The Official 2018 Debt Smackdown

Welcome to the Official 2018 Debt Smackdown! 


Happy new year everyone! 

I know a few of use have been chomping at the bit to get going with 2018's debt - so with out further ado, I present this years spreadsheet! First of all, quick thank you to @epicfroth, who set up 2017's,  and @rolltide who did a fair amount of support in the last few months, and @anniebananie for setting up the idea back in 2015 I think? 

So what's this about? If you are holding onto some debt as you enter 2018 - and would like to get rid of it - this challenge is for you.

To the participants from last year, welcome back! For some of us, our total debts are too large to smack down completely in one calendar year, so if you're here from last year, congratulations on your progress and let's keep on doing this! In 2017, we collectively paid down over $900,000 in debt! That's no small feat, it's pretty mind boggling!

For all new participants, we are happy to have you join in this year! New blood is always welcome. Let's all motivate each other to pay off those debts and continue moving forward to financial freedom.

There's only one small change to things this year, and that is that this challenge is a shared one between the two forums/communities. Hopefully, that won't bring any problems! (Link to the Forum post here)

How it works:


1. List the amount of total debt that you owe. 
This step is to give you an awareness of your current debt situation. Feel free to share, this forum is a safe and nonjudgmental place. You can also decide to keep this information private, you don't have to post your total here if you are not comfortable doing so. 

2. Post in this thread the total amount of debt you would like to pay off during the 2018 calendar year. (This part is required.) 
Feel free to break down the amounts by credit card/type of debt. Also, if you have a specific plan or some ideas on how you plan to pay down the debt, you can post that too. Maybe your plan will spark some ideas for others on how to tackle their own debts!

3. Check in monthly in this thread and report on how your debt smackdown is going. (This part is required.)

4. Post monthly on the 2018 Google Spreadsheet to track your progress. (This part is required.)
Claim a line on the spreadsheet, and post your total debt to be paid off, and the monthly amount that you send off towards it. Some people track their total payments and don't account for interest, some people account for principal only. The method you choose is up to you!

If you come across this challenge later in the year, no worries, you can still jump right in. Just put zeroes in the months where you had not joined the challenge yet, and start in the month you join in. 
 

Last year, we collectively paid off $900,000. Let's smash that number again in 2018!

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  • ARGH. Ranting here since it affects here. At the end of February I got paid in full in advance for a project that took basically all of my work time from then until April 7. Then from April 7 to April 19, I was working full-time on a project I started in February. The company I was working for pays its employees on the last day of the month, and despite being a contractor, they have me set up with a W-2. Whatever. Except I didn't get paid today. So my income for April has been $500 instead of $3k. I'm married and my husband got paid on time this month, but still. If I don't see that money until 31 MAY, my finances will definitely be in trouble. They're already in trouble compared to normal for me. About 1/4 of my husband's income had to fill April gaps since I hardly got paid in March (working on that paid-in-advance project and the still-not-paid project), so we don't even have half our usual budget in May right now.

    I thought I was going to be able to afford a break/lighter work in the next week or so after working overtime the past few weeks. Apparently not.

    Needless to say, I haven't paid any extra on my student loans this month. So my total sits at:

    Starting Debt: $19,973.84
    Paid in April: $504
    Remaining Debt: $17,214.20

    Reply Like 4
      • Navy Blue Unicorn
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      slightlysmall Yikes, that sounds really scary!  Hope things improve soon! hang in there!

      Reply Like 2
    • Navy Blue Unicorn Scary, yes, but manageable. I may have to drain my tiny, $700 income replacement fund, and go back to our pre-YNAB ways and have my husband's paychecks this month go to this month's categories instead of June where they belong, but I do hope I'll at least be paid 31 May and can fix it then. In the meantime, I guess it will be a weird month.

      We were obviously out of grocery money going into May and that wasn't as high of a category to fill as, say, our mortgage, and I was telling my mom about a project that ended up paying more than I thought and I was happy because it could be grocery money. Poor un-YNAB woman was like, "I could loan you money for groceries, you know..." and I remembered our still-healthy bank balance despite the job that didn't pay, and I was like, "It's not like I don't have money. It's just in other categories and I don't want to choose where to take it from." But she doesn't get it.

      That said, thank goodness this happened after YNAB. Two years ago, if I'd needed the money (I usually like to keep this job as extra debt paydown income only, but this year it was about three times the work it normally is), we would've been screwed.

