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 :)
Well, I started a reply and got confused about the automatic screen name (which I actually kind of like, now I know why it's there) and deleted my post. Anyhoo...
$18400 in debts. The goal is to hack into the debt using my side job income ($300 per month on average) for a total reduction in debt of $3600 for 2019. This will wipe out personal loan, overdraft, and a credit card (the small one). Seems like a small commitment compared to others on here, but it's huge (and a little scary!) for me - I've been carrying this debt around for years on minimum payments!Reply
Mine is pay off the CC debt, which is give or take, around $20,000. We were doing great on this until the last two months of the year when our income just got shot to hell. However, hoping to increase my income significantly in the first part of the year, fingers crossed.
So, hopefully we'll be able to pay off the debt we've just incurred quickly and then work on the remainder that's been around a while.Reply
Hello, and Happy New Year!
I currently owe £26,467 on various credit cards. In 2019 I'm looking to get this total under £20k. I'm using the Snowball method, and using UnDebt.It to plan and track progress. Thanks to YNAB, I'm not spending on any of these cards, and have an emergency fund, so I'l hoping I can can hit my target of paying off £6,468 this year.
My credit card break down is as follows:
Tesco Visa: £1679
Tesco Mastercard: £3084
Bank of Scotland: £3171
Good luck to everyone else who is taking this challenge.
Total Debt as of 1/1/2019 (USD):
Mortgage @ 5.25% - $89,684.09
Auto Loan @ 4.99% - $27,723.49
Student Loan(s) @ 1.625% - $4,580.55
401(k) #3 @ 4.25% - $4,762.98
LC #3 @ 5.32% - $1,983.36
Parental Loan @ 0% - $24,178.06
for a grand total of $152,912.53
Want to pay off at least $30k in Principle this year. Should pay off Student loan, 401k, and Lending Club loan by the end of the year.Reply
I want to pay down $7166.22 of $14,157.05 in credit cards. Not even going to attempt the medical bills, as the payment plan just keeps getting added to. 😥 Also not including the mortgage and small loan from a family member; I'll get to those in the next round...year... But no student loans or car payments, just medical and cc. I have no idea how I'm gonna pull this off, but it's gonna be done. ✌️❤️Reply
Here we go again! I’m signing up fresh from the Official 2018 Debt Smackdown where I managed to pay a total of around 52% towards my goal (I was line 83, this year I've claimed 43). I was kind of bummed about not reaching my goal at first, but you know what? That’s still pretty impressive AND all in all my total debt did go down in 2018, rather than creeping up as it had been doing year after year. I’ll take it. I have a twofold goal/purpose for doing the Smackdown this year- I want to pay off debt, of course, but more than that I want to not add NEW debt. I adjusted my debt totals on the spreadsheet several times last year due to adding more credit card debt- if I had been able to stay at the same total that I started 2018 with, I would have ended up almost 90% to goal. Some of the added charges were necessary expenses and I’ll try to avoid that in 2019 by concentrating on putting more money in the categories that I had to use a card for last year (car repair was the big one). Some of it was completely unnecessary and just done because I was tired, or sad, or hungry or too lazy to look up my debit card number. 2019 will be the year of working on my willpower, in addition to smacking down my debt.
Total Debt: $55,462.29 which includes $46,362.49 in student loans (maybe I’ll tackle those in 2020).
Goal: Pay off the credit cards, a total of $4119.65
Stretch Goal: Pay off the credit cards and the personal loan, a total of $9,099.80.Reply
New to YNAB, just started the last week of November. According to undebt.it, our total current debt is $39,857.19 from an auto loan, CC, and 2 lines of store credit. We really want to get this paid down quickly so we can save up to build a new house. My bare minimum goal is to pay off $15,000.00 this year, but I’d really like to push it to $20k.Reply
I am going to pay down $41,786.97 of debt this year. I also want to pay off my mortgage, but that requires selling the house first, and I consider it separate from this challenge. I got a small bit of inheritance so a big chunk of that is going to go to debt right away, with the rest budgeted out for living expenses to avoid using the credit cards anymore. I'll be posting about this in my journal, too, but the goal is totally Debt Free by 2020!Reply
Been using YNAB about a year and a half. Just had "financial meeting" with hubby and even though we have $377k in debt (mortage, HELOC, two cars, personal loans and credit cards) we have a plan and will have it all paid off in 11 years. Note: we have THREE KIDS IN COLLEGE.
