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 :)

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  • As weird as it is, I am more in debt due to a consolidation loan, but I think it will help to keep me laser focused on paying off my debt. There is nowhere to hide now. All the payments come out automatically (Discover, consolidation loan, personal loan) and I can't fudge the numbers like I used to. I do have $1,000 in savings too. And I paid off 3 or 4 accounts this year too. So there is progress, just not by the numbers. I am doing the Bootcamp so hopefully I'll be completely focused on paying off debt this year. I just need some momentum and time to develop better habits. I do need to keep my grocery budget in line and also my discretionary spending. I blew it on the discretionary big time in 2019. No can do in 2020! I am looking forward to the 2020 Debt Smack Down! I'll be implementing my reminder card in my wallet again.

    Like 4
    • internettie Sometimes, a step back is necessary for a comeback. It may seem like a loss in momentum, but you're preparing yourself to do better and go farther in the coming year!

      Also, thank you for sharing this! I think I'm going to print it and sneak it in my husband's wallet. 😆

      Like 2
      • internettie
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      • internettie
      • 1 yr ago
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      Faness I agree, sometimes a step back is necessary. I needed to sort of pin myself in in order to make some forward progress. I know that 2020 will be a great year for me. I'm glad you like my little reminder card. Just don't tell your husband it was my idea. LOL 

      Like 2
    • internettie That'll be our secret! 😂

      I'll be keeping an eye out for your updates in the 2020 Thread. :)

      Like 2
    • internettie 2020 is definitely your year. Cheers to 2020

      Like 2
  • I finally put my last debt payment for 2019 into the spreadsheet and I am absolutely flummoxed to find out that I actually paid 42% of my goal! I backslid a lot and ended up adding in debt, so my overall decrease was negligible, but I'm still so pumped that I was able to pay 2k towards my debt with everything that happened last year! New glasses, moved out of my parent's house, new dog, surgery, new car tires, dental work AND the holidays and I still was able to put money towards my debt! And for the past few months, I've been able to throw increasing amounts of money towards the balance transfer card I took out last March. I have until December 2020 to pay the remaining balance back, and I'm already on the 2020 Smackdown list. Now that I realized just how well I was able to do last year, I feel so much more capable of handling this year! 

    Like 8
    • SiruhTheSantas Wahoo! That's huge! Feeling like you can accomplish it goes a long way towards actually accomplishing it. Here's to checking off the list in 2020!

      Like 3
    • farfromtheusual 42% is amazing, way to go

      Like 2
  • I have entered my final numbers and am pleased that I completed 75% of my goal. Just over $4300 left to knock out. Already signed up for 2020.

    Like 7
    • Schiaparelli Hat Let's go rock it in 2020!

      Like 3
  • We were able to put $3,000 EXTRA toward our student loans in December over what we usually do each month!

    While we didn't quite meet our 2019 goal (the final total was 80.85%), we made some significant progress toward getting rid of our debt.  We are almost done with husband's highest interest student loan.  We are finally a two paycheck family.  We finally have a fairly decent emergency account again.

    We also had some setbacks that made it difficult to meet our goals.  We had much higher healthcare costs for one of our dogs than expected when he was diagnosed with cancer at just 3 years old.  We had tenants move from our rental property, causing a gap in some income while we fixed up the units for the next occupants.

    Here's to 2020 being the year we tackle so much more of our debt.  We are excited to join the 2020 smackdown!

    Like 2
  • My wife and I have 40,952.53 in debt as of today. 2 Student loans, 3 credit cards, a line of credit, a personal loan and a car loan.

    our goal is to pay off all of it this year although our current projections put us at February for our final payment we are hoping to sell some things and get raises at work to help us meet our goal.

    good luck to everyone else in the #DebtSmackdown

    Like 1
  • My husband and I, between med school and law school, owe $569,151.55. I’d like to pay down 82,480.68 this year. Gonna work weekends, holidays, whatever I can to make this happen. Bring it on, 2020!!

    Like 1
  • So I nearly didn’t join this, but I think the accountability will be good. At the beginning of 2019 I was in a huge financial mess nearly every bill I had was so overdue that things were about to get cancelled. After a couple of years of playing with YNAB I got serious. I turned 40 two months ago and was not going to have that birthday roll around with my money being in the same state. So between YNAB and a massive spreadsheet I got it under control. The problem is that I’m one of those people who take my foot off the peddle when things get to be ‘okay’ rather than disastrous. I did afford a three week holiday in November (attached to a wedding I had to attend) from cash, but now a couple of those larger bills are slipping out passed their due dates. And this is before I even start tackling the debts ... so I’m not expecting to make any progress more than the minimum payments in the first couple of months while I get that under control, but that’s no reason not start! Especially since I lose an income source in March ...

    Mortgage - $525,406.72

    Transaction C/C - $2,000 This actually gets cleared every month so I don’t pay interest, but as YNAB says I’m working the interest free arbitrage on that one. I don’t really have the money when things come in.

    Holiday C/C - $3,738.92 This was originally $1,800 interest free for a holiday a few years ago, it’s no longer interest free and because it was a C/C rather than a loan I spent extra on it for ‘emergencies’ that probably weren’t so emergency anyway. The company has now shut down so at a minimum I can’t spend any more on it, but the interest rate is stupid and I’d like it to go away.

    Other C/C - $2,856.49 This was originally supposed to only be used for holidays as it didn’t charge international transaction fees. Luckily my normal bank does that now anyway so I don’t need the card any more but of course I’ve used it for other things rather than the original intention ... I’ve stuffed it in a drawer and haven’t used it to buy anything for ages, but I’d like to pay it off as the interest rate is also ugly.

    As to goals for this for 2020, to be honest anything above the minimum payments will feel like a victory! Then in 2021 I can make a real go at it. Not looking to set any records here, just to start.

    I can’t seem to make the google sheet work on my phone so will try and claim a line later when I have access to a computer.

    Like 2
  • New year, new spreadsheet. If you're working on paying down debt, join us in the 2020 Debt Smackdown!

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