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:

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?


26 Responses to “The Best Way to Pay Off Debt, Meet the Debt Tornado

  • I think I heard something on the news about the debt tornado. All about changing behaviors/ habits with your money. Once you do that you can accomplish any amount of debt repayment.
    Brian @DebtDiscipline recently posted…Career PathMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      We are using our Debt Tornado for good, not like we are stuck in a debt tornado, instead we are the ones ripping the debt from the ground and throwing it across Cook County!

  • If I was debt I wouldn’t want to come into contact with the debt tornado known as Even Steven. You’ve done an awesome job cutting expenses and raising income to pay off your debt with mighty force. Luckily I’ve paid off all my high interest rate debts and only have 2 small student loans at 3% left. These don’t anger me as much as those 6.8% federal loans did, so I’ve been more of a strong breeze paying these 3%ers off than a debt tornado 🙂
    Fervent Finance recently posted…Financial Independence Day – September 2026My Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      That’s some funny stuff right there, made me get a good laugh. Yeah the Debt Tornado is nothing to be messed with! I will say like a band-aid sometimes it’s better to just rip that student loan right off.

  • Having grown up in Kansas, I can appreciate how powerful a tornado is. I have watched them from the yard and also spent many nights in the basement riding out storms.

    I can’t believe you got a .25% rate reduction. That would have infurriated me! Keep up the hard charging attitude.
    Vawt recently posted…April Expense RecapMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      Thanks Vawt, yeah I already didn’t like them but the .25% rate reduction increased the anger for sure.

  • That’s awesome the way you got the triplex to rid yourself of a mortgage payment.

    I think I just read on the news that the Doppler 9,000 just picked up a category EF5 Debt Tornado heading your way. It’s expected to wipe out all remaining debt standing in it’s way before the end of summer.

    Your so close my friend. Keep up the Tornado and let Debt be destroyed 🙂

    Gen Y Finance Guy recently posted…My Rich Uncles Got Me Into Commercial Real EstateMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      Haha I love the Doppler 9,000 and EF5, yeah it’s raging that’s for sure. Thanks for the fun comment, I enjoyed it!

  • I really could have used that Weather Underground description last week as I was trying to explain to my three year old son why we had to listen to the news about the tornadoes that were approaching the OKC area! Channel that fury into reaching your goals!!
    Mrs. Maroon recently posted…Like Bills Through the Breeze… This is the Money of Our LivesMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      That’s the plan Maroons, channel the Debt Tornado to eliminate debt!

  • I love the idea of a debt tornado! Once you get really passionate about paying off debt, and give it your all, it will be destroyed in no time! This is a great reminder for me to get more aggressive with my own debt repayment. Thanks!
    Jessica recently posted…What To Do When You Blow Your BudgetMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      Passion makes it more fun and definitely makes the plan of attack more aggressive. And Your Welcome:)

  • Good way to get rid of the bastard debt who never wants to leave. I am left with 1 more and its the student loans, I hope to never borrow again.
    EL @ Moneywatch101 recently posted…All the things I’ve owned for 10 yearsMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      I love hearing the words, “never borrow again”.

  • I’m not a fan of much government regulation, but when it became mandatory to place a statement on the credit card bill about how long it would take to eliminate the debt by making minimum payments, that is a powerful message…if those who should read it actually do. We always pay our balance in full every month and are completely debt free, but when I read that message pertaining to our measly few hundred put on the card each month, any thought I might have had about not paying in full just flies right out of my mind.

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      Like a little motivational message! I’ve seen that on the side of my old credit card, like go ahead pay the minimum and we will still be sending this statement with a balance 10 years later. Maybe they should make it bigger, like a 1 page Summary in color and 96 point font….see this!

  • I think I’m ready for the Debt Tornado! I put 2k to debt this month and last month and I’m ready to go on a rampage. For me, it really was about making more. Having a nonprofit salary of $25k-$31k only allowed for so much. Now I’m putting the equivalent of my old salary to debt!
    Melanie @ Dear Debt recently posted…10 Super Simple Ways to Stay On Top of Your Debt & Be Financially FreeMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      YES say it with me YES!!!! I look forward to you paying down your Dear Old Debt, let the Debt Tornado begin:)

  • Wonderful post. It takes a strong person to assess one’s situation realistically and then make significant change. Well done.
    Thad recently posted…Self-Parking Cars: Not-Ready-for-Prime-Time?My Profile

  • My issue with articles like this is that I already don’t own anything extravagant, live frugally, save/pay down debt as much as possible (I mean, my living expenses are ridiculously low compared to anyone else I know in the area), don’t have cable, and basically use cost cutting measures as much as possible. I’m working on selling some things on ebay, maybe mystery shopping, surveys, or other things like that to bring in a little extra – but a) I don’t have much stuff so I can’t sell much stuff and b) these are all small amounts to bring in on top of my salary.

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      Thanks for reading Ellie. First off I think it’s great that you are cutting costs where you don’t see a benefit like cable. One thing I have learned over time is that the little things add up, first it’s the cell phone bill, then the cable cutting, etc and now your expenses are down $200 month. A couple things need to happen for this to make a difference. 1) All of the $200 needs to go towards debt and preferable one singular debt that you really don’t like or the smallest or the highest interest rate, honestly it doesn’t matter to me, it should matter to you though 2) While saving $200 a month in expenses is great, it only helps to move the needle, if you are like me and had close to $60,000 in student loans, $200 month gets me $2400 year, and $24,000 in 10 years, it would be a slow process if this was the only item that you are using to defeat debt.

      I really did get angry at my debt, I cut expenses, I got promoted at work to increase my salary, I started a side hustle on eBay, etc. Then when larger amounts of money came in like my bonus I didn’t use it for fun I used it for debt, tax refund went straight to debt, overtime straight to debt.

      So I agree with you that this is just a small piece of the puzzle, you feel comfortable with your budget. Then one of two things must happen either make more money or let time pass as you make your payments. I don’t know if this comment helps, but it’s how I have handled my finances over the last few years and I have gone from 100K in personal debt to a journey towards financial independence, I don’t just talk about it I live it. Thank you again for sharing your comment, if I can be of any help with anything else please shoot me an email evenstevenmoney at gmail

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