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!
I need to get a job making more than $300/month to be able to touch my debt this year, but this "game" (every challenge is a game 😏) makes me a tad more motivated to get that job!!
I was actually ahead of the game by a few months in the beginning of 2017, but between losing work at the end of May, and a family loss in September, I fell behind again... and am still catching up.
I have 2 credit cards (plus one that I use and pay off regularly), and 8 student loans (okay.. it's more like 3, but the way they're broken down it's easier for me to track the 8 lol) totalling $23,593.69 (principal on loans, including interest on credit) as of January 1st.
My minimum payments right now are only $127.43 (a good chunk of the loans are in income-based repayment right now) so my minimum debt payoff would be $1529.16-- but I am trying absolutely everything in my power to not use those other 2 cards and to add income to help knock it down, so after accounting for time to find a job, I'm setting a goal to pay off $3600.00 this year to get it under or close to $20,000. I ultimately would like to pay off a LOT more but I have to be somewhat realistic haha.
Hoooopppeeefully I can remember to check in here (and to the doc) every month!! I added it to my calendar. Here's to hoping I pay attention to it. haha.
Good luck everyone!!!!
I'm a little late getting here, but I've made it. This board is really hard to sign in to which is somewhat annoying, but I guess I'll adjust - but on days where I don't have time to figure out the rigmarole to get signed in my posts may not happen. Meh.
Current debt as at 1 Jan 2018 stands at:
CC (I'm still managing to beat the payment date, but this is not by any means PIF as I had hoped) $837.42
Personal Loan (interest-free thankfully) $2460
(Plus student loan which will not be part of this challenge, but payments get sucked out of my pay anyway)
My goal is to pay both of these off by the end of the year. I still have the deal with myself that if I can't meet the payment on the card to avoid interest then the card turns to confetti. I really don't want that to happen because I may need it to fund business expenses (which is why it is carrying a balance at the moment), so I'm doing my utmost to remain laser focussed with the debt.
Due to poor health (among other things) I wasn't able to pay the personal loan off in full last year as I'd hoped, and that hasn't helped the CC situation either. Aiming to clear them both this year. Possibly I could be able to do this after my tax return is done, but for now, I'm looking at things like selling off junk (I mean, other people's treasures) on TradeMe, and whether I can put together a side-hustle. Also hoping to spend a bit more time on my business, but I still seem to be procrastinating on that.
January and February will be pretty tight I think, income-wise. There are a few changes going on at work and this could impact me quite hard going forward. As there's nothing I can do to change any of it, for now, I'll just watch and wait.
As at mid-way through January, I have got my debt down to:
CC $719.54 (need to pay another $666.61 by 8 Feb to avoid interest); and
Personal Loan $2425
Which means I've paid off 4.64% of my debt so far. I expect the payoff process to be done in fits and starts, so I'm not too discouraged that it's so slow for now. I may be able to squeeze a little more out for the CC before the end of the month, but I'm only including what's reducing the ongoing balance and there are still food and petrol purchases to be made.
Checking in with my first payment info. I'm putting $216 and $175 to each of my personal credit cards per paycheck, and $224 per month toward our joint central air pay off account. Personally, that makes $782 per month that I wish I could be budgeting toward something else. I am going to be SO EXCITED when I have that money in my TBB and it doesn't have to go to a credit card. I'm updating my spreadsheet now!
My first update for the month - and I've thrown £150 towards my debt so far. Once pay day rolls around, I'm planning to pop a good spot more on the debt I have. Hopefully, this month's bonus will mean a one off Super Payment that will really help reduce my debt loading.
On YNAB-challenge-wide update - we've currently repayed about $40k of our collective total debt.
If we split our total debt into equal monthly amounts, that's about half-way to meeting 1 months worth of debt.
Just about half way through the month, so it sounds like we are on track. Well done, all of us :)
My husband sold some vacation hours and also picked up some overtime, so our paycheck was more than double the usual. I was able to throw $1910 towards our debt (a little on each separate debt). When we get our tax return, I'll be able to take care of a lot more, but we are also taking care of my dog's heartworm this month ($800) and installing a backyard fence for the dogs ($???).
Good first month. Just need to keep total payment for overall debt above $1,070 each month to stay on track of reaching my goal.