Goals for 2019:
- DO NOT ADD TO DEBT (this has been impossible since 2002 when hubby was laid off for 18 months, still recovering with salary still not as high as it was then)
- Pay down $12k of $50k credit card debt
- Restructure as much debt as possible; interest rate hikes are crushing
- Pay one $16k credit card down to less than $12k. This will boost our credit score the dozen or so points our credit union rep said we need to get the best rate on loans. She asked us to come back when that's done and apply for a personal loan to get debt down to a lower rate.
I have to say, it's encouraging to see all different types of debt here. When you're alone that little voice inside your head likes to say "What's wrong with you, you loser? You knew better than to accumulate all this debt! Everyone else is way ahead of you!" And of course that's not true.
Good luck, all! I know you can do it!!Reply
Okay - as promised, here is my full break down
*Macy's - $140
*JCPenney's - $171
*Amazon - $303
*Car loan #1 - $2650
*Chase #1 - $7300
*Chase #2 - $8030
*Bank of America - $14,800
Le sigh.... We also have another car loan, my student loans and our mortgage but none of them are our primary focus right now. Undebit has us paying the 8 debts above in 3 years. My goal for this year is to knock out the first 6 for a total of just over $11,000. A stretch goal would be $15,000 but we realistically need to start a car replacement fund and save for a few small home repairs as well.
I've already started the snowball and made several of January's payments. I will pay Macy's off this month, JCP in February and if I can squeeze a little extra someplace, Amazon in March. Our biggest impact will be once the car loan is paid off in June (May? possibly) because that $450 extra to snowball.
I can't wait to make this happen!!!Reply
Hi everyone! I'm new to the debt smackdown challenge. I currently have around $273,000 in debt including credit card, mortgage and a line of credit. I'm looking at paying off $23,000 in debt this year. Ideally, I would like to eliminate my credit card and line of credit debt (approximately $22,000) over the next 18 months in addition to making progress with my mortgage. I can't wait to watch our progress throughout the year. We've got this!Reply
I've added my 2019 Debt Smackdown Goal on line #53. My total debt as of now is $89,856.65, which includes my car loan (under $7k) and 2 student loans - a private (under $15k)and a federal (over $68k). I do have a mortgage, but I don't include it in my total because I'm not anywhere near worrying about it while I have these other loans to payoff.
For 2019, my baseline goal is to:
- payoff my car loan, $6810.72 (this includes interest I'll be paying), and
- snowball toward my private student loan, $5345.12 (this includes regular payments before snowball, interest, and the snowball amounts).
I've rounded this up to $12,156.00 in the spreadsheet. This baseline goal is what I plan to payoff/down without accounting for any bonus, tax returns, etc. But depending on those things, I might update this goal midway through the year to payoff/down more, if my budget allows. I have things to save for, which I am prioritizing over debt paydown to avoid adding new debt. So it will all depend on how things shake out for the year.
Good luck to everyone on the 2019 Debt Smackdown!Reply
Total debt owed: $8,203.71
Care Credit CC $690.28
Chase CC $956.86
Furniture Row/Capital One CC $1,459.01
Ent Line of Credit $2,252.06
Discover CC $3,170.03
Total amount of debt I'd like to pay off in 2019: $2,400
I make $17,808/year. I will try to use 14% of my income to pay off debt. My debt is almost 50% of my income total!
My current goal is to get the Care Credit account paid off by March 3rd. I think I should easily be able to do that with 3 paydays (Jan, Feb, Mar). I want to put $200/month toward debt and more if I am able to.
