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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  • On my credit card and my personal loan, I paid off $2146.61 this month, for a total of $4147.99 YTD. I am aiming to pay off $27,491.26, so have got rid of 15% of my goal so far which is pretty reasonable.  

    I check YNAB multiple times a day- its my new hobby, lol!

    Reply Like 5
  • Any tips for avoiding overspending? Money burns a hole in my pocket! I track/track/track, cut down, pay debt, use YNAB, etc etc BUT whenever I have extra money, I get lost in fantasy island and end up hating myself.  I'm doing a decent job of debt pay down but I know I can do better.

    Everyone here seems to be doing an Incredible job smacking down debt. What are your secrets for avoiding overspending? Help!

    Reply Like 3
    • Aquamarine Horse (26da1ee4a41a) I might be talking to myself a little here too, and with a lump sum coming soon I best be following my own advice now so I don’t spend it 3x before it gets here:

      I generally find that the reasons I overspend are that; 1.  I’ve been so focused on paying down debt to get rid of the albatross that I have forgotten to look after having some fun for me. The worst thing about this is that if I put it in regularly it really doesn’t have to be anything very big, but if I leave it for too long I end up splurging comparatively obscene amounts on things that aren’t usually very rewarding. Enter spiral. So make sure you’re budgeting for yourself in the day-to-day humdrum. 2. When the money arrives, I can think of a dozen things to pay with it, but I haven’t kept a record of them ahead of time, so I haven’t spent the time prioritising and working out which ones will give me the most peace of mind. Worse, when I run in and pay what I remember in the heat of the moment, the excitement of that Big Balance usually ensures that I forget the most important things and once everything’s cleared I suddenly remember and get that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Keep a list on the wall - I title mine: What I Would Do If I had... and different columns for different amounts - if you get an extra $100 you’ll do different things than for an extra $2k. You may have the same categories going across, with different figures in each column. If you get an amount different than your dream amounts, then you already have a good idea where you want to focus, and because it’s in front of your face rather than in a spreadsheet in the computer, you’re keeping your goals where they stay “tangible”. You’ve got this. 

      Reply Like 3
    • Aquamarine Horse (26da1ee4a41a) I think the best advice I've heard is to Find The Money First, or to not spend it until you know what category it is coming from and that you have the money.  There is no such thing as "extra money"- it should all have been given a job.  If you have to move money from categories that make you cringe about reducing then don't buy it.  If you have the money to spend in that category then run with it!  The phone app makes it easy to know on the go.  

      Hoe that helps and good luck on your journey :)

      Reply Like 3
      • Amanda
      • Mikona
      • 1 yr ago
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      Aquamarine Horse (26da1ee4a41a) I have difficulty with that as well! Jesse talks a lot about making your money work for you and not being controlled by it. What works well for me is giving every dollar a job and not having "miscellaneous" type categories. What that does for me is it helps me make decisions. For example, I really wanted to buy the game Subnautica this weekend. When I pulled up YNAB I saw that the only categories I had money in (I've been really bad about going paycheck to paycheck lately) were Gas and my Christmas 2018 fund. My Christmas fund is sacred to me, I don't touch it under any circumstances, and even if I'd been willing to pull money from my gas account (I wasn't) I didn't have enough there. It wasn't as easy as it sounds. I sat there for about an hour debating it, I thought "well I could just pull 25 out of Christmas and put it right back when I get paid on Wednesday".  I'm trying so hard to keep from borrowing from my future self though. I finally made the right decision and didn't buy it. I can wait and buy it on Wednesday if I still want it by then. 

      Anyways, the point is that the way I see the categories in YNAB is they help make money decisions. When you find yourself wanting to spend money, ask yourself what category that money is coming out of, or which one it could be going in to if you haven't categorized it yet. Hope this helps!

      Reply Like 5
      • Amanda
      • Mikona
      • 1 yr ago
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      WairereRose This is exactly what I do, great advice! My company gives me a bonus after each semester of school that I finish with A's and B's. I keep a budget spreadsheet in addition to YNAB for future planning. I have a section dedicated to "Spring Semester Bonus" I think ahead and partition that money out ahead of time so that I don't go nuts with reckless spending when I get it. As far as I'm concerned it is already all allocated so there's nothing extra I have to think about! In this case, I'm using my Spring bonus to build the one month buffer Jesse talks about. My big short term goal is to get to a point where my checks that come in are paying next month's bills instead of going paycheck to paycheck like I am now. 

