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!
Okay, the normal monthly payment for the timeshare went through and i have the final numbers for January:
- Item/Paid this month/Paid this year/Starting/Remaining/Interest Rate
- Time share: 210.84/210.84/7,885.24/7,715.53/15.9%
- Forester: 507.16/507.16/17,511.99/17,004.83/6.11%
- Total: 718/718/25397.23/24679.23
I find it amusing that the total for this month came out to an exact dollar. That was completely unplanned. I'm actually way ahead of where I thought I'd be, which makes me quite happy. At this rate I'll have to come up with a stretch goal before October! The rest of the year is a long time though, so I don't want to get too far ahead of myself.
It's time to accept that my debt payments for January are finalized at this point - I'm dipping slightly into today's paycheck (which I was hoping to fully send to February's budget) to finish funding January's budget as it is, so if I end up having some "excess" it's going straight to Feb at this point. So this is where we're at! :)
First: I'm not going to change my official goal on the spreadsheet here, but shortly after setting it I had to come to terms with the fact that it was based on a too-aggressive goal of sending $2000/mo towards debt paydown, while basically entirely neglecting budgeting for known anticipated expenses and rainy day funds.
With that in mind, I've refocused my priorities for 2018 to the following:
- NO MORE SPENDING on my credit cards.
- ACTUALLY budget for my true expenses.
- Build up a 30-day BUFFER.
- Get my Debt Snowball rolling - but only as long as I'm on track with #1-3! :)
As a result, I only sent minimum payments to all my debt accounts in January. I also focused on sending a chunk of $$ to start building a mini e-fund (initial goal $1000) - once I reach the initial goal there, I'll use the extra ~$100/mo I'm throwing there to starting building up my debt snowball, while maintaining progress on my 3 higher priorities listed above.
So, the results for January 2018!
My minimum debt payments for the month totalled $1324.51, so I threw $125.49 at my mini e-fund to make my total "Financial Freedom Snowball" a nice round $1450.00 for the month. :)
In terms of the official numbers for this challenge:
- 2018 Debt Smackdown goal: $25,000
- January's debt smackdown: $1324.51
- Total 2018 Debt Smackdown to date: $1324.51 / $25K = 5.3%
At this pace I'm not likely to meet my original goal for the year, BUT it does look like I'll have ~$1000+ tax refund going straight to debt paydown next month, and in May I'll have a series of living expense changes that may shake up my budget as well. So at this point, who knows what all this year will bring, in the end! :)
Not a checkin per se, but I wanted to share that I have taken on significant new debt (a planned car purchase via a 2.2% loan) and it is a bit more debt than I had anticipated, because I was able to fold in the negative equity on my lease return as a part of the deal, instead of having to buy the lease out, sell the car, and then get the new car. Basically, I was significantly over mileage on the lease, and the leased car had a few physical issues that would have raised my lease maturity costs with Honda. When I get the first statement from BoA, I will be able to readjust my numbers in the spreadsheet and project a plan for this year. I'm planning on throwing quite a bit more at the loan this year and next. The good news is, I have now "bought" the car that I need, and dealt with the lease that I was dreading dealing with.
We had some unexpected car repairs ($650 worth) so we had to channel some of our snowball to that, but on the bright side, we didn't have to incur debt to fix it. Silver lining, right? Total Debt paid this month: $2,104 😁 Besides regular car loan pmt of $255, we were able to scrape up $1,475 snowball to send. Felt good writing that check and it'll be going in the mail tomorrow!
$2,104 of $20,000 2018 goal paid to date
January check-in: I paid a total of $600 towards my credit card debt this month, but it only brought my cc balance down to $4424.90, since I also used my card for a few things. (I also paid $130 towards my personal loan, which is part of my stretch goal). The biggest problem I faced is that I bought several things that I was then reimbursed for, but instead of putting the reimbursement straight back to the card, I kept it in my budget instead. I definitely know better :(
My 2018 goal is to pay off at least $12,500 in debt. The first couple of months will be slow because I'm also building an Emergency Fund, but after that is fully funded (March), it will be full steam ahead on debt paydown!
January debt paid total: $731.10
Total remaining for 2018: $11,768.90
reference: I claimed line 96 on the spreadsheet.
Adding my name to the mix. I got back on the YNAB train a bit less than three months ago. Having taken a year-and-a-half break from YNAB, it's amusing to see how consistent the debt total has stayed. But here's to a better 2018 with more of a plan in place.
We'll be shooting for lowering the overall debt total by $20k, so I'll be using the Net Worth Report in YNAB as my measuring stick. That will knock out all of our CC debt and the last bit of a Lending Club loan for vacations we took a few years back (oof). That will leave us in a great position to knock out a lower-interest HELOC by the end of 2019, and we'll be debt-free other than the mortgage. We have two major expenses in Q1 that will require us to make up ground mid-year unless we really stretch. So I'm looking forward to seeing how close we can stay to the trendline!
Claimed ID 97 in the Google Sheet. Happy 2018!
Good afternoon all.
I am in, I just claimed line 99 on the spreadsheet. I like the idea of this accountability, but anonymous and if it is like the rest of the YNAB forums I expect it to be full of good ideas and support.
TOTAL DEBT START OF 2018: $15,878.61+/-
PAST DUE CHILD SUPPORT: $1,279.61 (Down from $75,000 5 years ago)
PERSONAL LOANS: $390
OLD MEDICAL BILLS: $8151.23+/- (In the process of disputing several as they never billed my insurance.)