      Reply Like 2
  • Progress!  I corrected some numbers for Jan, so filled in the spreadsheet fo the entire year instead of starting in April.  Close to on track for meeting my $15K goal for the year.

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    • MartyH You are so close to paying off your furnace/AC! That must feel awesome! Congrats.

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      • MartyH
      • MartyH
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      veggiegeek It will be gone this month.  👍

      The hard part was sticking with the snowball because it's 0% until Sept.  But it's been working over time as an encouragement, so I've stuck pretty close to it.  (Didn't make much progress doing things the mathematically better way.)  I wanted it done so I could work on the others.  Once I had all the final payments laid out, I've put extra toward the other two  that do or will incur interest.

      Reply Like 5
  • April Check-in!

    So this month we took a 2 hr overnight family trip to a state aquarium and we had a great time. It was my husband's idea since he had a week off from work :) That and going overboard with eating out and having family fun, we didn't stick to our budget, but I'm ok with that since we're not incurring new debt and we're still making good progress paying off our debt. We sent $1,550 to our car loan this month and we're still on track to pay it off by June! I'm so amazed how we've managed to reduce our debt by $10k in 4 months! I'm proud that I managed to have $9 left in my Clothing allowance and controlled my impulseto shop :D So grateful for my husband's support. 

    We nearly made a huge blunder tho... test drove a new $30k car and I'm so relieved that we walked away, or drove away, in our own used cars. We really need to stay away from the dealerships and focus on saving up for our house. It helped that we went to a local Parade of Homes that showcases model homes from local builders, so we're really motivated to pay off debt/save up...really praying to stay focused this new month of May!

    Reply Like 6
  • I'm shifting gears during the summer months to save money and shift it towards paying off the smaller cards. The money I would have spent during the colder months was directed mostly at ride sharing to work. 

    I'm starting to catch the bus now (day 3 of however long I can sustain it), and since taking public transit is free, that's a good chunk of cash re-entering my budget. I retooled my goals to try to eliminate the three small cards by the end of the year. Once the parents' days pass and my mom's birthday (May and June, respectively), I'll probably be able to push more to pay off those accounts. 

    I also may be a little manic right now, but so long as I avoid anything ridiculous, I may be able to use this blast of energy to my benefit.

    Reply Like 5
      • Navy Blue Unicorn
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      • Navy_Blue_Unicorn_6d071
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      MonDee sounds like good goals. Hope your health is good. Take care. 

      Reply Like 3
  • WOO HOO!!!  I don't have to make a payment on any interest bearing CC this month!  Happy dance!  I funded mostly rainy day funds instead, but have funded the dental balance with the first checks of the month. Will fund computer pay off and NI CC in the second half. 

    Reply Like 4
      • Navy Blue Unicorn
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      • Navy_Blue_Unicorn_6d071
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      Navy Blue Unicorn 64% of my payoff goal for the year!  woot!!

      Reply Like 4
  • RANTING>>>>> OMG. My husband and I are currently having a falling out over money again. I am so tired of it. All he wants to do is spend and spend and spend and he doesn't give a damn where it comes from. We can't go anywhere or do fun things because we spend so much on eating out and food $1300 combined for a family of 4 for 1 month. I have tried to involve him in the budget but he doesn't care. Today he is accusing me of spending our money on personal things. I had a bill for $80.55 and he claimed it was all on my snacks. However only 4.25 was for snacks, everything else was for the family. We currently owe $37K and I am tired of him spending and spending and trying to get me to borrow more. And if i say no he just argues because his spending needs are insatiable. He gets $200 fun money a month. I get $100 and every month i have had to dip into that to buy food because we have ran out of money so today I transferred all the money i had in my checking acct to him and gave him a budget. I told him I am done. Let's see how many times we end up at the store till May 14th at this rate. We can't do a debt snowball because every month we over spend on food.

    END of RANT.

    So sorry all but I just didn't know where else to go. In the last 6 months we have gotten 2 extra loans to pay off his card because he just pays it and uses it back every month. and to buy a new a/c because he insisted that we need it even though we really don't.

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    • kayjenx (((Hugs))) Do you have any local support?