      Reply Like 5
      • Blue Mask
      • Blue_Mask
      • 1 yr ago
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      Aquamarine Horse (26da1ee4a41a) I really liked this Wish Farm blog post: https://www.youneedabudget.com/wish-lists/ Adding on to what everyone else said, this can be a good way to find a way to get some little treats in. My achilles heel for overspending is online shopping. I've started to add things to my cart, then go see where I can move money around to make it work, and then wait some time. I don't usually end up going back to buy whatever was in my cart.

      Reply Like 5
    • Blue Mask Ah Yes! I love filling a cart with things I would love to buy, and dreaming about processing it. Then I give myself the 24 hour cooling down period, and 8 or so months later I’ll pass by that website again and notice that my cart is full, and 9 of those 10 items I’ll delete, wondering what on earth I was thinking. It’s a rare website I go back to the next day to complete any part of the sale.

      Reply Like 4
    • Aquamarine Horse (26da1ee4a41a) This is SUCH a good question, and I love all the responses you've received so far!

      I think the advice is right on, especially:

      1. Make sure you ARE allowing yourself a certain amount of $$ for Fun/frivolous things :)
      2. Make yourself a wish list where you can dream and prioritize and plan where you'd like that fun money to go!

      I've found both of these REALLY helpful to me mentally, because I've found that knowing I'll have a future allotment of fun $$, and getting a chance to plan out where I want it to go, helps soothe the FRANTIC feeling of needing to buy something as soon as I see a shred of money available.

      Reply Like 3
    • Amanda Amazing work passing on the game even though you really wanted it, but realized you wanted your Christmas fund more.  I had a few moments yesterday where I wanted some clothes or other purchases and had to be firm with myself that I didn't have enough money in my category and I wasn't ready to move any around.  Sometimes I lose that battle, but I've been winning a lot more often lately!

      Reply Like 4
    • WairereRose Thanks for your helpful suggestions and encouragement. Having a list is very helpful, and what you say is true about having some fun/taking care of myself in various ways. Better to be realistic than riding that spiral.

      Reply Like 2
    • Blue Mask Thanks for the great advice! I actually started a Wishlist with my lovely wife in YNAB. I also realized that I am not really using YNAB in the most efficient/helpful way, so I'm tweaking things to make it easier to use as a budgeting tool. Looking forward to March and keeping it connected. 

      Reply Like 2
    • Resistant Punch Roller Ahhh, that familiar old frantic feeling. . . I keep trying to imagine what it will be like when I'm not in (credit card) debt and have other companions. I wish this for all of us! 

      Reply Like 2
    • WairereRose So smart! I tried this and it worked so well! Great tip and much appreciated. (And it worked despite the fact that anything I added to my cart then appeared as a advertisement on nearly every webpage I visited, including my gmail. Yikes!) 

      Reply Like 2
    • Amanda I also wanted to thank you for the specific tips. Sometimes when we talk about debt and spending, it seems so theoretical. It was helpful for me to hear your actual negotiation process - and how you beat the urge. Hope you are having a great weekend. 

      Reply Like 1
    • Aquamarine Horse (26da1ee4a41a) oh yeah, they don’t like to lose you. I don’t have as much issue with this as some of my friends do, perhaps because I don’t go as many other places (websites) on the computer. Basically stick to email, TradeMe, and BugCafe. I don’t get ads in the gmail app, and BugCafe doesn’t have them, and TradeMe I’m usually focused on what I’m selling and don’t notice the banners, so it didn’t occur to me.

      Reply Like
      • Amanda
      • Mikona
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
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      Aquamarine Horse (26da1ee4a41a) You're very welcome! I agree with you, on paper the whole idea seems so simple! 
      Step 1) Create budget

      Step 2) Follow it

      Step 3) ???

      Step 4) PROFIT!!
      In reality it is so much more complex than that though. Knowing the right thing to do and actually doing the right thing are two different things! In hindsight, I'm now extra glad I didn't buy it! It would have stretched my budget way too thin and involved borrowing from future me. What I didn't know at that moment was that future me was going to need every dollar she could scrape to pay for her root canal. Thank you past me for not screwing over future me!!
       

      Anyways, if you ever have any other questions or need advice feel free to ask me :) The more I talk about this with other people the more it reinforces the ideas in my own head so it helps me too. Keep on keeping on!

