What debt repayment method do you follow?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-27-2009
What debt repayment method do you follow?
Mon, 04-14-2014 - 1:49pm

I have recently been pretty active on a Facebook group for people who follow the Dave Ramsey method of getting out of debt. It has started to bother me, however, that they seem to be quite militant on the methodology and don’t like to discuss adaptations for different situations. I personally like to use a little bit from here and a little bit from there. Predominately, I would say that I am most closely following Mary Hunt’s no nonsense, practical method which also has a biblical standpoint.

So what is your preferred method of debt repayment? Do you follow a certain financial expert, if so, whom? Do you have any tricks to help you get through certain debts (e.g. breaking them up into smaller goals or by loan type)?

JenAaron.jpg picture by jen2075

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Mon, 04-14-2014 - 6:20pm

So good to see a refreshing post!

Yea, I just read Total Money Makeover, but I also like to watch Suze Orman and Gale Vaz-Oxlade.  I think as long as you have a plan, are living within your means, and can sleep well at night, you are doing okay.  Kiss


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Tue, 04-15-2014 - 8:53am

Hi Jen! Great to hear from you.

The problem with paying down debt one way is that everyone is at such different stages in their lives. Some people have children and some do not, plus some people want to pay for their education and some do not, or it isn't a priority. Not to open a can of worms....but Dave Ramsey's plan has pay for your children's education only after your retirement needs are taken care of. That just doesn't work for everyone. I got out of debt, saved some for my kids for education(teenagers) and am now doing a new house and buckeling down on retirement. Are we behind on retirement...yes, but we would be even if I didn't save some for my boys, we are working on it. I really like Gail Vaz Oxilade. She has a no nonsense approach and gives people hope for the future. Also Dave's plan has give away wealth as one of the last steps. I don't know if I ever get there, but if I do, it will be to my kids, probably not a charity so they can have a better life. I dont' think there is anything wrong with Dave's plan, it just isn't all for me. However, I loved the $1000 emergency fund. I have added to this amount and find it is just a wonderful idea. 

I will say the only debt repayment I am tackling right now is putting 20 extra on a mortage while saving for retirement and my little girl's education.  When the house things settle down. We will reevaluate. That is what works for us at this stage.Would it be nice  to have the mortgage paid off? Of course. But we will be more worried about making ends meet with all that is going on and that is more important. We will do what we can. And we have never really gone on a vacation. We have been together for 7 years on this journey. That is also one of our dreams to go to Ireland and it will stay a dream unless we start putting money away for it. So that is a goal for next year too.  But, again, we will see how our budget is. I guess that is my debt repayment plan! 

Thanks for posting.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-28-2009
Tue, 04-15-2014 - 3:46pm

I also read the TMM book by Dave Ramsey, and while I also saved the $1000 emergency fund, after that is where I went a little off his path. I listen to Suze Orman and Gail Vaz Oxlade also, and let all their knowledge seep in so I can get some real understanding of how this whole thing works so I can make the best decision for me.

I think like with most things in life, it's just a personal decision. Sleeping at night because you feel confident in yourself and know you are doing the right thing for you is down right priceless.

I started with the $1000 emergency fund. After that I had over $50K in debt to tackle. I had no house, no retirement and no kids. I sold everything I could and used every extra dollar with the snowball method to tackle the $50K debt. That took almost 3 years, THEN I began saving for a downpayment on a house, I saved up a 20% downpaymwnt and also a small savings account to have as a back up plan after homeownership began. I also bought a car. While I had the car loan, I worked on a 6 month emergency fund. I felt that even though the car was debt, if I were to lose my job, what good would a paid off car do me? I would sleep better at night knowing I had a healthy emergency fund.

Once the 6 month emergnecy fund was in place, I paid off my car loan. I then began saving for retirement as well as accelerating my mortgage payments. Each year, I also save certain amounts for Christmas, vacations, home improvements (fun stuff), home repairs (not fun stuff, like a roof, furnace, etc), ROTH IRA. It has taken me years and years to get to this point, but I have learned so so much along the way.

I agree that if you are working on this on any level it is great. determining what will work long term for you & your family is the plan you should follow.