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      • kayjenx
      • Debt Ninja Trainee
      • kayjenx
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      WairereRose not really. His mom is at a lost to where she went wrong with teaching him about finances because she does an awesome job and his sister is good at budgeting and saving too. However, if they even try to talk to him he just shut them off. He just has a "blame-everyone-for-my- problems/what-i-dont-like" attitude and prefers to operate in "ostrich-with-head-in-the-sand" mode.

      Since i gave him control over the money he keeps pushing my buttons by saying that he is gonna go on a shopping spree, refuses to pay for anything and keeps asking me if I want to go buy things that he knows is 100% not of the list (budget) I gave him. He's being so damn childish. I know its a little crazy but he is the only one in the family that loves snacking. My son and I both buy our snacks from our allowances, but he refuses. he spends all his allow on video games and then wants me to pay for coffee or ice cream (when he wants not me) or mangoes from the street vendor.

      Reply Like 2
    • kayjenx some people have different natures, and it really doesn’t matter what they’re taught, they are addicted to certain behaviours (drinking, smoking, spending, self-harming activities with longer term consequences usually). In the same way they take out their closest contacts, friends, family, without being able to control it sometimes. I know that AA do support groups for families of alcoholics, and I wonder if whatever the equivalent for debtors is may have a support group for families too. This could be a valuable resource for you so that instead of him pushing your buttons, he is relegated to “trying to” push your buttons. This, while not solving the problem, will assist you in not enabling him as much (he will take your response to his efforts when he is successful as a justification to continue his behaviour). If possible, I would look into whether this resource is available for you locally or online. It could make a huge difference to your ability to deal with his behaviour.

      Reply Like 1
      • kayjenx
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      WairereRose Unfortunately, we don't have any support groups here.

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    • kayjenx Check out Al-Anon anyway.  It's for the people with alcoholics in their lives BUT it really focuses on self-care and setting boundaries. You can go even if your partner isn't an alcoholic.

      Why are you giving that man all the money? SEPARATE YOUR MONEY, and don't give in. BE STRONG AND TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. He's clearly not going to.

      Have you tried marriage counseling?

      Reply Like 2
      • kayjenx
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      Aquamarine Horse (26da1ee4a41a) I know I just really had enough, and all of the important bills were paid already. Thankfully. He says that marriage counselling won't work so it's useless. I'll check out Al-Anon. Thanks!

      Reply Like 1
    • kayjenx Good luck. I'm sorry if i sounded harsh but - you deserve better! And you are the only one who can help yourself. Your husband isn't going to do it, so don't waste your energy getting him to try. Take care of yourself.

      Also check out Olivia Mellan's book "Overcoming Overspending" - it is helpful for both the overspending and the partner of the over-spender. I'm the overspender in my marriage, but after reading this book I had a much better sense of the pain and stress I was causing my wife. We separated our money (mostly) and that helped us. Hopefully your library has it.

      Reply Like 2
      • kayjenx
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      Aquamarine Horse (26da1ee4a41a) Thanks for the resources!

      Reply Like 2
      • engrob
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      kayjenx Sorry to hear you're going through that, I know exactly how you feel.  My relationship with an over spender just recently ended and even though my income took a hit I feel much less stressed with the fact that I can finally budget.  I'm not saying that is the best solution but I know how the situation can be very stressful and frustrating and just lead to further debt.  

      Therapy didn't work for us, I hope you can find a solution.

      Reply Like 2
      • Navy Blue Unicorn
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      kayjenx hugs to you. This sounds like a relationship problem more than a money problem. Any chance you can get some counseling support to help you both get on the same page? I'm really sorry, that just sounds like an awful way to live. 

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      • kayjenx
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      • kayjenx
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      Navy Blue Unicorn Yeah, it really is a relationship problem. He FINALLY, asked to see the YNAB which he already had access to (I gave him the password when i signed up 8 months ago) and we went over everything. It turned into another fight about how I am wasting all the money and not saving, to which I showed him that he spends 2x or more what I do on personal items and in the end he said he was sorry and we will see how it goes from here. I'm a bit relieved because this the is first time in almost 7 years of marriage and 7 years of living together that he has looked at our finances. Maybe now I will get more support. Now that he realises the only thing we can afford to save for are annual bills and so much is going to loans and food. I think what really got to him is that I told him we are better off now than before, which we are, because first we had to use the credit card for all our annual payments or get a short-term loan to make the payment, while now we actually have the money before it is due. I guess he just didn't realise how bad it was. He agreed to cut some of his fun money to put towards savings, so that is a HUGE step.