      Reply Like 2
      • Amanda
      • Mikona
      • 1 yr ago
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      Turquoise Trumpet Thank you for the encouragement. I don't know about you but every time I win that battle I feel a bit better about the ones I lose. It turns out this one was important because that 30 dollars I didn't spend I was able to put towards the surprise root canal that popped up a week or two after that internal struggle. It helps to see how it pays off that I made the responsible choice!

      Reply Like 1
    • Amanda said:
      It turns out this one was important because that 30 dollars I didn't spend I was able to put towards the surprise root canal that popped up a week or two after that internal struggle. It helps to see how it pays off that I made the responsible choice!

      That's kind of funny, because paying for a root canal sounds like kind of a terrible reward for being so responsible, ;) BUT I can totally see why *having the money available* to pay for that unexpected root canal is indeed rewarding! Congrats on seeing the bright side of that unpleasant surprise!!! :)

      Reply Like
      • Amanda
      • Mikona
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Resistant Punch Roller Oh I know, how ironic right?? But I've spent most of my adult years in this nasty cycle of putting off the dentist (I have terrible horrible fears of dental work), letting it get so bad that I'm in horrible pain and have to go in for something, having no way to pay for it, often signing an IOU or payment plan and then never following through (leading to my unfortunate amount of collections debt) and then rinsing and repeating a year or two later.

      So for the first time in my adult life I'm breaking that cycle and even though I'm terrified to go in tomorrow I know it needs to be done. I have the full estimated cost budgeted for. And my normal dentist gave me an estimate for all the work he thought I needed done and I was able to fit that in to my 2018 budgeting and debt paying off plan too. Knowing I have/will have the money available for it is helping me get in and get it done because now I have no excuse anymore haha. 

      Reply Like
  • A month late to the party BUT I'm just making my 1st aggressive debt payment this week so I guess I found this right on time!

    Reply Like 5
      • Navy Blue Unicorn
      • Science is real.
      • Navy_Blue_Unicorn_6d071
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
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      Flexxx P. yay!!!  glad you're here!

      Reply Like 1
      • Flexxx P.
      • Friendly Neighborhood Mortgage Underwriter
      • Ivory_Falcon.1
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
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      Flexxx P.  Coming in to the game with about $111k in debt($87k in sudent loans). Aiming to clear out $12k in 2018.

      Reply Like 1
  • Our refund arrived and.... I'm not putting it on debt paydown!  why? Because I have one interest bearing account left, and I will have it paid off in mid-April!  Because other debts were paid off, I was able to pay more than the minimum in January, then doubled that payment in Feb. In March and April I will use the money that was allocated for the second-to-last card as well as the amount I spend on the last card in February, and WILL BE DONE with it. woot! Hope everyone is doing well!

    Reply Like 5
  • Hi there! 

    Joining the 2018 DEBT SMACKDOWN!

    Current debt level: $5200 ($4500 on CC, $700 to wifey)

    Amount I aim to pay off this year: All of it!

    Reply Like 4
      • Navy Blue Unicorn
      • Science is real.
      • Navy_Blue_Unicorn_6d071
      • 1 yr ago
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      Graylibre yay!

      Reply Like 2
      • Graylibre
      • I've just gots to be (financially) free, man!
      • Beige_Elk.1
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
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      Graylibre March check in:

      Soo... I added $868 to my wife debt as we had to book tickets for a holiday coming in September and she paid for it.. sigh I know. A bit of a set back. I paid it back already.

      The good news is even with this, I am still making tracks on my debts!

      I've been very very good not buying things on my credit card, even with a load of tempting 10-20% offers on ebay. Nup, nope and no-way! :-)

      Next month I plan to pay off at least $1000.

      Current debt level $3800 on CC, $797 to wifey.

      Total: $4597

      Reply Like 1
      • Graylibre
      • I've just gots to be (financially) free, man!
      • Beige_Elk.1
      • 1 yr ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Graylibre  July check in.

      I dropped off a few months there, but I'm back and I'm BADDDdd (like Michael Jackson BAD)

      Current stats:

      WAS : $4500 on CC, $700 to wifey

      NOW :  $3430 on CC, $1036 to wifey (I know, two steps forward two steps back.

      Total current debts : $ 4,466.00 - I mean this when I say it, I'm going to end 2018 DEBT free with at least $2000 in the bank. The buck stops here! I'm making it happen!
       

