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 am so impressed with all you YNAB debt busters. As a collective group, you've knocked out a massive, jaw-dropping $1,342,477.03 of debt, and you are doing that with increasingly fewer participants every month. Holy Smoke! A very big well done to you all.
Cheering you all on as you sprint toward the end of 2018 finish line. Go! Go! Go!Reply
Oct check in: Made my $400 extra payment on my car loan. I'm set to meet my goal for the year next month, so December's payment will be beyond my goal. And I'm on track to paying this debt off next year. Can't wait! You know, I'll still have my student loans to payoff, but at least then the snowball can get bigger and move on to the next targeted debt. One month at a time.Reply
-MC balance of $343.62 now. will be gone next month. this month I paid $390.81 to the principle.
-LoC has a balance of $8,990.27 currently. after I finish off my MC balance with my next paycheque, I will transfer this balance to that card as I was just offered a promo rate for balance transfers that looks to save me about $500. this month $52.97 went to the principle.Reply
Finished paying my debt last month, so working on not having any new balances on my cc. I'm waiting for a refund for some medical expenses and that should make the rest of my current balance on my cc gone.
Balance transfer cc is going ok, I need to clear it by May/June so I don't get dinged on the interest. Right now with my previous months lower payments I need to put about 800/month. I can do $700, the extra $100 is going to be tough since gas is increasing and I have my insurance payment due March.
I'll keep on trucking and see what life brings.Reply
October check in:
This was a rough month. Hours got cut at work. Still managed to pay off $100 (Bank of America credit card), $100 (CreditOne credit card), $476 (Chase credit card), $100 (student loan) for a total of $776. I've already met my goal for the year ($12k), but hopefully I can continue and finish strong!Reply
October Check-in. I doubt I'll be able to do any more this month. To pay that much on the Visa, I had to reprioritize some of what I had saved for True expenses like house and car insurance deductibles and vacation. But the interest is about to go from 0% to almost 13% and I really hate interest. But rather than go for another balance transfer card, I'm using it as incentive. I'm so close.
Some overtime nest month should go directly toward this monster.Reply
Ups and downs of October… I got married, yay! DH and I are still trying to decide how to allocate the gift money we received. We really want to take a honeymoon, but I also want to get some of this debt knocked out, so we may do a little bit of both.
Down side…. I got back from our week long vacation (we got married out of state) to learn that I lost one of my jobs (approx. $2,500/month income). Luckily I have a full month’s buffer (thank you YNAB!!) so I have the money for all of November’s bills. But I have to put my resume together and start applying for a second job now. Bummer. This also means my debt payoff is going to slow over the next two months while I job hunt, and get things back on track. I’m definitely not going to hit my payoff goal for this year, but I’m still making progress.
October Debt Paid: $773.22
Starting Debt: $53,478.37
Current Debt: $47,758.16
Debt Smackdown: $6,510.04 / $14,400 (45% to goal)Reply
Have met my goal for October with allocating $295 towards my loans from family.
I'm on track to meet my goal in December.
I had the pleasure of being able to pay out some of the funds I'd put aside for one loan. Nice to be able to get that monkey off my back and it provided more incentive and motivation to get all the debt cleared by early December.Reply
This is embarrassing. As of Wednesday I was literally sitting on about $17,000 in cash in two checking accounts and about $5k in an investment portfolio- result of dumping Netflix stock. Meanwhile I owed $4k on student loan from eons past (co-signed for kid). PAID IT OFF yesterday.
Sitting on about $9500 in Soc. Sec. benefits. Used that to attack our only large debt. Reduced from 31,000 to about 18,000. Done yesterday
Took another $5000 and halved a visa account — medical and vet bill mostly. Done this morning.
Our total debt debt now is approximately $30,000. No mortgage, no car payments. And one debt on a motorhome is the $18k — we could sell same for over $100k easily.
Somehow i I feel lighter. I’m probably not the only person on this board who shuns everything Google, but I had my gmail hacked and as a result had identity stolen (too stupid to not reuse passwords). My live in the cloud is limited strictly to iCloud. I don’t do social media and never created a spreadsheet in my life so I’m not posting my stuff on the google spreadsheet. So if it’s not counted in the totals so be it. I’m just happy to be able to say I did it.Reply
October check in: Well, the vet card is at $0 but my other two cards went up, up, up. We got a little extravagant during a planned vacation. Looking at my purchase history, I can honestly say that I don’t regret most, if any, of the impulsive spending- every purchase has an attached memory and I don’t feel like any of it was frittered away uselessly, but the end result is still the same: more debt, just when I was starting to feel the momentum. I currently have $3324.16 on cc 1 and $263.98 on cc 2. The vet card and cc 3 remain paid off. I paid $480.72 towards debt in October (plus another $129.90 towards my stretch goal). Next month is a three paycheck month for me though, so I’m hoping to make that a bigger number and take a chunk out of the remaining balances.Reply
This month's progress toward debt pay off wasn't as much as I expected. However, in the side of saving (for true expenses and recurring expenses) we have improved and so I don't feel as bad there.
