The Official 2019 Debt Smackdown
Welcome to the Official* 2019 Debt Smackdown!
Happy new year everyone!
I know a few of use have been chomping at the bit to get going with 2019's debt - so with out further ado, I present this years spreadsheet! First of all, quick thanks to everyone on here who supported this last year, and helped make sure the Google Sheet remained in tip top shape.
So what's this about? If you are holding onto some debt as you enter 2019 - 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 2018, we collectively paid down over $1,500,000 in debt! An increase of OVER $600,000 than in 2017!
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.
Per last year, this is a shared one between the two forums/communities. Hopefully, that won't bring any problems! (Link to the Forum post [soon])
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 2019 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 2019 Google Sheet 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 $1,500,000. Let's smash that number again in 2019!
Please let me know any issues with the sheet - sometimes things are a bit wonky when making new ones!
*Official in the sense that there's a spreadsheet. Not official in the sense that it's made by YNAB. I'm just following naming conventions here :)
Final March check in (everything is budgeted out until April now...including my son's field trip to New York City so no wiggle room this month) I paid $2,005.31 this month on the original $10,416 (0% interest credit card)
So starting January was $10,416
January payment 2,394
February payment 2,005
March payment 2,005
Balance $ 4,012
I am hoping to have this done by May this year so I can roll some of those dollars into a summer trip with my kids. The rest will go straight into my retirement account. After the trip is paid for an extra $500/month with go to the principle on my Mortgage. That will hopefully be paid off in October 2021!
I love YNAB!!Reply
I have slated $700 going towards my debt paydown which is $523.58 less than I should be paying to stay on track with my 0% APR balance transfer deadline. I have about $650 budgeted towards April already, which feels great, but should I redirect it towards the debt? Still not sure what the best way to go is.
I'm gonna throw the $700 at it and then see how things go for the rest of the month... I can always add more!Reply
I swear if it is not one thing it is another. Got the final approval on the student loan forgiveness. $119.000 and some change was taken off my record. Do I even get a full week to enjoy it, Nope, not at all. Got a letter from a collection agency yesterday about a medical bill, that Medicare is not paying. More their contractor, even though I was covered at the time. Due to an error between social security and medicare they showed me as not covered. I have appealed and won, yet I am still having trouble with it.
Back to the phones tomorrow and maybe it is time to call an attorney.Reply
March check-in: Put $487.13 towards my consumer debt, and $164.73 towards my car loan. Things slowed down a bit because I had to purchase more items than expected for medical needs. :( I was also able to put my student loans into a cancer survivors deferment for the foreseeable future while I complete treatment and for 6 months post treatment.Reply
Been struggling a lot this last week just emotionally. This debt just feels like it's choking me. We decided it wasn't worth the risk of taking most of our savings to pay off the car loan when the interest rate is so low and the payments are essentially just principal at this point anyway. But I realized when looking at my budget over the weekend that I had enough saved in our upcoming vacation category that I could pay off my Kohls bill which was a ridiculous 27% interest. Vacation isn't for 3 months so I can easily replace that before then so I went ahead and wiped it out tonight. So another card done. That leaves us with only the car loan and the three big cards. Ugh. I hate that we still have so much credit card debt but once the car is paid off (June, probably) then we can really start focusing on the other debt.
I do think I have a 0% offer on my one card and I think I might move the card we're working on right after the car to that to really try and knock it out. I just worry that we will get complacent and let it ride which I don't want to do.Reply
March check-in. I can't believe we're over half-way through March, already! I paid $1577.11 toward debt this month. I'm on track with our debt-free snowball of June '22.
My husband's company was bought by another company, and the take-over happens April 1. New (and better) health benefits and a small pay increase. There's rumors of a vehicle allowance, but I'm not counting any chickens. We need to figure out the 401K situation (to roll-over or not) and how to transfer from one HSA to another without doing whatever I did the last time I transferred HSA's that ended up with a bill from the IRS. The stock option plan we're in with the current company is going to end early, so we'll be getting a chunk of change out of that sooner than expected.
I was in a car accident on the 7th. No one was hurt and it wasn't my fault, but it's been a HUGE PITA!! It happened in Florida, my van is in Alabama, and I live in Louisiana. The estimate done by the State Farm adjuster doesn't include everything wrong with the van. I'm still waiting to hear from the body shop it's at now to see if there will be an update on the estimate, and if it'll total the van or not. BUT... If it's totaled, we have enough (with the stock option sale) to buy a new (to us) van with cash, without losing my buffer!!Reply
Hi there! Line 208 here. We've got the goal to pay off $20,000 this year and it might be a very ambitious goal but we're doing this one step at a time. But, now that we've got our $1,000 Emergency Fund, we'll be going into high gear! And we're also crossing our fingers that our tax refunds will give us a hand!Reply
March check-in: We were able to snowball $4,536.35 to the student loans this month. A combo of annual raise/promotion and a small gift helped us out despite a $350 marathon fee and saving for a $600 bike and an upscale anniversary dinner. I'm really happy with the balance we've struck between paying off debt and having fun. We are on track to be debt free in November figuring a $2,300 minimum payment, but at the rate we are going I'm hoping to be done in September!Reply
So I ended up back sliding at the end of February due to some car repairs and a couple of purchases that couldn't wait. :( I'm really not happy about that, but it is what it is.