      Reply Like 3
      • Graylibre
      • I've just gots to be (financially) free, man!
      • Beige_Elk.1
      • 1 yr ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      September check in

      Again, dropped off a couple of months with updates but have made some more progress! I've since closed one CC account. I have two credit cards now, one with $0 balance I am considering closing, and one with $3000 that I want to pay down. Considering we went on a two week holiday in September which I paid for with CASH, I am really proud of my achievement!

      Current stats:

      WAS:  $3430 on CC, $1036 to wifey

      NOW: $3000 on CC

      Total current debts : $ 3000.00

       GOAL: 31/12/2018 DEBT free with $2000 in the bank. 

      Reply Like 3
      • Graylibre
      • I've just gots to be (financially) free, man!
      • Beige_Elk.1
      • 11 mths ago
      • 3
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      Graylibre October Check in.

      Still getting there! Trending downwards, and on track! Looking forward to calling my credit card company to cancel this card. I never want to use a credit card again. Feeling really good! BTW I have the $2000 saved... I know I could use it to pay off my debt but as the credit card is zero interest, I'd prefer to get used to the feeling of having my own money around to draw off, not some bank that charges me interest on everything. BTW I closed the card with $0 balance... they never make closing a CC account easy! 

      WAS $3000 on CC, $0 to wifey.

      NOW $2660  on CC

      Total current debts : $ 2660 

       GOAL: 31/12/2018 DEBT free with $2000 in the bank. 

      Reply Like 3
  • February check-in:

    CC paid off (final balance of $685)! Hooray!

    Plus, another regular monthly payment of $339 toward my student loans. 

    Total debt paid in Feb: -$1,024

    Next month I will start "saving" for a larger student loan payment toward the principal (plan is to make 1st larger payment in May) while also making my regular monthly payments. 

    So far, I'm on track to meet my 2018 goal of paying $12K. Hoping I can keep up the momentum as the year goes on. I worry about losing focus as the year progresses, so I appreciate the accountability and encouragement of this group. 

    Reply Like 5
  • Debt as at 1 Jan 2018 stood at:

    CC  $837.42

    Personal Loan (interest-free thankfully) $2460

    Vet $139.60

    My sister (for the money the vet wouldn't let me pay off) $72.06

    For a grand total of $3509.08

    As at today I have just put through the final amount for my sister, and have set up payments through all March for the vet (I'm annoyed with them refusing to allow me to pay it all off as I had been paying $10/week for many months prior to the cat getting sick, but that didn't count for anything so they can wait the full agreed time for it to be paid off, I won't be siphoning off what I was paying my sister to them, it can go to the CC instead), which will leave just under $10 owing to them for April. The CC has taken a beating and ended up in the freezer this last week as I can't see any way to pay it off next month. Miracles do happen though, so because I've met the minimum this month I haven't chopped it up yet.

    Current totals are:

    CC $509.37

    Personal Loan $2390

    Vet $59.60

    Sister $0

    For a balance of $2958.97, meaning I have paid off 15.6% of my initial debt. I would love to update the spreadsheet, but I'm going to have to find it first - seems I forgot to bookmark it when I entered my info. Ugh.

    Reply Like 5
      • MicroSpice
      • Crazy Person
      • Microspice
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      WairereRose Great work! Just an FYI - a link to the Google sheet is at the bottom of the original post for the 2018 Debt Smackdown (this thread).

      Reply Like 2
    • MicroSpice thank you. I found it and have saved it and deleted the 2017 one.

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

      WairereRose such amazing persistence!  Well done!

      Reply Like 2
    • Navy Blue Unicorn Thank you Navy Blue Unicorn. There are days I have to remind myself it’s like my weight loss journey, and things will go backwards sometimes. Usually with the weight loss that’s right before my next huge drop, so maybe I’ll see a few of those this year as well. I’m hoping to reach my weight loss goal by the end of this year, and like my debt reduction goal, if I can just stay steady there’s a good chance I’ll hit both. The difference is, with my weight loss I can continue to manage what I eat. With my income I’m down $200/week since September last year - basically the rent each week. Makes the debt reduction look impossible, but the impossible is my specialty. Miracles take a little longer. I refuse to get discouraged, for more than a few minutes at a time anyway.