The biggest issue with debt this month is that my husband (after doing sooo good for a few months) went ahead and spent almost $300 on the card this month. He's paid back almost half but now black friday is coming up and he's hell bent on getting a new TV (which we don't need). We both get 1 month's salary in bonuses at the end of the year and I had really wanted to save that but to get him off my back, I told him I would give him $750 from my bonus towards the TV BUT we have to sell the old one, and he will pay the difference from his bonus. My deal was to give him the cash and force him to sell the one we have to avoid new debt. so we won't be saving all of it, but we will at least not owe for it. In the next 2 months, or by the end of the year, I plan to pay off the CC. at this point, we have a balance of 1065.25. I'm gonna use my bonus along with my regular monthly payments to make that happen by Dec 15th. I've already told my husband that whatever balance is on it after that he will cover from his fun money since I am clearing the charges and plan to cover all my spending (by budgeting for it), anything left will be his. This, I think, is the only way for him to maybe learn to save BEFORE spending.Reply
My numbers for this month:
Purchases/Interest Charges $255.11
Net Total $56.89
Total Debt Paydown 2018 (-$1,231.25) or (-35.18%)
A tiny bit of progress. I didn't have anything this month for extra payments, but I'm going through my paycheck today and getting my budget organized for the next half month. There might be something left over for a bit of a boost payment ... slight chance. I have a few family trips next month (niece's birthday and Thanksgiving) so I'll need to be accounting for gas money. But I'll try. Even if I can't, I'm happy that even with a few semi-unnessecary purchases this month, I still managed to end the month in the a slightly shallower debt hole. :)Reply
Bah, I´m not liking this one bit as 1) I spent more on necessary house-stuff and unforeseen medical bills this month than I had planned for and 2) I have two travel reimbursements from September travel outstanding from work for quite a bit, payments done on my credit card and 3) I prepaid some travel tickets on a credit card - funding that will come my way next month.
Som planned and some unforeseen, and way , way off as I increased my debt by $1183. Ugh. Next month should look OH so much better.
So after the October payments, my debt is:
* Student loan : $577 left (-$146 this month, -$422 total)
* CC #1: $1016 (+ $1016 this month !!)
* CC #2: $1413 (+ $447 this month)
* CC #3: $4527 (- $84 this month)
* CC#4: $4949 ( -$50 this month )Reply
October check-in - slightly late as there have been a few migraines and I only got things up to date this week. I was able to throw an additional $50 toward my personal loan in October, and reduce the amount owing on the CC (still paying the balance in full, but carrying one again :-( ) by $1044.09, which is quite impressive. I hadn't realised it was that much. Anyway, I also reduced the available limit by a further $500 this morning, in keeping with my commitment to reduce it by $500/month until it's down to the $500 minimum.
EOM balance of the personal loan is: $1935, so I've cracked that $2000 barrier and making good headway already this month toward the $1800 barrier.Reply
November Update here. Them treasury bond interest came in today and I used it to take a bite out of the balance this month. Puts me right on track to hit my goal in December!
- Starting Debt in April: $74,400
- Current Debt: $70,127.81
- Amount Paid Off: $4,272.19
Thinking ahead to next year, I am thinking of trying to get 10k paid off. Which based on my math is completely possible.Reply
Well...finally did my tax return and to my surprise got some money back! I then threw in what I got from the tax department to pay off more of the credt card! I am totally on track to hit my goal! :-) I've also put aside money for Christmas presents this year... no whacking it on the plastic! In fact, my next goal after this is to live 2019 credit card free and to start building assets (savings, investments). I have currently $2000 in the bank so that is a start. Very happy indeed!
WAS $2660 on CC, $0 to wifey.
Total current debts : $ 764
GOAL: 31/12/2018 DEBT free with $2000 in the bank. << on track! :-)Reply
Nov check-in: I've met my 2018 goal! I'm still hoping to pay even more next month, as I will get a 3rd paycheck for Nov on the 30th. I want to take $1000 from that and put it toward my car loan. I'm hopeful that I can pay it off in full mid-2019, so more to go. But this debt challenge has definitely kept me motivated to pay extra on my car throughout this year, which is the only reason I've gotten so much closer to paying this debt off. Granted, then I get to focus on my student loans.
I did refinance my private student loan and was able to reduce my interest rate by over 2.5%! That's all thanks to my credit rating, which has improved significantly since joining YNAB in 2014 and following the 4 rules. This will make it easier for me to tackle that debt next, after my car is paid off. One month at a time...Reply
November check-in: $2,043 toward student loan debt. Met my revised 2018 goal (originally $12,00, changed to $17,000). Final goal of 2018 is to pay off $19,000. CC debt free since March, 2018 and 50% of student loan debt paid off as of today. Can hardly believe it! Super stoked to pay off student loans and begin building my savings buffer in 2019.Reply