Here's the updated numbers for February, and then the totals for March as well.
Original Bal Pmt Interest Final Balance
Mastercard: $1363.28 $75.00 $62.99 $1256.98
Visa: $355.42 -$318.99 $674.41
TOTAL: $1718.70 $1931.39
And then here's the final numbers for March.
Original Bal Pmt Interest Final Balance
Mastercard: $1363.28 $85.00 $21.33 $1193.31
Visa: $355.42 $674.41
TOTAL: $1718.70 $1867.72
I'm grateful that I was able to make a larger than average payment for March, and I hope I can continue the trend. I'm also glad to see that the total is down below $1200. I'd LOVE to see it down below $1000, I think that will make me feel a bit better about it overall. It looks like it's another good month in the office, so there could be another bonus coming in April, which I'm going to chuck most of towards the debt I think, with maybe a little bit going to fund some categories. We'll see how it goes.
Keep on chugging.Reply
I'M DEBT FREE! A loan was settled, we paid the taxes on the forgiven amount and used the money we were saving to settle that big debt to pay off all the student loans and my car. Completely DEBT FREE! Next is our fully funded emergency fund of 6 months expenses (Dave Ramsey baby steps.) I'm so excited!Reply
After March Payments:
Mortgage @ 5.25% - $88,955.75 (-243.84)
Auto Loan @ 4.99% - $26,393.90 (-465.80)
Student Loan(s) @ 1.625% - $3,697.75 (-295.02)
401(k) #3 @ 4.25% - $1,196.59 (-1192.68)
LC #3 @ 5.32% - $1,556.11 (-143.05)
Parental Loan @ 0% - $23,678.06 (-200.00)
for a grand total of $145,478.16 (-2540.39) for a total 25.11% of $30k debt payoff.
ON TRACK. Paying off the 401(k) loan next month!Reply
So I joined in mid February but have not done any proper check in’s. It’s honestly taken a month to get YNAB figured out completely but I think I am there. In the meantime, I have paid off $700 on a Home Depot card, got out of my overdraft of $250 and have a much better feel for my finances in general. I am really happy to be out of my overdraft. That is seriously the worst habit to be in. Starting and ending the pay period budget in the negative is not good for the morale.
So about $1000 of debt paid down so far, but I have also started saving for true expenses. ie. Christmas. Also clothing, footwear and a home repair fund. All started and being funded in each budget.
Will check in again early April. Happy Budgeting and Debt Defeating everyone✌🏽Reply
Hi everyone! Three months in and I am finally making some progress. After an unexpected trip to help a friend and another one in a couple of months, I didn't make as much progress as I had hoped. I'm going to have to watch my pennies closely if I am going to make my end goal but I am keeping a positive and focused outlook. This month, I was able to reduce my debt by just over $2,300. that's with staying on target to not incur more debt with my backyard project in May and my second unexpected trip also in May.
I'm inspired by all of your progress so far! Let's keep this up and see what we can accomplish collectively!!!Reply
March check-in: finally made some progress! My very stretch goal is $30k for 2019. Today, I paid $10k to totally payoff car loan . Paid $2k towards credit card balance and $3k towards 2nd home loan. so, 2019 debt reduction total so far is $15k! this is only possible because I made some unexpected income but it feels great!
Next up the remaining $15k debt reduction....will pay $6k in credit card debt and $9k balance of 2nd home loan.
The paid loans above frees up about $750 a month and that will go towards the cc debt or the 2nd home loan balance.Reply
March update: No more debt payments for the month.
At the very end of February I paid off one credit card and now on to the second. I have paid off 25% of my starting in January principal. This second credit card has a mix of cash advances and purchases. According to my calculations I should be done paying off my cash advances by June. I can't wait for that next marker! Still waiting on the state refund to make another dent in the CC debt, but I am <16k so yay, me! Oh and my credit score went up a smidge.Reply
Alright. Big ol' goose egg this month for my debt contribution. I went through a move this month, and needed to have a 1.5 months of rent ready in a period of about 2 and a half weeks. While my budget was prepared for this, I was NOT prepared for all the other little things that came with moving that I didn't really have to deal with in the past - hiring a rental truck to transport all our furniture, 'paying' the people that helped us move with food/beer as promised, deposits for pets and utilities, fast food for the first few days when the fridge was empty and all the kitchenware was still packed up, etc. Plus, I have a fairly large expense coming up in May that's taking priority over my debt this month.
BUT I do have some good news. I finally hit the point where my credit was strong enough to apply for a balance transfer card that would cover all of my current debt. My waiting period ends in a couple of days and then my debt will be moving over to a 0% APR for 21 months card. I already have a payoff plan and I'm pretty excited to not be dropping 100+ a month on just my interest payments.
So while this month has been pretty disappointing (I'm in the red again for the first time since starting YNAB 6 months ago), I expect that next month should be much more manageable. And if it's not, at the very least I'm still in a better place than I was when I started this budgeting thing :)Reply
Final numbers for March are $603 paid towards the credit card.
Half of what last month but still progress I guess.
Remaining balance is $8,989 and I am 27% of the way to my goal.
Hoping for more next month but I am a little doubtful since I am cash flowing a small vacation and am still paying myself back for some unexpected expenses that came up.Reply