      Reply Like 1
  • So I was just looking at the spread sheet, might be me, but it seems that there is something glaring missing. It shows the balance of debt that we started out with, it shows  what we have paid towards that debt, however there is nothing that shows us what that debt total now is. Sure we could do the math but there is no instant gratification when when add a payment in of seeing the total balance go down. Just a thought, my personal spread sheet has that and it sort of helps at the end of the month when I wonder if it is worth it and if I should go on. 

    Reply Like
    • Ruff16965 (05bd62cee897) 

      When you open the spreadsheet, look at the tabs on the bottom (there are 5). The 3rd tab is "YTD Debt Progress Chart." You can look at all users and also click on your own name in the pull down tab to see your progress including what remains for the current month. 

      Reply Like 2
  • February check-in.

    Another great month for me! Just need to keep chugging along!

    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
    February Car Loan #1 Payment: $700.00 || Principal: $665.67 || Interest: $34.33 || New Total: $6,972.39
    February Car Loan #2 Payment: $372.55 || Principal: $341.63 || Interest: $30.92 || New Total: $12,061.50
    =====
    Total Payment: $2,145.10 || Principal: $2,011.18 || Percent of Goal: 16.76% || Interest: $133.92

    Current Debt Total: $19,033.89

    • 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)
    Reply Like 4
  • Checking in for February: I'VE PAID OFF TWO OF MY CREDIT CARDS!!! I was lucky enough to get a bonus and I bought myself a treat and put the rest straight to the cards. I paid a total of $1750 this month, which leaves me with $1938.43 on one credit card and $1232.32 on the vet card, for a total of $3170.75. (I also paid my regular $130 payment towards my personal loan which is part of my stretch goal. I'm working on getting rid of the credit cards first and then I'll start socking money towards that as well)

    Reply Like 6
      • Navy Blue Unicorn
      • Science is real.
      • Navy_Blue_Unicorn_6d071
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Violet Drill awesome!!!!!  such great progress and commitment!

      Reply Like 2
    • Violet Drill Great job not blowing your bonus but using it to get ahead!  awesome focus :)

      Reply Like 2
    • Violet Drill Fantastic!! Very inspiring! 

      Reply Like 1
  • Hi, I just joined the challenge. Thanks for setting this up.

    My current debt is 10.020,99€ for a new car and surgery on the eyes. 

    Current goal is to pay off this year at least 6.000€. Already managed to check in 351€ in January.

    Reply Like 4
  • Checking in for February :) And in yet another episode of "There's no such thing as a normal month"...I was able to pay $300 towards my debt this month. I am not getting off to the super boosted start I was planning on, BUT I was just able to sell one of my old vehicles I wasn't using anymore, that money will be going in to March to work towards paying down debt as well as going to the dentist for the root canal I just found out I needed. *sigh* The punches never end but we just have to keep rolling with them! I'm proud of the fact that I've come across a few punches and been able to roll with them so far instead of having to borrow money to take care of them. 

    Over half of the debt I am paying off right now is money I've borrowed from friends and family in the past when I wasn't prepared for punch rolling. It feels so good to be getting it back to them responsibly and knowing I'm not repeating the past!!

    Reply Like 5
      • Navy Blue Unicorn
      • Science is real.
      • Navy_Blue_Unicorn_6d071
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Amanda hooray!  that is great!

      Reply Like 2
    • Amanda Im sorry you need a root canal and hope you will be pain free afterward! Awesome work rolling with the punches and continuing to pay your debt!

      Reply Like 2
    • Amanda said:
      It feels so good to be getting it back to them responsibly and knowing I'm not repeating the past!!

      CONGRATS, this is an AWESOME feeling!!! I am working on this too, and it does feel amazing! We are setting ourselves up to make different choices now & in the future, and that is huge!! :)

      Reply Like 2
      • Amanda
      • Mikona
      • 1 yr ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Resistant Punch Roller Your comments always make me feel like giving you the most gigantic high five!! Thanks for always being so encouraging haha

      Reply Like 3
    • Amanda I *love* these forums and this thread in particular, because I find if I don't keep my spirits up about this whole thing, debt paydown can be so awfully depressing. So thank YOU for giving me extra reasons to cheer and get excited along with you! HUGE high fives for sure!!! :)

      Reply Like 3
      • Amanda
      • Mikona
      • 1 yr ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Resistant Punch Roller The encouragement really does make a huge difference. This is a great place to celebrate our accomplishments and pick each other up without judgement when we stumble. I've never been able to see the light at the end of the tunnel before now but I can and that's really exciting!!!