January Car Loan #1 Payment: $700.00 || Principal: $666.50 || Interest: $33.50 || New Total: $7,638.06
January Car Loan #2 Payment: $372.55 || Principal: $337.38 || Interest: $35.17 || New Total: $12,403.13
Total Payment: $1,072.55 || Principal: $1,003.88 || Percent of Goal: 08.37% || Interest: $68.67
Current Debt Total: $20,041.19
- Starting 2018 Debt Payoff Goal: $12,000.00 (principal only)
- Starting 2018 Debt Total: $21,045.07
- Car Loan #1: $8,304.56 @ 4.75% (minimum payment $183.49)
- Car Loan #2: $12,740.51 @ 3.25% (minimum payment ($372.55)
Well, it's 18 days into the year, and I figured I'd give a bit of an update. My goal was $6,500 of principal for the year spread between a car loan and a time share loan., and I think that might have been a bit conservative, but we'll see. There's at least two changes coming this year. The first is we have a baby due in August, and the second is that I'm planning to sell the car, because we simply don't use it. I have a company vehicle that I drive all the time, and it just doesn't make sense to keep a third vehicle for the express purpose of maintaining and insuring it.
With that in mind, I've been concentrating on the Forester loan to get its balance down as far as possible and make covering the difference between the loan and the value easier when I actually get it sold.
I hadn't made that decision when I sent some money toward the principal of the time share earlier this month, but that's okay, the timeshare has a nasty interest rate and I won't miss the fact that there's a small chunk that isn't accruing more interest against us.
I still have the regular monthly payment to go on the time share. I also am considering cashing out my CC rewards. The original plan had been that that would be supplemental Christmas money, but it's so much fun to see debt numbers go down... I'm refusing to make a decision on that today though. Anyway, here's the mid-month report:
- Item/Paid this month/Paid this year/Starting/Remaining/Interest Rate
- Time share/169.71/169.71/7,885.24/7,715.53/15.9%
Discovered this forum a bit late, but I think I'm still on time to start in January. :) The spreadsheet is awesome and I'm excited for this year! We've been YNAB users since Classic and my husband wasn't really "on board" until last October. Something changed in him and he immediately got us on the right track. I'd been tracking all the spending, but could not stay within budget to save my life :( we ended up accruing CC debt and although we had "extra" money for payments, we'd pilfer it on food or trips, instead of paying down debt.
We made the decision in December 2017 to take a risk and got a 2nd 401k loan to pay off a debt consolidation loan, car loan, and 0% interest CC (promotional rate was expiring Feb 2018) to save interest and have more available income for debt (even after 401k loan payment payroll deductions). We are currently using one PIF CC to earn rewards, and we are now taking free money from the CC companies instead of paying interest!
WE'RE LINE 77 ON THE SPREADSHEET
So, here's what we owe as of today, in the order we'd like to pay it off:
1) Car loan $11,317 ($255.47 monthly pmt)
2) Bank of Dad loan $5,000 (no payment)
3) 401k loan #1 $6,166.16 ($77.38 biweekly pmt)
4) 401k loan #2 $12,306.38 ($109.43 biweekly pmt)
TOTAL DEBT: $34,789.54
My entire paycheck will go to debt payment, along with any extra income we get, and we have the goal to pay $20k total (includes interest, not just principal) toward debt this year (if my calculations are correct; also, this includes minimum payments). So we will focus on paying off the car loan first (goal: June 2018), then my dad, then the loans. Hopefully we can get through the first 3 debts and annihilate the 4th one next year :) #goals Long term goal is to save up 20% dp to build a $100k home.
Car: $2958.48 @ 0.9% (currently on track to make final payment 1/1/19)
CC1: $4943.87 @ 20.8%
CC2: $1675.02 @ 24.26%
CC3: $1357.59 @ 26.99%
My monthly goal was the car payment + $400 toward the credit cards, but Life happened and it looks like this month will be closer to $300 on cards (plus the car payment, obvs). I am doing a modified debt avalanche - before I worry about interest rate I really want to get some breathing room on CC1 (currently at 98% utilization - ouch! CC2 is closed and CC3 is under 80%).
Paid in January: Car $228.76 / CC1: $200 / CC2: $53.53 / CC3: $42.00
Unfortunately as soon as I made the payment I had to put $100 back on CC1 to keep a medical bill out of collections because I also decided to buy All The Groceries, despite what my Grocery category said. 😫
Loan payment has gone out, have paid interest plus just over $70 onto the credit card we are aiming to pay 50% off of this year. Not paid the min off our other card yet, that will have to be later in the month.
Feeling a bit disheartened, hubby has had two bigger paychecks this month (he's paid weekly) and yet we still seem to be struggling to fill our budget up, let alone send stuff to debt repayment. Oh well could be worse. Think I might see if we can sell a few things and send that money to debt payoff.
So excited to find this thread! I'm a little late to the game, but want to jump in anyway.
Credit Card 1: $3541.81
Credit Card 2: $257.42
Student Loans: $48,446.65
Credit Card 1: $0! I want to be able to PIF each month.
Credit Card 2: $0! I will continue to PIF each month.