CLOSED CHECKING ACCOUNT: $226.77
BACK RENT/EVICTION: $5756
My plan for 2018 is to clear up the Past due child support, personal loans, closed checking account. Get a handle on the old medical bills and start clearing that up, the back rent/eviction is my ex-wife's in the divorce settlement but I might have to clear it up as she has done nothing with it.
PAY OFF 2018: $1,823.79
Additionally I want to build up my Emergency Fund, Auto Repair Fund and Get Out Of Dodge categories in my budget.
BUILD UP FUNDS: $3,500
My Own January Check In -
I've put about £650 to debt this month - which was a bit less than I was hoping - and maybe I'll find a little extra tucked down the side of the sofa before the month's out - but I'm just shy of 12% of my goal paid.
When I joined YNAB, I think 4 years ago now, I had a total of £10,500 in debt. I've still got £1900 of that original debt left to get rid of, and I'm seriously hoping I can do that by the end of April.
And for a massive Debt Smackdown End of Month 1 wrap up....
A few facts and figures...
So far we have a total of 97 members (3 more for a nice round number!)
We're targeting an epic $1,601,777 in debt - which is a whopping 0.00000865% of the US's GDP.
If you stacked our debt, in dollar bills, that would be 6900 inches tall, or 175m, or 192 yards.
That is about...
- 3/4's of the length of the Hindeburg Zeppelin.
- Close to 1/5 of the height of the Burj Khalifa
(If you did the same exercise with Dollar Coins, you would be at almost the height that a Single Lego brick can support without failure, 4x the height of the Burj Khalifa, and you'd probably be living Scrooge McDuck style with your swimming pool of coins).
As of the 30th January, 2018, we've paid of a total of...
... and if you google that figure, the first result (for me at least) is that $97,823 is the average salary for Technical Staff at Sun Microsystems.
Well done to everyone taking part in the Debt Smackdown this year 💯
There you go. Another edition of Totally Useful Facts™ coming to you this time next month.
Updated the spreadsheet and checking in for January! Jesse talks a lot in his podcast and through the education on the website about rolling with the punches. Well the punches came hard this month! I was, of course, expecting it to be a more "normal month" even though Jesse says they don't exist. An unexpected family death prompted a week long trip across the country to take care of affairs and of course unexpected expenses. I was able to take care of everything but it hurt seeing the effect it had on my debt progress. Still, I DID make progress. I paid $300 towards my debt this month, which was about 60% of what I was intending to. Not great, but not bad either! I am 5.48% of the way there :)
Reporting for the month - total principal paid off as of today is $1018.17, a little over 12% of the way toward my $8200 payoff goal.
I think that since I am now paying credit card interest as a budget item, I will actually start making a dent in this stuff and see REAL progress, rather than seeing half of a payment eaten up by interest. Great going, everyone!
Just added myself to the sheet and am psyched to have another place to work this stuff out, give and receive support and get inspired by everyone. My main issue is to stop overspending - to have a heart for Future Me (and my sweet & wonderful wife!) We're a lesbian couple dealing with infertility. That certainly hasn't helped my debt payment plans, and it adds enormous stress and also motivation. I want to end my CC debt before we have a baby!
Added myself to the sheet ... I made a good start in January ($5,000+) but there's a long way to go:
Goal is to pay down $44,000 in debt from Feb. - Dec. 2018.
Currently it's a mix of student debt and stupid debt (credit card, auto loan, personal loan...wtf?)
I'm using the avalanche method, so no big milestones for me until October. Looking forward to seeing the progress of others though, and seeing if a supportive environment helps me break some poor spending habits 😬
January check in time!
I paid $3,594.16 in January or 8.17% of my $44,000 goal for 2018. This is a little higher than expected, but less than it could have been if I had been a little more disciplined with the rest of my budget. Feb and Mar should be good months with a tax return and my annual bonus coming through.
Just joined the forum and claimed line 106!
A little backstory. I graduated from medical school in May 2016 and through a combination of residency interviews, vacations, moving costs, taking care of my now ex-girlfriend, and unrestrained spending to keep me "happy," I've dug myself a hole when it comes to CC debt ($14,991.54.) It's minuscule compared to what I owe in med school loans ($322,992.53), yet the CC debt is more distressing given its effects on my credit score and its perception as being "bad debt."
I've tried to pay it off in the past but just find a way to spend the cards to their credit limit. The top 4 cards are listed in order from highest APR (26.99%) to lowest APR (16.49%.)
My goal: pay off all my credit card debt by the time I turn 30 years old (July 2nd, 2018.)
Thankfully I have opportunities to moonlight at the hospital which will help make a dent in my CC debt. In addition, I'll be moving in with my girlfriend and will be cutting my rent from $990/month to $420/month (and of course will be cutting utilities in half as well.) Unfortunately, we move in together when I turn 30 so most of those expenses will decrease after my goal should be complete. Hopefully my mid-year goal will change to "save save save" instead of "pay off."
2018 Debt Pay-down Goal: $28,000
Wildest-dreams Goal: $35,000
Jan $$ sent to debt pay-down = $2028
Feb $$ sent to debt pay-down = $
Mar $$ sent to debt pay-down = $
Apr $$ sent to debt pay-down = $
May $$ sent to debt pay-down = $
Jun $$ sent to debt pay-down = $
Jul $$ sent to debt pay-down = $
Aug $$ sent to debt pay-down = $
Sep $$ sent to debt pay-down = $
Oct $$ sent to debt pay-down = $
Nov $$ sent to debt pay-down = $
Dec $$ sent to debt pay-down = $
Total 2018 sent to debt pay-down = $
Remaining Pay-down to Goal = $26,000
7% of the way to our goal!!!!!