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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  • Please remember to update the Spreadsheet as well as posting here.  It's the only place that we can actually measure our progress. 

    Reply Like 1
  • Completed my first debt payment of $600 of the debt repayment plan. Plan is to have total debt paid off by mid 2021. Ready to sign up for next year's challenge.

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  • December check-in, as all payments to me have been made early due to the holidays, so everything is now set up/paid for the month.

    CC - ahead by another $185 which I'm really pleased with. The limit has been reduced by a further $500 again. Two more decreases of that amount and I'll be at the minimum limit and running completely as PIF to avoid going over the limit. Yay! Plus I will have met my commitment to the bank giving us the mortgage to reduce the available credit to $500 before the date the mortgage is drawn even with the settlement being brought forward a week. This doesn't count the payment I've set up for the 3rd January to clear the current balance in time to prevent interest, it's only the amount I've actually moved forward in my Pre-YNAB Debt category.

    Personal loan - another $85, so again, more than double the minimum payment while still reducing the CC.

    That means I've come in at the end of the year on 43.42% of my payoff goal, which I probably should have edited when things changed at the end of January when my daughter left home, but I think I'm just going to take the win that at least I'm not going backwards, and I'm almost half as far ahead as I'd hoped to be.

    When next year's challenge kicks off, I will probably still cling to the dream of clearing the remainder of that personal loan within the year. Again, I have no idea what moving in February will do to my income. There's a good chance it will drop again, but I'll have to just wait and see. I'm getting good at that.

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      • QC
      • HaplessFinanceProfessional
      • Queenofcoin
      • 10 mths ago
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      WairereRose Congrats on your progress!  

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  • I haven't updated in a while, but I have been keeping up with the spreadsheet. Overall, I almost paid down a lot, but a setback in January/February (needed to take on a loan) meant that I ended up ending the year just slightly worse than starting it. But that's good news too, I was able to handle that new debt pretty well. I had hoped to pay off my entire CC debt this year, and ignoring the new debt, I put in almost enough to cover it. But that was always a stretch and the likely end of the CC debt was March 2019.

    I'm starting 2019 with $1200 more debt than I started 2018, but all 0% interest now. With the amount I've been able to throw at it it'll be done by October, and likely earlier (should get a modest pay bump, small bonus, and other things). Two credit cards that I continue to use for regular spending (but with YNAB they're always paid off). One left to be paid off and a personal loan to pay off. So Happy New Year everyone, and let's hope this trend continues and next year I'll have a positive net worth (technically do now, but I'm not tracking retirement funds for this measure).

    Reply Like 5
  • And done,  The big Zero. 

    Reply Like 11
    • Keith Borders congratulations Keith!

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    • WairereRose Thank you so much!

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      • veggiegeek
      • veggiegeek
      • 10 mths ago
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      Keith Borders Congratulations!

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    • Keith Borders Congratulations! Such an accomplishment! 

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  • Final checkin for the year.  I've included payments that are set up for the next few days.  Paid off another card and exceeded my goals thanks to YNAB and a slightly increased income over last year. 

    $22549.65 done.  $7125 to go in 2019.

    Reply Like 6
      • auntdar
      • auntdar
      • 10 mths ago
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      MartyH Well done. I love how you've set up your chart and will be "borrowing" the setup for myself for next year:)

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    • MartyH congratulations on your progress this year! You will have this knocked out by March/April at that rate. 

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    • MartyH Congratulations on paying off yet another credit card! You're end goal is so close and you accomplished a lot in 2018. Congrats again!

      Reply Like 1
  • Final check in... I paid off $8,853.50 in 2018!! I didn't hit my goal ($14,400) but I made a lot of progress. Goal for 2019 is to pay off about $15K of debt.... my car (only have 5 payments left!), a personal loan, and two of my credit cards. 

    I keep having to remind myself that this is a marathon, not a sprint... and that I need to be patient.

    Reply Like 7
    • zoebby I hear you with that zoebby. I over estimated what I could achieve this year also, although it’s difficult with a fluctuating income that circumstances control. I’m hoping next year will be different and it will fluctuate in the upper direction more than the lower direction as it has this year, so I will continue to set a high target too.

      Reply Like 1
    • zoebby Congrats on being only 5 payments away from paying off your car! And you're almost $9k closer to being debt free- that's progress. I always remind myself to take it one month at a time, and one month closer to being debt free. Good luck on your continued progress!