      Reply Like 3
  • I just checked in for February and I'm up to 19% of my goal! 

    Reply Like 5
      • Navy Blue Unicorn
      • Science is real.
      • Navy_Blue_Unicorn_6d071
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      g.359 great start!!!  At that rate, you'll be finished in August!!

      Reply Like 2
    • g.359 Fantastic!!

      Reply Like 3
  • February check-in!

    My husband is the best! Missing him since he's working 6 days a week to eradicate our debt, but he's killing it! We sent a whopping (for us, at least, because we've never  ever sent such large payments to car loans, EVER) $2,300 principal payment to our auto loan, and we're on track to reach/surpass our annual goal!  Writing out that check feels strange, but very satisfying... Currently, we've met 25% of our goal, and it's great that we're ahead because the summer months tend to slow down a bit for hubby. 

    He's been holding me accountable to the category #s in the budget and we're doing great! It feels so good to have his much needed support as I'm an impulsive buyer 😶 Now we've actually got category money rolling over each month (whereas before my overspending would cause me to empty all the categories with money in them just to break even), and it's great to see mostly green in the category balances! 

    Got our tax refund this month, which we are saving for a summer family road trip so we don't incur new debt. And, seems like my car is challenging our goals since we spent $600 on repairs last month and another $200 on a new battery this month 😒 And I'll need new tires this summer, according to my husband...o well, we'll roll with it...Instead of having a buffer though,  we take money from our money toward debt payments as needed for emergencies, so this affects how much we send extra toward debt.

    All in all, VERY HAPPY with our progress thus far 😄 Also, can you all believe it will be March in a few days? 

    Reply Like 5
    • Danielory That's fantastic!!  Keep up the great work :)

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    • Danielory That's fantastic! I love to hear about your planning and how you and your husband are working together. Very inspiring!

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      • Danielory
      • danielory
      • 1 yr ago
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      Turquoise Trumpet Thank you! 

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      • Danielory
      • danielory
      • 1 yr ago
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      Aquamarine Horse (26da1ee4a41a) Thank you! This board has made us accountable and inspired us to meet our goals...I can't wait till the end of each month to update the spreadsheet lol

      Reply Like 3
  • February Check In: I received a windfall and used it to pay off one credit card. Woohoo! Besides that, I paid $700 toward my other debts.  Unfortunately I also accrued some debt this month for home fixes and a dinner party after an awful IVF disappointment. In March, my priority is to pay that credit card off, and of course the minimums toward my other cards.  We are also going to visit a family member for a sunny vacation. She treated us to airfare, and I am going to have to work REALLY hard not to overspend out of guilt, dissociation  and family culture ("well that's just how we do it 🤑"). 

    Reply Like 4
  • February!

    Total amount paid was $4,246.10

    Amount paid over minimums was $1,260

    Reply Like 5
    • Amanda well done Amanda

      Reply Like
      • Navy Blue Unicorn
      • Science is real.
      • Navy_Blue_Unicorn_6d071
      • 1 yr ago
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      Amanda awesome!!!

      Reply Like
  • Afternoon all,

     

    Just sat down and worked out my debt pay down plan, payment plan. This month I was able through phone calls, disputing amounts, a couple of payment plans and such, to reduce my debt by $2,118.61. I think that is going to be my biggest monthly win every unless I win the lottery or knock off an armored car. So I think the rest will be a case of the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady will win this race. 

    Reply Like 6
    • Ruff16965 (05bd62cee897) Ruff16965 (05bd62cee897) what a great start! The rest will come quicker for having kicked that lot off the top first. 

      Reply Like 1
    • Ruff16965 (05bd62cee897) I’m impressed that you advocated for yourself by disputing debts etc. that takes determination and patience, but will help you succeed! 

      Reply Like 3
    • Ruff16965 (05bd62cee897) Well done! Knowing where you are at is half the battle.  Now that you have a plan and worked hard to get your total down, it just a matter of rewarding yourself with a lower balance every month!

      Reply Like 2
    • Aquamarine Horse (26da1ee4a41a) I am on medicare, 100% insurance no copay, so I should not be getting medical bills 6 months to 18 months after a procedure or being turned over to collections. So for the dispute all I do is bring this fact to their attention and the collection agency more often than not either forgives it or drops it like a hot potato back into the doctor or hospital's lap.

      Reply Like 2
  • I am missing the mexican currency MXN. Would it be possible to add it in the Spreadsheet?

