The Best Way to Pay Off Debt, Meet the Debt Tornado
I have paid off thousands and thousands of dollars of debt and during this long and sometimes painful journey I came to realize it’s not a math problem, it’s not even a psychology problem, instead it’s a you problem. I know many of us have refinanced loans and done a balance transfer to “save money” on the interest we pay. I’ve lived it and I’ve done it, but I have some bad news for many of you that want to solve your debt problems, you can’t solve debt with a better interest rate. Do you already hate me for telling you a refinance will not solve your debt problems, let’s be friends and I’ll explain why it’s not math or psychology that will solve our debt problems, instead we are going to destroy debt with a Debt Tornado.
Many individuals believe you have two options when paying off debt, you can either go with the debt snowball, paying off the smallest loan amount and reaping the psychological effects of getting quick wins or the debt avalanche which has you paying off the highest interest rate first, which is mathematically the fastest way to pay off your debt. Today I would like to introduce to you a third option and the method which I have paid off nearly all of my debt, meet the Debt Tornado.
The Debt Tornado
The Debt Tornado in it’s simplest form is a debt reduction plan that is deep rooted in anger, outrageous goals with a plan of attack, and kicking a$$. The debt tornado itself becomes less about math and psychology and instead is a disruptive force that will rip out the very roots of your house of debt that was built and throw it across 7 counties leaving the debt destroyed. Here’s what led me to name my plan after such a phenomenon.
For many people Tornado’s are not very familiar unless you have lived in the Middle of the country then chances are you have seen this act of nature up close and personal. The other way you may have come across a tornado is from the 90’s thriller Twister, either way if you do not know what a tornado is or does, here is a great explanation from Weather Underground:
A tornado is a violently rotating column of air which descends from a thunderstorm to the ground. No other weather phenomenon can match the fury and destructive power of tornadoes. Tornadoes can be strong enough to destroy large buildings, leaving only the bare concrete foundation. In addition, they can lift 20-ton railroad cars from their tracks and they can drive straw and blades of grass into tree and telephone poles.
I’m not sure the exact moment in time, maybe it was a few days after paying off my Mercedes Benz, maybe it was when my credit card rate was reduced from 16.99% to 16.74% after my request to reduce my rate, or maybe it was when I finally got the balls to input my student loan information into Mint, a great resource for keeping an eye on your finances, and saw just how much debt I really had. I felt disgusted, I felt angry, I felt like I wanted to destroy my student loan. I decided to get absolutely tornado like in my debt repayment. I knew at that very moment that I was going to go at my student loan with a fury and destructive power that know one had seen before, even me.
Tornadoes occur under certain weather conditions that need to be met, including three different types of air colliding at once. I don’t know what it is for you, but mine really was a combination of things, I’m not sure when they hit and what exact moment they did but it was like seeing the funnel just begin, you are fascinated by the beauty, but understand the destruction that will occur. Here a few items that could trigger the tornado:
- Call your student loan, credit card, or loan customer service, ask them if you continue to make the regular/minimum payments when will the loans be paid off.
- After you get this mind blowing information think about what age you will have reached and ask yourself if that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.
- One better if you have kids think about what age/grade they will have reached and ask yourself if you want your son/daughter to be starting college when you are just finishing paying off your student loans.
Once the tornado forms you will see that the natural phenomenon is beyond question a force to deal with. The tornado will destroy everything in it’s path, removing buildings and vehicles from the ground leaving very little remaining. As you approach the end of your journey, your destruction of debt will be almost unbelievable, staring at how the tornado put a straw through a telephone poll, yep that was you. You understand that paying off debt puts you in another state of mind that makes your realize you are capable of great things, some will even look to as an example of success. Once you have reached no debt or as I prefer the phrase Even Steven, your financial life begins to change and take a new direction of it’s own. Are you ready to unleash the Debt Tornado?
Anger, Outrageous Goals, and Kicking A$$
When you think of anger many think of the bad things that can become of it, in this case it’s exactly the opposite, anger is how the Debt Tornado starts. The financial institution whom I originally received my student loan is a company to this day I have a great anger for, when I think about them I grip my coffee a little tighter and my right eye twitches. The anger can really can happen at any moment, but it happens most often when you begin to despise your debt. If you make it a math problem, 99% of us will fail, I did. I had student loans for almost 8 years before I made any more than the minimum payment. I changed my student loans from deferred to forbearance to income sensitive to refinancing the loan, to a graduated payment, none of it lowered my debt with any substance. I had actually changed my payment plan so many times that the financial institution told me they could not change my repayment plan any more, I was mad at them, how dare they? It wasn’t them it was me and this was the spark I needed, I took this anger and started to think of every single way I could make payments faster, I got angry at debt, you need to get angry to start the Debt Tornado.
All the anger in the world isn’t going to make a difference unless you focus your anger towards a plan. That is where the Outrageous Goal (s) comes in. I made goals that were almost unattainable goals that if you simply did the math would not be accomplished. Recently I have been working on this unattainable goal, paying off over $26,000 in 10 months on an income similar to the national average. Outrageous how can this be done? This is important, mathematically it cannot be done unless you get angry, if you are on your calculator figuring out the difference between paying off your loans at 6% versus 4%, you still think this is a math problem and I need you to read different ways to get angry at your debt and come back. Now that you are angry and you have come up with an outrageous goal it’s time to Kick some A$$, but wait one second with that outrageous plan make sure to have a plan of attack to go along with it. I decided on a number of things that could kicks some a$$, anything from the 9-5 job, overtime, selling on eBay,
donating my kidney’s, well you get the picture. Need cash right now, you could go extreme and sell scrap metal, return soda cans for aluminum, or try busking.
When you have created an anger focused towards your debt, an outrageous plan of attack to match an outrageous goal, it is now time to turn all of this up as high as your body will allow and begin to kick some a$$! This doesn’t mean deciding between the debt snowball, debt avalanche, or debt tsunami (a key motivation for writing this). It means going absolutely crazy,making money and lifestyle changing decisions, that’s what kicks Debt’s a$$. Here are a couple changes I made in my life that have led me to be a a$$ kicking angry debt tornado:
- Sold my Mercedes Benz
- Bought a House with No Payments
- Switched Cell Phone Plans to Republic Wireless
- Cut Cable
- Live Frugal
- Worked hard at my job for a promotion (s)
- Sold on eBay for more income
See all the things that changed in my life over the last 3 years, I wanted my debt gone more than anything else so I decided to do what some would call sacrifices and what today I call a$$ kicking changes for the good. You see when a tornado gets going it can lift 20 ton rail road cars and throw them with ease, but a simple wind storm could not do this, it takes selling your car, living frugal, and working smarter and harder, but the Debt Tornado is a phenomenon not everyone can destroy debt with this much power, but remember that’s why this is called the best way to pay off debt, I can say for a fact that the Debt Tornado strategy is the best way to pay off debt, are you ready to match the fury and destructive power of the Debt Tornado?