyway. Even the small amounts can start to add up dramatically with the help of debt snowflaking. It's also possible to turn it into a game. Since you are dealing with small amounts of money, applied liberally to your goal of debt reduction, it's easier to turn the whole process into a game that encourages you to find interesting ways to either save a little more money in your budget, or make a little more money to put toward debt reduction.
I kind of like the concept of debt snowflaking, as long as it is used in conjunction with a debt avalanche or a debt snowball. I think it's important to have a solid plan in place for dramatically reducing your debt, and then add the snowflaking on top of it. Snowflaking works best when you're using it to grow your avalanche or snowball at a much more rapid rate. It all sticks and (hopefully) picks up more steam so that you accelerate your debt pay off. It's all about finding ways to give your debt pay down that extra boost.
And Now, the Contest
Jeffrey over at SavingAdvice.com has decided to hold a twice-monthly contest to give away small amounts of money to a large amount of people. He is offering 10 $5.00 prizes with each contest. The idea is that you can use this small amount of money to help you snowflake your debt. It's very easy to win, and it involves getting to know some great financial bloggers a little bit better. This is the first contest, and you can earn up to 11 entries by getting a little more involved, via social media, with other bloggers (including yours truly).
Enter the contest, and share your thoughts about debt snowflaking in the comments if you have a minute.