      Reply Like 2
  • Initial check-in here.  My wife and I decided it was time to get control of our finances this year and have jumped on board with YNAB.  We've been following Dave Ramsey's principals (love him or hate him its working for us), so in addition to the debt we've paid off we also have our starter e-fund in place.  Our debt consists of CC, medical bills, misc. collection debt, and student loans, totaling $9,061.75.  Ready to tackle this and follow everyone's journey along the way.

    Reply Like 4
  • April check in, a bit late:

    Dex dog surgery: 608.66

    car payment: 288

    For a total of 896.66 this month,  2760.17 for the year, 46.3% of my goal!  and soon I will get my bill for knee surgery.  ugh

    Reply Like 2
  • May check in: made my extra $400 payment to my car, so I met my target for the month. I'm still behind given I was focused on savings for January - March, so with June being a 3 paycheck month, I'm hoping to catch up next month and be halfway to my 2018 goal. One month at a time.

    Reply Like 4
      • Navy Blue Unicorn
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      Spring Green Rain love your attitude!

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    • Navy Blue Unicorn Thanks! It's definitely a long process. But I figure I didn't get here overnight, so I won't get where I'm going overnight either. 

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  • Hi! Excited to join this community challenge.

    Student Loan: $35,102.52 (@2.5% interest)

    I am currently unemployed so I'm using part of my income replacement savings to make the minimum payment. I also have a little bit of freelance income and I'm budgeting half of it to debt (at least to cover the interest). That's my strategy for now until I get a full-time income 🙏🏼

    Reply Like 6
  • Starting Debt: $19,973.84
    Paid in May: $1,100
    Remaining Debt: $16,196.27

     

    GUYS I GOT PAID. Filled May, repaid the paycheck of my husband's that had to go to May instead of June, got to put money in FUN CATEGORIES, and still paid $596 on top of my $504.

    Now there's only one small problem for my -J (Myers-Briggs) brain. After that's paid I'll owe less than $150 on my smallest loan. And I will be ITCHING to make it go away. Hmm... I probably will. Talk about things that are worth it.

    Reply Like 6
    • slightlysmall Update: apparently my excess payment went toward next month's payments rather than being considered excess, which means I still owe $496 on my lowest loan and won't be tempted to pay it off in May. It means in June:

      • My smallest loan will be paid off (because my regular payment will likely be considered an excess payment and therefore all my $504 will go toward it).
      • My biggest loan will go under $8k.
      • My baby emergency fund will be refilled after having to buy a new toilet in December, freeing up $70/month.

      Big month for the halfway point of the year! Can't wait!

      Reply Like 4
      • Navy Blue Unicorn
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      slightlysmall woohooooooooo!!!!!!!

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  • All of our monthly debt payments are now paid for the month of May!  Still waiting on the IRS to confirm they applied our return to back taxes.  Spread sheet updated.

    Reply Like 6
      • Navy Blue Unicorn
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      Keith & Kittery Barrows yay!

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  • Ugh, I tried to be proactive and pay  more than my usual installment and I ended up somehow OVER PAYING my credit card bill like an idiot. I did a payment forgetting I already had a scheduled one coming up. DURRRR. 

    Reply Like 1
      • Navy Blue Unicorn
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      Raynuuu Oh dear!  I hope you can WAM until you get paid again!  I did that last month, paid my daughters violin teacher twice. 

      Reply Like 2
    • Raynuuu BTDT. It's usually when I'm too tired while I'm trying to work things out.

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  • May check in: I'm 71% of the way to my smack down goal, and it's only May!!!!!  This is SO COOL!  And I made the smallest payment in years, because we have accumulated no new debt and all the credit cards are PIF. Only heat pump payment, computer payment, and dental balance remain, all interest free. WOOT!!!  AND, I see that we have collectively paid over $619, 000 already this year!!  YNABers!!!!  Amazing!!

    Reply Like 6
    • Navy Blue Unicorn Awesome! Amazing! inspiring! Stay the course!

      Reply Like 1
    • Navy Blue Unicorn Congratulations! No credit card debt is an amazing feeling and should definitely be celebrated. And with all remaining debt interest free, that'll make sure all your money is going to the actual good/service and not to the bank. Great work!

