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 :)
Didn't post for March because i knew i actually increased my debt. Today i actually sat down and faced my reality. Here's my update....
I closed on my house on 2/19 and didn't move until 3/16. New home comes with new expenses. First HOA payment was due 4/1 and I added $1059.38 to my debt total for needed household items. My first focus was to buffer one month of my mortgage payment. (Done!)
I was generously gifted money and i was able to pay $1947.00 towards the debt. I Paid off my Synchrony/care credit!! I now have 2 credit card balances left. I am focusing on my 0% interest balance card as that promotion ends 1/2020. I am also looking into a new card 0% card to transfer my high interest balance card to.
These first 2 weeks of April i have worked extra days and have had 3 extra days of call back/OT pay. May will be a 3 paycheck month! Looking forward to crushing this debt and moving on to student loans!
Ok, I know we're only halfway through the month, but I have my final April numbers ready to go. I paid $1491.88 towards debt this month. I have $2488 remaining! It's so close I can almost taste it.
Btw, anyone know why the top line in the spreadsheet that tracked how much debt we have and have paid off as a whole group is gone? I miss it. BritishMuseum ?
I’ve got $855 in debt payments scheduled for this month. This is my first month with YNAB and so I am realizing that while I pay my credit card in full, I have been riding the float and as such I am about $1000 short on having that envelope fully funded. I will probably take it from savings and make this part of the learning process of getting into this new method! No new debt!
Just made the minimums this month had some truck expenses that took planned monies away from debt, so $110.35 down. Next month will be my last Child Support payment, I have paid off $75,000 in back support in 7 years, along with 5 years of regular monthly payments.
So not too sure what to due with the "extra" money that will be freed up starting in June. As I see it I have three choices.
- Have it all applied to the Social Security "Over-payment" this would allow me to pay it off around my birthday next March.
- Cycle it into other outstanding debts for a couple of months then go to plan 1.
- Really start building my emergency funds.
All have a certain appeal. Any thoughts from out there in YNAB land?
An exciting month for me budget-wise. This month I have cracked through the $1500 dollar mark for my personal loan which feels huge. I'm excited to see it. I've also just set up all the loan payments till the end of the month from money in my 'regular payments' account that I've set up following the principles of the CAP course I'm teaching. I can't say I'm actually following them thoroughly, but something's changed nonetheless. It's very nice to be able to set things up to pay ahead rather than just make the payments each week.
So - reporting in:
Personal Loan $1485 (paid $95); CC remains PIF so no 'progress' there.
That puts me at 36.44% of my goal (up from 33.23% last month)
This looks slow, but in my journal, you'll see that at the same time I've made a massive dent in some other debt that didn't make it to the challenge this year. I've added it in and changed my payment amounts, so I actually went backwards quite significantly, and my total repayments percentage is now "down" to 32.37%. Going forward this will look way more impressive since I'm pretty sure that May is a 3 pay-week month - yay!
Oh, I am so close! April check in and I have paid an additional $2,005.31 towards my original balance of $10,416. All on one 0% credit card. So...my total paid this year is $8,409.94 or 80% of my total balance due. Hoping I can pay off the remainder in May. Then I can be debt free except for my mortgage. That is the next challenge. I cannot wait to crank up my retirement savings!
I want to pay off my entire CC debt of 6636 USD this year. I am not paying any interest right now because they are running a 0% promotion, one till Nov 2019 and another till July 2020, I would like to get rid of them first. I also have a university tech loan for a smaller 1100 USD amount that I intend to pay off as soon as the CC debt is eliminated.
April Update/First Update :/ - I have just paid 8600 towards my private student loan thanks to this great new job! I was so happy seeing that number get cut by more than half. Next month I will either start tackling my auto loan or keep plugging away on my student loan, it is hard to decide which one to pay down first. I despise the interest on the student loan but the car loan takes so much money for the minimum payment. The goal is to be debt free by October, about 22k left, and start saving for big goals!