Student Loans: $35,000
- I will begin managing people in my current role, plus I recently finished my Masters degree, so I'm going to leverage both points to request at least an 8% raise rather than the standard 3%.
- Side hustle harder.
I have about a year for my larger balance card to remain interest-free, so I'll be chipping away $300/mo as I focus on higher interest student loans and keeping my other CC at a $0 balance.
Pay the minimum across all 8 of my loans (on auto-pay for a decreased interest rate), but attack the highest interest loans full force. I will shoot for $1000 per month toward student debt. My bonuses and PTO payouts will go straight to student debt.
I've made my first month of payments! My "regular snowball" of $504, plus an extra $496 for an even $1,000! January is usually my biggest income month, so I try to make a decent dent in my debt while I can. (I may pay another $45 or so to get it below $19,000 this month. We'll see.)
Starting Debt: $19,973.84
Paid in January: $1,000
Remaining Debt: $19,030.17
Total Paid: $1,000
Percent to Goal: 10%
I am so tired of paying on student loans that seem never to go down. I have deferred, gone back to school, acquired more loans, and barely made payments for the last 20 years. This year I'm tackling half of my student loan which is: $31,610. This is the only debt that I have and I'm ready to be totally debt free.
I make monthly payments of $458. I will track my principal paid and snow balling of the 11 loans.
I paid 3 loans off this month!
I claimed line 86.
This is a great idea, claimed line 88. I've recently heavily modified my budget due to divorce and child support and have gone as frugal as possible and eliminated all excessive spending, services, etc from my lifestyle. Consequently, I estimate I will have between $1,600 - $1,800 per month to pay down debt (waiting for the next paycheck to see how my single tax status effects my take-home pay) and I have a reasonable emergency fund already on hand.
Aiming to knock out my expiring 0% interest cards by the end of summer, then transfer my remaining card to a 0% offer and spread payments over 12 months. The difference between that and my current debt payment will then be used to build my pay next month envelope.
Anyway, enough yacking....here are my details.
Here are my debts as of January 1st, in order of tackling:
- Credit Card 1: $4455.12 (0% interest till April ’18)
- Credit Card 2: $107.93 (0% interest till April ’18)
- Credit Card 3: $2586.35 (0% interest till August ’18)
- Credit Card 4: ~$5000.00
- Student Loan: $33,208.13
Total Credit Card: $12,149.40
Goals for 2018:
- Credit Card 1: Payoff by end of February (Current balance $1682.65)
- Credit Card 2: Payoff by end of March (Current balance $80.93)
- Credit Card 3: Payoff by end of April
- Credit Card 4: Transfer balance to Credit Card 1 for 0% in April. Spread payments over 12 months to pay off by end of April 2019.
- Student Loan: Minimum payments. Will snowball in 2019 after stashing 3 months of expenses.
Our debt is currently $255,538.44. This includes credit cards, student loan, and mortgage. The goal for 2018 is to pay down about $8,500. This will leave us with one credit card, the student loans, and mortgage. Hoping to get student loans gone before the end of 2020, but that's a goal for another day (year).
My total paid for January is $1017.22. I was not able to pay any extra on debt. January was my first full month using YNAB to it's fullest potential (I am a very slow convert). Every bill is now paid for the month and in February I hope to fund my baby EF to $1000. Then, I am hoping by March to get my snowball rolling.
Credit Card 1: $11,297 2018 Goal: $11,297
Credit Card 2: $8,192 2018 Goal: $8,192
Credit Card 3: $1,379 2018 Goal: $1,379
Car 1: $15,700 @ 2.25% 2018 Goal: $5300
Mortgage: $416,755 @ 4.25% 2018 Goal: $5200
2018 Goal: Pay off all 3 CC's and pay normal monthly payments on car/house. Total Goal $31,502
It's been a sad month for me. We were only able to pay down $1,059.92 this month towards principal. Unfortunately my husband got diagnosed with Typhoid fever. Fortunately, we have a "mini" emergency fund. I chose to pay all of the money we spent from the fund back in this month which means we didn't pay as much to debt AND we got smacked with an additional unexpected bill on the credit card. That increased our principal. The good thing is that the emergency fund is back at $1000. We have had to re-evaluate our priorities. I want to pay of debt as much as possible but at the same time we need to set aside money for true expenses. Therefore, we've opted to start more funds like "Clothing" which we have never had a fund for and just end up pulling from other categories or using the credit card for. And "Oil Change" and "Car Washes" and even "haircuts". And while I won't see the Credit Card bill going down super fast, I will not have to use the card as much to cover stupid expenses that I know about ahead of time. Here's my position for end of January.
Starting: $ 37,573.08 Current: $ 36,513.16 Debt Crushed: $ 1,059.92