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 :)
Better late than never, right? Granted this will likely rollover to the 2020 Debt Smackdown, but I admit it's nice to have a place to be accountable.
As of this minute my total debt amounts to $100,185.35 🤯
Student Loans $72,429
Car Loan $19,089
Credit Cards $8,667.35
The goal at the moment is to pay off $2,124 which is the cost of the vacation we just booked for March (yay!) and then chip away at the rest by continuing to make minimum payments on the cards and car. The student loan factor, I have absolutely no idea. Advice is appreciated. 🤦♀️Reply
the cost of the vacation we just booked for March (yay!)
Perfect, this feeds into the "no new debt" approach. Now just make sure you start a by date category goal for any of the spending money you need. There is nothing more awesome that going on a vacation with money you have and not coming home to scary credit card bills. Also helps keep the "heck, I'm on vacation" spending in check.Reply
July check-in: $579.73 in regular auto and student loan payments, plus a little extra on student loans. We are just over 40% of our goal, which isn't as far as we'd hoped to be by now, but husband just got a raise. I'm still working on getting a job, but I have something in the works that will hopefully work out. If so, we will finally be able to put the smackdown on these loans.Reply
July and August
So, got a side gig and work gave me a bonus of sorts and didn't go to any of my trips I had planned to. I feel good and shite, but, it is the bed I made, so I accept it.
July just balanced my loc payment to $200 like I've been doing this year. But August I put an extra $100 to have paid $300. I'm pretty excited, it's the most I've put to the account.
I have added $500 to my future debt and now have $1783 set aside. I also got the 1 yr balance transfer letter come in, so I'm going to be doing that and will start having a year of debt reduction to pay off for this expense I've been saving for.
Overall, I'm pretty please. I also bought myself some treats - much needed boots and a bracelet because sometimes it's ok to give yourself a treat. Even some books :)
Of course everyday I think how can I increase my income.Reply
$1,556,050 paid off to date.
OMG! You debt smackers are doing such an amazing job.
At time of writing this post, you have smacked down a whopping $1,556,050.84 (US$) and you are doing that with less than 33% of the original participants checking in.
You are one hard-core group of determined people, and I applaud you all!
Go. Go. Go. Go. Go.Reply
July update: I accidentally paid Marcus Goldman twice (forgot I'd set up autopay)! I could have coasted and skipped the August payment, but I, since I had it, I paid it!
August check-in: I dug into the budget and found $300 more a month to throw at debt every month. My husband started getting a $400 auto allowance, so, for now, we're also putting that toward debt. With the extra $700, I should be able to make my goal for this year!
I'm $2.12 short of my $2700 goal for the month because I hit "quick pay" on the Navient site instead of setting the amounts manually. I can live with the difference!Reply
Way behind on replies and checking in. Glad to see everyone is plugging along!
Summer has been a big old money suck for us so I don't feel like we've really made any progress - summer activities, back to school, marching band, upcoming oral surgery appts that we have to pay for.... so much money. I did transfer our largest balance to a 0% offer so that will help make the money go a little farther! It feels like we've done nothing but keep up with interest the last couple of months so that should help.
Redid our undebtit plan to start fresh in September with the transfer and what we can snowball comfortably while still paying for band and with the holidays coming. I had hoped that our smallest CC would be paid off by the end of the year but that probably won't happen since we lost so much momentum this summer but it should be under $5000 by then, maybe under $4000 if I can really get disciplined and we don't have any surprises pop up that aren't already accounted for.Reply
July check in - a little late. I'm still plugging away and am close to finally making some progress on my debt repayment. Although it is going slowly, it is forward movement and I will take it! I will be able to enter something other than 0 in August which will feel SOOOOOO good! I am looking forward to see where we all land at the end of the year! Remember, small steps make big ones with time. CheersReply
August Update: Paid $1340 towards my credit card debt and $100 towards my car loan.
I was able to transfer all my credit card balances to one card with 0% apr for 12 months. Now I can put all my attention on that one card without feeling stressed trying to manage different dates and websites.
September is going to be a bit tight - have car maintenance and insurance coming up but going to do the best I can. Can't believe it's almost September already!Reply
I just started re-using YNAB as I have never been able to really get into the hang of things (I think this is try 5??). Hopefully this time it works. Still slowly paying down my student loans, but thankfully my loan to my parents will be paid off by the end of the month since its a 3 pay month for me. I just bought a house after renting my whole adult life, so its been a big change, but I had enough savings to cover all the purchase costs and work that needs to be done right away. I am still 6 years away from having all my student loans paid off, but I am paying my mortgage of weekly and hopefully once my student loans are gone, I can start paying it off more aggressively. I want to be debt free by 50 and retired by 61... still got a number of years to go, but looking forward to it. I am trying to decide if I should get a second job for a few hours a week so that I can pay my debt down quicker. Decisions...decisionsReply
Checking in with final numbers for August.....