      Reply Like 1
  • Got the IRS confirmation!  $4,724.00 applied to back taxes.  If no snowball is applied we are now 12 monthly payments away from being done!

    Just over $9,000 paid to debt this month.  Now to work on keeping a steady $5,000 going to debts each month which will allow a fairly significant snowball to start taking effect.  Now we are striving for an equilibrium across our entire budget so we can (aggressively) pay down debt, build up buffers for those occasional payments and maybe even figure out how to slip in a vacation.

    Reply Like 6
    • Keith & Kittery Barrows Wow - that's GREAT! I'm happy your back taxes were properly applied, and that you are able to pay so much off. Inspiring!

      Reply Like
  • I'm feeling quite discouraged as my debt is moving so slowly and the CC has taken a hit this month, however, a quick look at my net worth shows my debt is steadily creeping down in spite of the CC going up. I don't think I've been well enough/had the time lately to update the spreadsheet with my figures, but I've handed my tax papers to the accountant and posted off my donation rebate form (which they won't process until my IR3 & IR10 for my own and the business taxes are processed) so that there is hope for money coming in. I may yet be debt free very soon. Hang in there Rose, you've got this...

    Reply Like 4
    • WairereRose - remember how long it took to get into this situation?  You are doing great getting out of it in far less time!!  Keep going!

      Reply Like 4
    • I got to the spreadsheet yesterday, and after entering my figures in discovered that I have paid 20.14% of my goal so far this year. Was hoping to see the accountant today, but not sure if that will happen now due to work stuff. Will have to see how quickly we can get that done.

      Balance of debts remaining:

      Vet - $0 PAID

      Personal Loan - $2285

      Credit Card - $350 (just under) due by 6/6 to avoid interest. There is one final instalment of the course to go on that card and then it will ease off a bit.

       

      I just passed my 5 year anniversary at work, and got a letter saying they’d be paying me a bonus. Didn’t find out how much till I got my pay slip. It was just under $400 before tax. Now I have to wait and see how WINZ are going to treat it and whether they withhold what they would be paying me for the next two weeks. I’m going to argue that it took me 5 years to earn that so it should be spread over my pays for the last 5 years, but not sure if they’ll run with that or not...

      It wasn’t enough to make a positive difference for me financially, and may end up penalising me by almost as much as I received.

      This year I’d like to break free from needing WINZ assistance at all. I just need to make a miracle happen! Shouldn’t be that hard right?

      Reply Like 1
    • WairereRose Hang in there, you are moving in the right direction! Your vet bill is paid and your CC is one payment away which must feel amazing! Take pride in these wins and let them motivate you to keep going with your debt pay down.

      Reply Like 2
    • veggiegeek 

      The CC is going to be a massive challenge to meet the minimum due to avoid interest. The deal I had with myself was that if I couldn’t pay it “in full” to avoid any interest at any point then I have to cut it up. After the minimum there’s another $200 odd for next month already and I’d rather not be using it at all, but I currently don’t have any option with relying on WINZ to keep me semi-solvent, as the amount I get from them is barely enough to keep me at poverty level. They have a habit of varying the amount they give me each week by up to (and sometimes over) $100 which makes it extremely difficult to budget. Since I’m nowhere near having a buffer due to having a weeks stand down just to switch to the greater “support” level, I have to leave enough just for milk and basic supplies in case I don’t get paid any given week as a penalty for getting my 5 year bonus - which allowed me to pay the rent barely on time again. I may be able to manage the full amount if I let the rent get behind again, but I know my sister is starting to feel the pinch now so I’d rather not do that if I can help it.

      Reply Like
    • WairereRose Good luck with WINZ. I'm that a good thing - a bonus for your hard work and diligent service - is also a source of unease and confusion. I hope it works out all in your favor.  I hope your job starts paying more so you can end your relationship with, since that is your expressed wish. You deserve miracles!!!

      Reply Like 1
  • May check in:  Went of the rails last month and finally took an accounting of it all today. I ran up ~3K of expenses on the Amex I paid off in February.  I've updated my challenging but reasonable debt payment plan. It appears that, including a year-end bonus, I'll be able to pay off about 75% of my original goal by the end of 2018.