    Reply Like 1
      • TheTabby
      • Just a common cat trying to budget uncommonly well.
      • TheTabby
      • 1 yr ago
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      Aquamarine Display I've added it to the list

      Reply Like 1
  • This is my Jan and Feb combo update. I've been travelling so have loaded up on the debt. Also, I messed up on some of my income and thought I was getting paid in Feb, but did not. I may have completely messed up future projections; I'll find out how bad in March when I get paid. All in all, not the greatest thing, but because I have been using YNAB for some years now, I'm not too stressed.

    I've accepted that I will be having debt and accruing interest on cc1, however, cc2 and cc3 will be 0'd and I will be closing cc3 - this will be done by start of March. I'm only waiting for the statements to come out to do these payments so to have my credit rating positively effected by the payments.

    As of Feb:

    CC1

    3810.58$

    CC2

    422.76$

    CC3

    98.89$

    Borrowed

    3000$

    Insurance

    1500$

    Other Debt

    2000$

    Reply Like 3
    • ISuckatMaths Debt payment is a journey that often has detours and bumps along the way.  As long as you get where you are planning to go then thats what matters!  

      Reply Like 3
      • ISuckatMaths
      • Where Budget and Math collide
      • ISuckatMaths
      • 1 yr ago
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      Turquoise Trumpet haha very true. One thing I'm glad about, which I completely owe to my ynab training is that my debt does not last long. The amazing thing about being aware of spending and using programmes like ynab is that we get better and better at the amounts we do have debt on. I know for myself I was close to 20k in cc debt when I started ynab, but through developing good habits and using ynab since then my cc debt was non-existent. 

      Reply Like 2
  • I know that we aren't supposed to assign dollars we don't have yet, so I won't in the software.  But I filed my tax return and found out I'm getting $3319.07, so I am committing to this group that I will put it all on my credit card when I get it early in March.  I'm so excited that will bring my CC down to about $3500, when it was $8200 at the beginning of January!

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      • Violet Drill
      • Violet_Drill_0bf6fcf19d
      • 1 yr ago
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      Turquoise Trumpet Great job making a plan ahead of time! Deciding on where you want to use the money ahead of time is different than counting on it/budgeting it before you have it, IMHO and it's easier to stick to your guns if you know it's going to be coming in & going right back out again.

      Reply Like 3
      • Danielory
      • danielory
      • 1 yr ago
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      Turquoise Trumpet That's great! When large amounts of money like this come into our possession (tax refund/work bonus), I've learned not to get all excited about it because it's already spent...used to make me sad at first, but in the long run it's gotten easier to send that money out as a payment as soon as it hits our account. Watching that debt get knocked out is SO REWARDING! YOU GOT THIS!

      Reply Like 3
  • Reporting my results for the past month:

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      • Danielory
      • danielory
      • 1 yr ago
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      Keith Borders Yay! No more yellow, and that green bar is getting nice and small 👍

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      • Navy Blue Unicorn
      • Science is real.
      • Navy_Blue_Unicorn_6d071
      • 1 yr ago
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      Keith Borders woot!  well done!

      Reply Like
  • February check-in:

    Paid $2003.37, 41% paid off, ~$6000 left

    Reply Like 6
      • Danielory
      • danielory
      • 1 yr ago
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      boodles8 Nice progress!

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      • Navy Blue Unicorn
      • Science is real.
      • Navy_Blue_Unicorn_6d071
      • 1 yr ago
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      boodles8 amazing!!! well done!

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  • Alright, final February stuff:

    • Item / Paid this month / Paid this year / Starting / Remaining / Interest Rate
    • Time share: 186.94 / 397.78 / 7,885.24 / 7,487.46 / 15.9%
    • Forester: 1,555.50 / 2062.76 / 17,511.99/ 15,449.23 / 6.11%
    • Total: 1742.44 / 2,460.54 / 25,397.23 / 22,936.69 / 9.31%

    Well, I hadn't planned to put as much on the time share as I did.  I got a new card and when I went through updating payment methods, I set up both a one-time payment as well as the recurring payment.  Oops!  Given that our shared budget doesn't have much leeway in it right now, it's coming out of the emergency fund, which we're still working on building up, but on the other hand, it took another 4 months off the pay-off date.

