How to Pay Off Debt in the Most Complicated Way Possible

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about the three major debt payoff methods and my struggle to choose one. After reading all of your amazing comments, I have a better idea of what I want to do. So thank you much! Red Debted Stepchild seems to have a good mix of emotional and rational readers because I got a lot of different opinions, but the overwhelming response was AS LONG AS I’M PAYING IT OFF IT WILL EVENTUALLY BE GONE. This is very true and makes me happy.

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In the end, Kasey of Debt Perception and Kathleen of Frugal Portland truly helped me make up my mind. Kasey is using all three methods in some way – why didn’t I think of that? – and Kathleen suggested taking out the debt that I am most ashamed of first. So here is my debt payoff hybrid method.

1) Debt tsunami/debt snowball – take out the three credit card balances. These include Chase, my furniture, and Discover. When I wrote the article, I identified Chase as my most hated debt. Three weeks later it is also my smallest debt so I am snowballing the shit out of these cards while also killing the card with the highest emotional impact first. Two birds and all that.

2) Debt tsunami – flip my car right-side up. I currently owe more than she’s worth due to a warranty on steroids that we agreed to after being burned by so many terrible cars.

3) Highest interest rate/debt snowball – take out my student loans in order of interest rate AND amount. Some of my loans are smallish while others are largish. So I will pay off my smallish loans in order of interest rate then move to the largish loans and pay those in order of interest rate. It sounds a little confusing, but it totally makes sense to me. And we all know how much I like complicated systems…

4) Leftovers – take out my car loan. I love my car* so I hate this loan the least. However, I don’t like owing more than the blue book value, hence #2.

These are my debt payoff plans. I reserve the right to change my mind at any time and I probably will. But it’s a plan and I love plans.

In a perfect world, my debts would be my only focus. But that would be WAY too boring. This summer is coming with a bunch of extra (but also expected) expenses, from clothing (need) to a new laptop (need – will explain later) to a rather pricey move (want – will also explain later). Despite all of this, the debt WILL keep going down. It just might go down more slowly than usual for a few months.

I hope y’all have a great weekend! I am being forced against my will going to a baby shower this weekend with my lovely mother and also catching up on some writing. Get prepared for narcissism overload next week, as Monday will be my monthly update** and Wednesday is my birthday. You should get me a cake – preferably of the red velvet, spice, or cheese variety. Also, I’m hiring a royal cake taster so please don’t try to poison me, crazy stalkers.

*Her name is Lucy because I am actually a 16-year-old teeny-bopper who names her car. Deal with it. Plus, I like saying “I love Lucy!” My previous cars included Max, the Ghetto Beast, no name, & T. Yes, this is my fifth car. Yes, I’ve been driving less than 8 years.

**Someone got another staff writing gig :).

[Image from BuzzFeed]


  1. Good luck! I love the debt tsunami, both for it’s practicality and badass name.

  2. Looks like you have a solid plan!

    I will not be applying for your cake tester since I don’t eat cake (long story, I have only eaten cake once in the last 25 years). Also I once had a ghetto cruiser (1974 Oldsmobile Omega)… it was my first car and was named the Churn-mobile by everyone. It was awesome. I was sad when we finally sold it a couple years back.

    • Nice! The Ghetto Beast was a 1989 Chevy Corsica. My dad called it the Curse-ica. I loved that car!

      Wait, even cheesecake? That’s the saddest thing I’ve heard all day!

  3. Haha get rid of that debt! And wohooo! Where will you be staff writing?

  4. I hate debt with a fiery passion. We waited forever to pay off our second vehicle because it had a 0% interest rate. Ballin right? Not really. They tacked on about $10,000 in fees on the front-end. My wife purchased it before we were married. I would have rather paid interest than fees ya know?

    • Yowza, that’s a lot of fees! I hate debt too and I have a lot of it to hate! Oh well, anger should help me kick some debt ass, no?

  5. Interesting names all around. I really like the visualization of being very mean to debt — perhaps with a natural disaster. I’m thinking something like “Debt Smackdown” or “Debt Torrent” or “Overwhelming my Debt.”

    Anyhow, good luck. I look forward to reading how you get along 🙂

  6. Congrats on the gig! I <3 I Love Lucy, awesome name! I should name my new car. The old one was POS. w00t for June birthdays! Mine is next Friday. I celebrated with my best friend last weekend, we had ice cream cheesecake, yummy! Everyone's gotta do what works for them when it comes to debt. Your explanation made sense to me. Maybe you can call it the Red Debted Twister? Good luck with your debt payoff journey!

    • Thanks! Haha, POS is a perfect name for some of the cars I’ve had.

      Red Debted Twister is AWESOME. Look at you, just inspiring me all the time!

  7. Thanks for the shout out, lady, and ,,, when do you get here? Next month?

  8. I’m paying it off as much as I can per month, while still having some fun. That’s what works for me. Are you coming to Portland?! You, me and Kathleen should hang!

  9. taxacctnt2 says

    I realize these blogs are from a year ago but I’ve gotta catch up and I can’t just keep all my comments to myself!

    I thought I was the only with a crazy debt pay off/savings plan but I’m glad to see from you and your commenters that it’s normal to have mixture of approaches. Mine is very similar to yours. I pay cc in full each month or over two months if there’s a large purchase that I didnt save for, next flip car, take out small bal/high interest student loans, take out high bal/high interest student loans. All the while, paying myself each month to get a good emergency savings in place… it ain’t easy but it will be worth it when I’m debt freeeee

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