No. of Recommendations: 19
It's always seemed to me that the Dave Ramsey et al. approach appeals to just the mindset that we are trying to overcome in this process. Yes, it FEELS better to kill off the smallest debt first regardless of interest rate, but in reality it is not better. Period. This whole process is not about how my money FEELS, but the reality of it in the context of my life.

It was operating from a "sense of accomplishment" and a "thrill of saving money" that got me into that mess (along with a bunch of other stuff, admittedly).

It FEELS great to get a gorgeous dress on sale, especially after seeing the full price and going on a lengthy safari to find the discount. But that doesn't mean I should buy it if it's not in my spending plan right now or if I can get it elsewhere for even less.

All this assumes our top priority is eliminating debt. If it's not, then it's fine to pay off debts any way we want - the ugliest card first, the nicest customer service reps last, etc. But then we need to be honest, and consciously DECIDE that fun, or a false sense of accomplishment, is slightly ahead of reducing debt on our list of priorities despite the cost.

A final comment: I had to make a clean break with the magical thinking and feeling of my wacky-spending days. I can't know for sure, of course, but I doubt it would have worked for me to start with the smallest-debt-first approach and then "graduate" to the REAL method later. Since I was making a radical shift in thinking, it was better not to start with a compromise.

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