    I was able to put a lot toward the Forester this month, due to a much larger than expected pay check, some per diem money, and not spending as much as budgeted on a dresser.  I don't expect to be able to put that much on it every month, but it looks like I'll be able to get it gone before the baby arrives, though I'd really like it gone way before that.  Tomorrow would be optimal, but I don't think that's even remotely physically possible.

    Overall I'm way ahead of where I thought I'd be, which makes me a very happy camper.  The prospect of getting the Forester out of my life is way more motivating than I thought it would be.  Paying so hard on it is admittedly raising my average interest rate from 9.15% at the beginning of the year to 9.17% at the end of January, and 9.31% (9.35% if I hadn't accidentally made the extra time share payment) at the end of February.  Once I get another ~$3,500 off the Forester loan, I can zero the whole thing out though, which will be a wonderful thing.

    Say, anybody in the market for a 2014 Subaru Forester?  I've got one I want to get off my hands.  :)

    Reply Like 4
    • TheTabby Awesome progress and rolling with the punches!! :)

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      • Danielory
      • danielory
      • 1 yr ago
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      TheTabby I know how you feel about getting a big car loan out of your life. A couple of years ago we were able to sell our well-kept 2014 Ford F-150 to my dad at a good price while still getting some cash back from the sale (WIN/WIN :)). Really missing the space tho, as I now drive a VW Beetle (which was bought used on a whim since it was my dream car in high school and my husband decided it was a great idea to fulfill my dream a year ago lol; we still owe about $7k on it and plan to pay it off by this June), but def not missing the $20k debt from the truck. Cars have always been my husband's weakness-we've gone thru a few and then some so it's always been a  source of debt for us, but I'm really proud of him for sticking with his 2008 Lancer (which he bought used several years ago and is paid off). He's holding off and patiently waiting until we pay off our debt and have a house of our own and then he will probably splurge on the well-deserved sports car he's saving up for. Sorry for the rambling lol

      Reply Like 2
  • Happy nearly-end-of-February, all! :)

    My February Debt Smackdown progress:

    • 2018 Debt Smackdown goal: $25,000
    • February's debt smackdown payments: $2575
    • Total 2018 Debt Smackdown to date: $3911 / $25K = 15.6%

    I'm currently focusing my snowball efforts on building up a $1000 mini-efund (nearly halfway there!) with any extra/"found" money, so am generally only sending minimum payments (~$1300) to my credit cards. But this month there are a couple one-time bumps to debt paydown, due to $649 tax refund, and due to shifting ~$575 of my early-March min payments into February.

    Going forward I'll only be sending minimum payments towards these debts (until I get my mini e-fund established in hopefully a couple months!), but it feels nice to see this extra boost in paydown for this month, even if it's only a one-off :)

    Also, for the purposes of this challenge I'm only tracking total payments, not principle reduction, because at this stage in the game I have some horrifyingly high penalty interest rates in the mix, causing over half my min payments to get sucked away into covering interest each month (*cries*), and I've found it's just too depressing to keep a close eye on that breakdown, at least for now.

    But this month, since I paid nearly double the min payments, I actually did take a notable chunk out of principle, so wanted to share here!

    Over the past 2 months:

    End of 2017 TOTAL Debt: $65,029.86 - across 12 credit accounts

    End of Feb '18 TOTAL Debt: $62,701.52 - across 11 credit accounts!

    My $65K debt total has remained roughly constant since I first calculated it all up over a year ago, and now finally, in the last couple months, I've started to make some real traction!

    Since the start of 2018 I've knocked down $2328.34 off my total debt!! This feels really exciting, and it's huge to finally see that number start to move :)

    Loving following everyone else's progress here, and now, ON TO MARCH!!! We got this!! :)

    Reply Like 5
  • Not sure that it is totally right, I have a "wage garnishment" for my back child support that comes out the first of the month like clock work. So I entered that amount on the spread sheet through December and will add the extra payments that I make to both the child support and other debts or should I take it out and enter it each month? 

    Reply Like 1
    • Ruff16965 (05bd62cee897) I would go with entering it each month with the other payments, because it isn’t actually paid yet, and what if you change jobs - will the amount change?

      Reply Like
    • WairereRose Actually on SSDI and the $75 comes out of my benefits regardless, it could be less but I asked for that amount after living with what I was getting for a couple of months I had them increase it. I continue to amaze me case worker, she has said several times she wishes more fathers were like me in handling their cases.

      Reply Like 3
    • Ruff16965 (05bd62cee897) No sense changing what you’re doing then.

      Reply Like
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