      Reply Like 2
  • Officially paid off 21k and change passing my 17k goal! My auto loan is paid off, my husbands private student loan should be gone by next year and undebt.it has the public loan and other car gone in 2020. Not bad considering our main goal this year was saving and it’s all debt that’s accumulated in the last 4 years and all under 5% interest.

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      • auntdar
      • auntdar
      • 10 mths ago
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      Target Date congrats, nicely done!

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    • Target Date Congratulations on exceeding your goal! It's a huge accomplishment. 

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      • Navy Blue Unicorn
      • Science is real.
      • Navy_Blue_Unicorn_6d071
      • 10 mths ago
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      Target Date well done!

      Reply Like 1
  • December: I really wanted to write an introspective look-back on the past year and how I’ve done, but the words just aren’t coming. Maybe because I’m nowhere near done with my debt journey (there will be a 2019 Smackdown, right?), so the end of the year just feels like a forced milestone. This month, I paid a total of $350 towards credit card debt, and $129.90 towards my personal loan, for a total of $479.90. I also spent some and now my two credit cards are up to $3083.10 and $1120.76, or $4213.86 total and my personal loan is at $4908.15 (below 5k! That feels like a milestone! :) ). I’m starting the new year with $9194.01 in credit card and loan debt (plus almost 50k in student loans that I set and forget until I get the other stuff knocked out). Even with the extra spending added in, the spreadsheet tells me that I’m still ending at over 50% to my goal, which is pretty cool. It may feel like I haven’t made progress, but I have.

    Reply Like 4
  • passed my goal!  paid everything off, including the computer we financed (0% interest) this year! Even started using a cash back credit card and paying it off multiple times a month!  Starting 2019 with ONLY a mortgage. HOWEVER, we have been advised we need a new roof NOW, so investigating HELOC for that, while saving up for other house stuff. Happy New Year everyone!  It's been a great journey with you!!!

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    • Navy Blue Unicorn Huge congratulations on your success!  Only having a mortgage - I can't imagine how freeing that is. Best of luck with saving for the new roof and other house items!

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      • Navy Blue Unicorn
      • Science is real.
      • Navy_Blue_Unicorn_6d071
      • 10 mths ago
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      Spring Green Rain thank you!!!  It feels amazing. 

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      • MartyH
      • MartyH
      • 10 mths ago
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      Navy Blue Unicorn Depending on the exact roof problem, you may be able to patch it so it lasts long enough to cash flow the replacement.  

      Congratulations on your 2018 successes! 

      Reply Like 2
  • Happy New Year, to all you wonderful people closing off debt in 2018. Well done to everyone who's successfully hit their targets, removed their debt and are living their Best Life being debt free.

    I wanted to share some stats from 2018...

     

    In 2018, total, we paid of a whopping $1,518,981.39 of debt. This could buy.... a New York city apartment (one bed, one bath, and a view of the statue of Liberty). Your own Private Island, in Nova Scotia (nearly), 18,085 Annual Subscriptions to YNAB (with $22.23 in change). 

     

    If it was a stack of single dollar bills, it would reach a whopping 543 feet tall - which is nearly the height of 1166 Avenue of The Americas, the 101st Tallest Building in New York.

     

    We had a total of 174 users this year, we've, on average, hit 51% of our overall goal. We've had 41 users hit 100% or more of their goal, with about 60+ hitting at least 75% of their goals. 

     

    So, a massive well done to everyone :)

     

    For anyone who is bringing some debt into 2019, or new users finding this forum with a solid "Get out of debt" resolution - I'll be making a 2019 Version of the sheet very very soon - watch this space.

    Reply Like 10
    • BritishMuseum Thank you for running this for us. I look forward to making further progress again this year with the support of the “team”.

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      • veggiegeek
      • veggiegeek
      • 10 mths ago
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      BritishMuseum Thank you so much for setting up and running this challenge and for all the fun stats in your update posts. I honestly believe that YNAB and this challenge and community were the extra motivation and accountability that helped me surpass my goal. 

      Reply Like 2
  • ended up paying off 69% of my goal for the "year" (since March). I'm pretty happy with that. 

    I am down to a balance on on credit card/line, which is at a .99% promo rate. 

    in 2019, I hope for it to be gone. see you debt smackdowners in the 2019 challenge!

    Reply Like 3
  • June Checkin:

    10100 paid toward my Car Loan last payment will come with the next paycheck middle of the month. It has been hard working so many hours but I am used to it and hopefully I can keep the same amount of hours and use the extra money for savings!

    Reply Like 1
    • Orange Sloth (did you mean to post this in the 2019 thread?)

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