Starting balance Ending balance
$64,793.27 1st Mortgage $64,283.40 (-509.87)
$13,939.45 2nd Mortgage $13,732.53 (-206.92)
$ 7,600.88 Car $ 7,212.80 (-388.08)
Total debt paid down in August $1,104.87, total for 2019 $18,503.12 (70.76% of goal).
OOFTA - this month is tough! We have 3 weddings in the next 6 weeks and 3 of our 6 grand kids have August birthdays. Plus we've been doing all sorts of summer fun stuff so our debt pay off has slowed a bit. Hubby's busy time at work will be starting soon, so we'll have some bigger checks to work with. Still hoping to have my car paid off this year and we're tracking just slightly ahead of plan :)Reply
Well, very late July check in here. I paid only the minimums in July and ended up adding more debt due to several factors. With all that went wrong in June, I thought I got away with only adding about $800 in debt. But then when working on July's budget, I realized it was much worse because normally I would have $1500-$2000 already in the budget for the next month, and I had...nothing. So that sucked big time. Then, July (and so far August) was painfully slow at work. I am a self-employed massage therapist, so when all the clients are at the lake and on vacation, etc, I have very little income. Also have 3 separate clients whose insurance companies are dragging their feet on payments so that is not helping matters any. Putting in lots of hours to potentially not get paid was definitely not in the plan.
I have been working on my add-on business of handmade jewelry to try and bring in some extra income, I have made some sales but it hasn't been as much as I would like. I am debating setting up an online shop but I don't know that I am ready to take on that headache!
I will keep plugging away, and eventually I should be able to get back to where I want to be- no debt!Reply
Does anyone else anxiously await their paychecks so they can make debt payments? Like I've gotten the hang of keeping within my budget (for the most part) but I almost feel like my brain is always counting down towards my checks because I'm so excited to be able to throw extra money towards my credit card debts 😅
Mid-August check in and I'm down $83 on the bulky balance transfer card debt. I'm currently counting down the days until my paycheck this Friday because I think I'm going to be able to pay off my two other credit cards completely, and with any luck throw some towards savings. Then in September I pay off my phone and I'll finally be able to make larger payments towards my bulk debt! 💃Reply
Moved $10k of 2nd mortgage to zero interest credit cards. went on vacation in early august and this month had to pay that balance off (so increased cc balance about 4k and then repaid it so net neutral and no progress this month except for $500)
YTD debt reduction is $17k (Jan - April) + 22k (July) + $500 (August) = = $39, 500 debt paydown
- continue to focus on the transferred balance of the 2nd Mortgage balance of $10k - pay an extra $400 per month towards principal
- September: I anticipate about a 10k bonus and this will go in savings for property taxes
- October: spouse will be receiving about $30k bonus and we plan to completely pay off all credit cards which now includes that 2nd mortgage balance ($11k) and our remaining car loan of ($19K).
- November: start focusing on increasing savings and increase 401k contributions and kids' 529
Check check check......Another payment down!
I'm super proud of myself for affording to pay tuition and pay debt down all at once. It's making me crazy because I can't afford to do more school at a time than I am, which is DRAGGING on my degree, but I'll be outta debt next year which will make everything that much easier to budget when my $460 goes towards tuition rather than debt.Reply
It's almost the end of August. I'm not sure I checked in in July. Our godkids' parents magically produced a new date for them to return (with no contributions on their part) necessitating last minute flights across country three weeks earlier than expected. My budget has sad.
We added $1800 in debt in July thanks to the flights. Haven't paid down March and have NOTHING in emergency funds because it was all allocated to keep from using the cards in July (PRO TIP: Don't do that!). The stress is unfathomable. Hubby had a not-bad month in July, but after 4 HORRENDOUS months in a row, it seemed very MEH.
The budget is up-to-date and we are still kicking. ON track for June 2021 to be debt free according to Undebt.It, so that's something, right? :(Reply
I've been missing in action this whole year despite the best of intentions. Well, it's taken me this long to get my act together but I am ready to go. I've readjusted my goal for this year to a very small but manageable number. My commitment is to get that done and stay on track. First payment will be next month. Baby steps. The rest of you are so inspiring, keep up the great work.Reply
So today I realized that, with careful budgeting and just a regular/decent month next month, I can eliminate a car note (paid off on normal schedule), a student loan (throwing an extra $500 at it in September), and 2 tiny credit card balances--Home Depot and Lowe's on 0 interest from a project so we've been slow-paying them-by the end of October. It would really be AHMAZING for mental progress so I'm going to bring this up at next week's money meeting!Reply