Finding Snowflakes to Add to Your Snowball

We’ve all heard of the debt snowball. Pay as much toward your smallest debt as you can, and when that debt is paid off, apply that payment to your next debt. It’s a great way to pay down debt as fast as you can, but what if that isn’t fast enough? It can be very motivating to see the results of your debt paying efforts, but it can get discouraging when your first debt is is a rather large one. What is the answer? One way to go is the debt snowflake.

What is snowflaking? It’s finding those extra small amounts of money to add to your debt snowball. If you make a little extra money on the side, apply it toward debt. If you pay less for something than you normally would, apply the difference toward debt. If you’re tempted to buy something, but don’t, reward yourself by using the money you would have spent toward your debt. Over time, the money really adds up, and your little snowflakes add quite a bit to your debt snowball. Some ideas for finding snowflake money are:

1. Sell things on eBay!
2. Sell books, CDs, & DVDs on Amazon or
3. Make a cup of coffee at home instead of stopping at Starbucks.
4. Brown bag your lunch. Use your lunch money for paying down debt.
5. Color your own hair instead of going to the salon.
6. Line dry your laundry. Use the savings from your electric bill.
7. Use coupons at the grocery store. Pay off debt with the money saved.
8. Check out a movie from the library. Snowflake the amount it would cost for a DVD from Netflix.
9. Instead of buying a book, check it out from the library or see if you can find it on paperbackswap.
10. Use homemade laundry detergent and cleaners. Snowflake the money you would normally use to buy household cleaners.
11. Use ebates when shopping on-line. Snowflake your rebate.
12. If you have small children, arrange a clothing swap at the beginning of every season. Pass down your children’s clothes, and receive clothes from other families who don’t need the clothes.
13. Plant a garden for your produce.
14. If you love to write, write articles for Associated Content. It doesn’t pay much, but you can use the extra to pay down debt.
15. Before you need to make a purchase, check freecycle or craigslist to see if you can get it cheaper or even for free.
16. If you go out to dinner, go out on “kids eat free night”. Pay your credit card for your children’s meals.
17. Cancel your land-line long distance and use your cell phone if you have a plan with unlimited evening and weekend minutes.
18. Swap babysitting with a friend, rather than paying a sitter.
19. Have a picnic in the park with your honey, rather than going out to dinner and a movie.
20. Carpool to work or school.

If you make paying off your debt one of your highest priorities, it’s not hard to find a little extra money to speed up the process. Do you have any ideas for snowflakes? Please feel free to share in the comments. And if you’d like tips on ways to earn more money to add to your debt snowball, be sure to check out 52 Ways to Make Extra Money at Prime Time Money.


By , on Aug 9, 2007
Lynnae McCoy I'm Lynnae, wife of one and stay-at-home mom of two. I'm committed to getting out of debt by being frugal with my choices in life.


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  1. These are some great ideas to do some easy saving! I have to say that I don’t know of any restaurants that let kids eat for free any night, but there are restaurants with great daily deals.
    For more saving tips, I recommend this article. Hope you like it!

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  3. Idell Pardun:

    Though the above six methods need the ownership of a web-site there is another process by which six can make fast funds. There’s several web-sites that pay people for email reading & conducting different surveys. The greatest advantage is that six need not own a web-site to do the above work. Six can also make fast funds online by becoming a freelance writer. Lots of opportunities are obtainable in the fields of medical transcription, legal transcription, general transcription, writing web-site content & web designing.

  4. John Paul:

    5. Color your own hair instead of going to the salon….hahah the most interesting one.

  5. I love the snowflake idea…how simple but cool…I always (in the past) have treated unexpected money as a reason to go out to eat or to buy the kids something. Because the budget is so tight, these things are often not done and people in the family —not mentioning any names— get miserable. But now I can split the bonus money between snowflake and treats.

  6. Snowflaking is great. I sell my old things on Ebay and some of my husband’s old books on Half and got back a small amount. It’s like recycling money. I mean why throwing it away when you can resell it to get something back? It’s just common sense. And it’s really not that hard to set up things to sell online either.

  7. I love this spinoff word! Snowflaking! Great!

  8. I love it! Snowflakes! That’s exactly what I’m using to pay off my debts. One commenter that I track even tiny pee pee steps. :)

  9. Erin:

    Those are some great ideas! And the snowflakes really add up.

    Every time I get extra checks in (from grocery rebates, surveys etc…) I deposit them. That extra money is send toward the credit card before I can piddle it away. It may not be much but I can usually add at least $100+ each month to the snowball.

    Another one is to sign up with Upromise. You can add your grocery rewards card, debit card and even CVS card to the program. When you grocery shop a percentage is deposited into your Upromise account. You can put the money into a 529 college account for you or your kids, OR, here’s the big part, request a check and then use the money for whatever you want (like your snowball).

  10. Snowflakes!!! *giggle* I don’t want to think about SNOW yet!! It’s not even the end of August!!!!

    Seriously, these are some great ideas though!!

  11. boomeyers:

    Great ideas!

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