    Next month, I'm looking forward to paying off one CC currently at $850, and a medical debt of $300. Then I'll pay off the Amex in June/July/August and start working again on the last 3 CCs.  On the Smackdown Spreadsheet, I will track my actual debt reduction for the original debt.

    I'm disappointed in myself but I also feel hopeful and back in control. In the last three months, we had our apartment painted (yay!) for the first time in 10 years, but then it need fumigation (yuck!). During the 6 week fumigation process, we dumped about 1/2 our possessions. The worst expense was the dry cleaning - every coat & non-washable item we owned had to be dry-cleaned! It cost $800 (on the Amex)!  I gained a size since last year so also needed new clothes. I spent too much on clothes/shoes/makeup BUT I really needed to look better and feel more comfortable/confident at this new size. There's no sense spending every moment at work hoping no one looks at me. Life is just too short!!

    On a related note, my wife recently told me she's bored by our relationship (GRRRRRR!!!!). Funnily enough, I realized I had become kind of boring, always thinking about cutting back, paying, tracking, and making all of our finances "fair" - when I'm the only one who even knows, since she doesn't pay attention! IVF isn't a picnic either, and I'm the one handling it on every level - and they are ALL stressful. Perhaps my two hobbies - IVF and debt pay down - haven't made me the most exciting partner over the last 18 months - but that seems pretty normal. Hearing she is "bored" really pissed me off, and that anger has given me some very helpful clarity. I need to invest more of my energy in myself and the things satisfy me, rather than hoping/wishing/begging/browbeating her to give me what I want. I can just give it to myself (and it costs me less energy/time/money!).

    Current balances:

    Medical debt: $300

    CC 1: $850

    Amex $3200 (not included in Smackdown SS debt)

    CC 2: $5625

    CC 3: $3621

    CC4: $9739

    In short,  it's been a strange few months but I'm motivated and capable, and happy to be back on track and moving forward.

    Reply Like 6
      • ISuckatMaths
      • Where Budget and Math collide
      • ISuckatMaths
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      Aquamarine Horse (26da1ee4a41a) I'm sorry to hear that this month has been tough. I know when one person is dealing with the finances it makes it hard for the other person to be aware. I know she's not interested, but YNAB does make it fun. Maybe having her look at the site and see the work that you're working on will illuminate things. Also, it does get pretty fun to work as a team, especially with the app....

      Either way, good luck with the IVF.

      Reply Like 1
    • ISuckatMaths Thanks for your message and the good wishes for IVF.  I'm hopeful that my wife and I will be able to work together once I've paid off my debt. YNAB is fun, especially when your money is growing & aging! I hope everyone on this forum gets to that point ASAP!

      Reply Like 2
      • Navy Blue Unicorn
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      Aquamarine Horse (26da1ee4a41a) Thanks for sharing your troubles!  It sounds like things are tough all around, but it's great to get some clarity about your needs and how meet them. And I am glad that you bought clothes that fit your body now, instead of waiting until "someday." It's hard to cultivate that attitude and awareness in U.S. culture (if you're in the U.S.?) so I applaud you!

      Reply Like 2
    • Navy Blue Unicorn That's kind of you to say and I very much appreciate your support! I am in the US - NYC, where fashion is important!  Where do you live?

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      • Navy Blue Unicorn
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      • 1
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      Aquamarine Horse (26da1ee4a41a) NYC!!!  Fashion MECCA, right? I live in quite UNfashionable Oregon, which suits me!  I still dress up a bit for work (I'm a professor), but it's quite a casual culture out here. 

      Reply Like 1
    • Navy Blue Unicorn hooray for unfashionable Oregon! I get anxiety attacks thinking about visiting the East Coast and having there be places you actually can't wear jeans.

      Reply Like 1
  • Oh, I'm so happy this forum up and running! I tried logging into it and it disappeared! I was worried I'd never find the google sheets!  

    Well it took much longer then expected but I finally got my 0% balance transfer credit card. The nice thing is because it took so long, I only had a 0.5% balance transfer charge.  While speaking to the rep  he mentioned if I cancelled a cc I don't use anymore, in a couple of months I could request a credit increase. That could really help as I want to start clearing my LOC as it's my last remaining debt.  Though I may hold off on it, and consider cancelling this cc after I've paid it off and wait several months and reapply and get the 0% deal again.

