The Snowball Calculator Controversy

In an earlier post today I mentioned a new tool called the Snowball Calculator. This method advocates paying down the highest debt first. A Comment by JD of Get Rich Slowly said that this is not a Debt Snowball calculator at all that in fact, it doesn’t use the Debt Snowball method at all-what the hell is it I was left wondering? So I started doing a little research. I found that a gentleman by the name of Dan Schizeckinosy released a Snowball Calculator in Excel format back in August of 2001.

Along comes Dave Ramsey in 2003 with his “Debt Snowball” calculator. He advocates paying off the smallest debt first-much like the hybrid method I advocated in my earlier post.

Bottom Line: Call it whatever you like-the two methods differ and I personally like the idea of knocking off some of the smaller debts first-psychologically, it just feels good to me! Whatever method you prefer just do it and we’ll all be happy 🙂

Steve Mertz
Snowballs Away!

6 Responses to “The Snowball Calculator Controversy”

  1. Adam says:

    Hi, I wrote the snowball calculator at which appears to have caused some controversy!

    All I can say is that I don’t believe there is a “right”, or a “wrong” way of snowballing debts I am aware that Dave Ramsey advocates paying off the smaller debts first, and I say as much on the website. Some people may prefer to do that, others may prefer to do it in order of interest rate. As long as the debt comes down, I don’t think it matters!

    I first came across the term “snowballing debts” in 2000 on the Motley Fool.

  2. Steve Mertz says:

    Hi adam-Thanks for coming by! I’m with you-as long as the debt goes away the goal is achieved! Thanks, Steve

  3. J.D. says:

    And I should apologize for being so dogmatic about the subject. I agree: the important thing is to actually pay off the debt!

  4. Adam says:


    No need to apologise. People (quite rightly) have very strong feelings about the best way to reduce debt. I’ll try and find some time in the next week or so to modify the calculator to allow people to choose either way.

  5. Steve Mertz says:

    Adam-I expect to see a book on the Amazon best seller list from you in the near future 🙂 Having been an investment advisor for over 15 years it’s interesting for me to see “new” ideas-that really aren’t so new. But, if you write a snappy book and get a good publicist too can be a best selling author. The Riches Man In Babylon written in 1926 has many ideas that are considered new & revolutionary today! Thanks to both of you for bringing this important matter to the forefront!!

  6. DEBTective says:

    Bub, I’m big-time proud of you for spreading the word about deep-sixing debt. Dave Ramsey’s plan makes tons of sense, but either way, thanks for spreading the debt-free word, baby!

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