OMG! 76% complete!! HAPPY DANCE!! Sent the last of our April payments and we have paid down $8320 this month thanks in big part to a tax refund. I'm so relieved that I came back to YNAB and started paying closer attention to our finances. Man, I really let this go for way too long. It's looking like if we really buckle down we could have all our non-mortgage debt paid off by December of this year... if we kept going with regular snowball payments it would be April next year. For no car payment, no credit cards, no loans... that would be pretty freaking amazing.
April check-in: I made my first snowball payment to my private student loan this month, after having paid off my car last month. That felt really good to pay so much more on this stupid student loan! And now I have to find time to transfer the title to my car to only my name, which will also feel good. Progress! My federal student loan is set on auto payment, so I've updated the sheet for the month. One month at a time.
April's Check In.
April has been up and down. I used some discretionary money to make an extra principal payment on the mortgage paydown goal, which felt really good. Total of payments: $318.82
Down - Did the super adult thing and got a termite bond put on the house ($$ but already saved for), but then found out that there's so much preexisting termite damage I can't get a warranty on damage with the bond (??!!??!). I've been relying on a home inspection done 4 years ago at purchase, but the longer I'm in the house, the more I realize that inspector did his work with his eyes closed. So now I have a call in to a contractor to come inspect and repair structural damage under my house ($$). I can't put this off - I have joists half eaten through!
Up - I got a raise! A significant one, that will basically have its impact beginning in May. I've talked to my husband, and the tentative plan is to put 90% or more of the increase in wages towards debt! How great is that? More than that, it alleviates some worry - if we need more money for the house repairs, I can more quickly replenish whatever emergency fund category I have to tap. It also means I don't have to wait til the end of the year when snowball funds are available to begin my debt payment schedule!
So all in all.... really good, I think. I'm hopeful and excited and eager to see what I can get done next month!
I did the thing. I paid down $25k in 4 months (thanks to windfalls and parking some long term savings there) and got the Heloc to $50k.
Tenant is behind in rent and I just broke my leg, so the goal going forward will be to keep it at 50k. If I can get it lower, awesome, but really just need to maintain it there through the next months,
Late check in....paid of $1,940 in January, $2,630 in February (my mom was a cosigner on a student loan and surprised me with a payoff!), March $1,689 and April $1,683. I'm definitely making progress and 45% towards my 2019 paydown goal already, so I'm on track. But I still carry a balance on one credit card and need to rein in my spending. I could be paying more. It's progress, though! Which I haven't had in....years, if ever.
March I cleared all balance transfer debt - put down 2,794$ and my credit card debt is gone!
Now, my goal is to get all the money that is owed to me to clear my primary card, and, already spoke to the cc and I got no interest for next 2 months. Money debt is close to 300$ and then all cc balances are back to 0, and with balance occurring when I make purchases.
Next thing is my last debt -LOC, now since losing 200$/month I don't know how I'll pay beyond min payments. April I just paid min, and I know I have some serious planning I need to do. I do know I'm owed an additional + 500$ , which I was planning to use to go to my friends wedding... I'll see if I can split costs...
I'm also developing side hustle gig, plan is to use portion of those earnings as well
Thats it for now.
Okay! I'm back in saving mode. I completed a balance transfer of all my debt, and backslid somewhat while moving house.
My total debt was $6000.18 at the beginning of this month (old debt + backslide debt + fee)
I'm 0%APR until 12/20, so my monthly payment (per YNAB) is a little less than $286. I was able to make that payment this month, so my current debt is $5714.18! Still not where I was before I backslid, but I'm happy to take any improvement :)
Additional good news: I was able to put almost $300 towards recurring expenses in the month of May! I may have to take a little off from this due to some stuff that just came up, but this is the first time I've been able to put any money ahead. Once I can do this reliably, I can start budgeting extra money towards my debt. Now that I'm not paying any interest on my debt, I'm following a payment plan and focusing on getting my finances in a regular rhythm so I can break my current paycheck to paycheck cycle :)