    The current balance is not reflective of over spending, I'm just waiting for to be paid so I can pay the cc. Instead what I will do is pay the cc with the Balance transfer and the money will be instead be used to pay the new cc. My monthly payments will be $733 and extra funds will be used to pay the borrowed amount if need be.  As I found out I will be receiving an additional $2000 for some tax surplus.

    All in all, the debt is consolidated and I'll just have to make sure I have $733. In a years time, if I do not have extra income set aside to the cc I will pay this off. Otherwise, I'll need $1467 to clear by year's end. We'll see. 

    DEBT

    JAN

    FEB

    MARCH

    APRIL

    MAY

    C1   

    3810.58

    8072.11

    (13.68 interest)

    7399.89

    (107.07 interest)

    7537.51 

    (154.72 interest)

    7919.37 

    (119.35 interest)

    Borrowed   

    3000

    3000

    2336.88

    2000

    (Paid 1st 1000 out)

    2000

    Transfer CC 

    0

    0

    0

    0

     Receiving $8,800

    Reply Like 3
    • ISuckatMaths I'm impressed you were able to get such a low BT fee! That's awesome and I hope it will save you a lot of money.

      Reply Like 2
      • ISuckatMaths
      • Where Budget and Math collide
      • ISuckatMaths
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Aquamarine Horse (26da1ee4a41a) It's usually 1% transfer fee, but because they didn't mail the card out and I waited almost a month to get it, so they gave me half off and then UPS'd it.  Great promo the card has, but, not well trained staff.

      Reply Like 1
    • ISuckatMaths It's great you followed up! The BTs I see are usually 3% or 4% which (if I stick to my plan) doesn't make it worth it.  

      Reply Like
      • ISuckatMaths
      • Where Budget and Math collide
      • ISuckatMaths
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Aquamarine Horse (26da1ee4a41a) yah that's the general ones. If you don't mind me asking, what country do you live in?

      Reply Like
      • ISuckatMaths
      • Where Budget and Math collide
      • ISuckatMaths
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Aquamarine Horse (26da1ee4a41a) I just saw you live in the USA. You guys have about 7 (from a quick google search) 0% balance transfer cards that offer 0% interest for longer then a year. If you look at https://www.nerdwallet.com/best/credit-cards/balance-transfer and go from there to see which are still valid (as that article is not dated.) But in your country you should have a lot of options with longer terms since your financial system is different from Europe and Canada.

      Reply Like
  • MAY Check In:

    $1489 paid toward student loans. $100 more than originally planned, $100 less than my "stretch goal", so I'll take it and try and budget slightly differently next month to reach my stretch goal. 

    Reply Like 7
    • veggiegeek That's great! Your plan is working :). Keep it up!

      Reply Like 2
      • Navy Blue Unicorn
      • Science is real.
      • Navy_Blue_Unicorn_6d071
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      veggiegeek hooray!

      Reply Like 2
  • May check in:

    MC: new balance is $4,516.97 (down from $4957.47 )

    LoC: new balance is $9,263.01 (down from $9313.00, looking to get this sub-$5k)

     

    I've had to adjust my payment plan to reflect reality; a bunch of friends are getting married/having babies in the next few months, so I need to dial back a bit with what I can afford to contribute to debt repayment. I'm keeping my goals where they were, in case I fall into some money at some point. 

    Reply Like 4
      • Navy Blue Unicorn
      • Science is real.
      • Navy_Blue_Unicorn_6d071
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Purple Hail yay for you! progress!!!

      Reply Like 1
      • Purple Hail
      • ynot?
      • Purple_Hail.2
      • 1 yr ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      so, I wanted to be ok with not paying off my mastercard this year, but it just wasn't sitting right with me. so I took $1800 out of savings and re-purposed it to debt repayment. I am still unlikely to get the LoC under $5k, as was my goal, but that is a lesser worry to me. I am trying to roll with the punches of friends getting hitched and making babies. 

      Reply Like 5
  • Mid-May checkin

     

    Might be able to pay a little more, but this is where I stand now. 

    At least I got one paid off.  It was 0% (I'm doing the snowball), but it was a same as cash deal that accrued interest to charge back at the end for those who screw it up.  So I'm happy to have it done with.

    Progress continues. 