How I'm doing it: being on such a low income and not being able to work due to disability makes it hard to go crazy paying off debt since my income does not change at all month to month. I am considering looking into possibly working part time but with the disability and not having a vehicle, it would not be easy. Obviously I would look at work from home opportunities. I am also going to look into agencies that help disabled people with employment. Any extra money I get though the year will go toward debt reduction. The only way I can gain traction paying off debt is by cutting my budget as much as I can without making my life miserable. I'm 58 years old, divorced for 3 1/2 years, and still figuring out the whole living single while disabled thing. I did not get serious about paying off my debt until 4 months ago when I was finally settled in an apartment with no fear of having to move again. I pay $243/month in minimum payments for all of my debt. Throwing at least $200/month at the debt is necessary to meet my personal goals.
I remind myself daily of what it is that I really want going forward. I ask myself if I would rather spend on an immediate impulse purchase or if I'd rather stick to the budget, keep the finances tight for now, so that I can reach my personal goals. I keep this card on top of my debit cards to remind me to think before spending. Knowing what my goals are really helps. They are:
1. Have a month one buffer so I'm not living payday to payday anymore. $1,500
2. Have 3 months of expenses saved in case of loss of income. $4,500
3. Have an emergency fund that covers anything outside of the usual monthly expenses. $5,000
4. Have a travel fund that allows me to do some fun travel and also is available to fly back east to visit my sister if she needs me. She had a medical emergency this summer that thankfully was not fatal but it woke me up to the fact that I have $0 in my travel fund right now and if she needed me I couldn't get back there. My nephew is getting married sometime soon and I want to go to that wedding but right now that would not be an option. I hate that. Reminding myself of those things makes me fight harder against impulse spending and helps me to stick to the budget.
5. Have an electronics device replacement fund. Right now my iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and laptop are all 1 - 1 1/2 years old so should hopefully (cross my fingers) lasts a while but at some point I will need to replace a device.
I know it's going to take me years to accomplish all of this but I know I can do it. Once the debt is paid off life will get much easier and I'll be able to really focus on my personal goals. It is important to me to enjoy my life while I'm doing this so I find as many no/low cost things to do as possible. This challenge will also help to keep me accountable and focused! Thanks for doing it.Reply
Claimed line 56. This year we want to pay off the following debts:
- Appliance = $715.51 (0% APR ending July)
- HVAC = $5,475.00 (0% APR ending September)
- Credit card = $10,193.68 (3.99% promotional APR for balance transfer)
However, we also want to make sure we are setting aside enough $$ for true expenses/sinking funds and to cash flow items without taking on additional debt. As such, our debt payoff goal for 2019 is $13,000 with the total cost of the above debts $16,384.19 as our stretch goal.
In 2020 we will tackle paying off the car loan. After that, we will face the mortgage and HELOC.Reply
So happy this challenge is back again for 2019 - it was incredibly helpful and motivating last year. Thank you BritishMuseum for setting things up again. I claimed line 57. I will be paying off all the remaining $13,100 balance on my student loans (plus any interest that accrues). I hope to pay them off by June, 2019, with May as a stretch goal. Wishing everyone the best in their debt smackdown 2019!Reply
Hi Everyone, I've claimed line 55. I just finished up the 2018 Debt Smackdown Challenge and I'm ready for 2019's. Overall, last year I paid off $5,739.68 of debt (principal only) and of that my cc debt went down $2,449.16. Probably the first time in forever that my credit card debt decreased. Woo!
I think this year I will also sign up for a modest savings goal with the 2019 Savings challenge as I found myself adding to cc debt in 2018 when I didn't have a savings to access for unexpected expenses (like vet bills!) or expected but not monthly expenses (like Thanksgiving/Xmas/New Year season).
My goal is to pay $1250 towards my debt each month and $15,000 for the year.
Here's a snapshot of where my debt currently is at:
Wishing everyone a prosperous year with lots of debt smacking!Reply
Line 61! Last year brought a major life change for me, separation, so trying to find my sea legs financially. I was on a roll with my debt paydown so now I need to figure out how to keep that momentum on a single income. My goal is to pay off at least $5k of my debt amounting to $38k. Eating the proverbial debt elephant, one bite at a time 😉Reply