    Reply Like 6
  • May check in: Not a great month. I had something big and sad happen and in an effort to cheer myself up, I kept getting take out/eating out. Shockingly (lol), it didn’t work that well, but as a result of the attempt my CC 1 is now up to $2288.23, CC 2 is at $166.89 and the vet card is at $1180.72. I paid a total of $500 towards the cards, with another $129.90 towards my personal loan, which is part of my stretch goal. I just need to keep reminding myself that this is a set-back, not a failure and as long as I keep going, I will eventually get there.

    Reply Like 3
  • May check in:

    Total paid in May - $910 ($460 more than minimum)

    I had extra funds in May and 57% of it went to student loans. :)

    Remaining debt - $34,642.52

    Reply Like 5
      • Blue
      • Crazy poor asian
      • Blue
      • 1 yr ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Blue June Check In

      Total paid in June - $900 ($450 more than minimum)

      I was able to lower my minimum payment to $360, thanks to the extra payments. I will still pay at least $450 per month but it's nice to know that I don't have to if I really need the money for other categories. (:

      Remaining debt - $33,814.69

      Reply Like 3
  • May check-in:

    It wasn't a great month, financially. I had the opportunity to join some family on a short vacation and I just couldn't pass up the family time. They paid for most of it but I still had transportation and food costs. It sort of caused a bit of an overspending snowball this month, honestly. I've been setting myself monthly challenges of one thing or another each month this year, and next month just happens to be a No Spend challenge (on all except bills and a small list of acceptable perishable grocery items) so hoping next month I can get myself a bit more on track ... right before going on another vacation across the country to see more family for the Fourth of July. *sigh* We'll see how it goes. Definitely rolling with the punches lately.

    So without further ado, my latest numbers:

    CC #1: $149.64 *all purchases added to my previous $0 balance - bummer*
    CC #2: $2153.44 (-80 pmt, +45.64 int) *snowball on this one went toward gas this month instead - more bummer*
    CC #3: $1015.52 (-25 pmt, +19.50 int) *up almost $300 due to purchases - bummerino*
    CC #4: $2,436.39 (-70 pmt, +42.37 int) *up just a bit due to a small purchase - baby bummer*
    CC #5: $4,570.18 (-110 pmt, +53.93 int) *DOWN ... taking this tiny win because I can*

    Total CC debt: $10,325.17 *aaand back over 10 grand - bummer city*

     

    Welp. There it is. Could have been worse, DEFINITELY could have been better. On to the next month.

    Reply Like 2
  • May check-in.

    So... my fiancee and I have been working on rebuilding our credit after our credit suffered from our previous marriages and so we can buy a house in a few years.

    She does not have any installment loans to help her credit. Both of the vehicles (which is currently our only debt) are in my name only.

    I am able to add her to Car Loan #2 without having to refinance and she will get the full history of the loan as well. Sure, it has the higher minimum payment (original loan amount was more than Car Loan #1), but it has the lower interest rate and has longer history.

    Going forward, we will continue to pay off Car Loan #1 as quickly as possible, but after it is done we will continue to make minimum or just above minimum payments towards Car Loan #2 so that it continues to help our credit as we get closer to buying a house. I'm fine with paying interest longer on Car Loan #2 over the next few years so that we don't have to take out another installment loan, secured or not.

    With that I am going to remove the info for Car Loan #2 from the spreadsheet starting from the beginning of the year and will make the goal to hopefully have Car Loan #1 done by end of this year.

    January Car Loan Payment: $700.00 || Principal: $666.50 || Interest: $33.50 || New Total: $7,638.06
    February Car Loan Payment: $700.00 || Principal: $665.67 || Interest: $34.33 || New Total: $6,972.39
    March Car Loan Payment: $700.00 || Principal: $678.22 || Interest: $21.78 || New Total: $6,294.17
    April Car Loan Payment: $700.00 || Principal: $674.61 || Interest: $25.39 || New Total: $5,619.56
    May Car Loan Payment: $700.00 || Principal: $678.06 || Interest: $21.94 || New Total: $4,941.50
    =====
    Total Payment: $3,500.00 || Principal: $3,363.06 || Percent of Goal: 40.50% || Interest: $136.94

    Current Debt Total: $4,941.50

    • Starting 2018 Debt Payoff Goal: $8,304.56 (just want this loan gone)
    • Starting 2018 Debt Total: $8,304.56
    • Car Loan: $8,304.56 @ 4.75% (minimum payment $183.49)
    Reply Like 2
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