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 :)
WOW has it been a year for me. Last check in was February, but even though I have been neglecting my posts here, I have not been neglecting my debt payments! Let’s see… My husband totaled his car in March, and we ended up financing a (new to us) car for him. (This increase to our debt is not reflected in my debt chart, since hubby considers it *his* and I'm not ready to fight that battle with him. 😬) I had two subsequent injuries since the one I had in February, which caused me to change jobs to one that will not be so hard on my body. My new job did come with a slight pay bump, but I don’t love it and I’m not sure it’s going to stick. I’m also still working a second job (weekends when I'm not on-call for my main job) to help with my debt payments. I’m also still in school, which continues to affect the number of hours I can work but I need to finally finish my degree. (I am making all tuition payments out of pocket).
So far this year I have managed to pay off my car (in January), that pesky personal loan with a SUPER high interest rate (yippee!!), and today I submitted the payment to pay-off my capital one card (which also has an atrociously high interest rate). Slowly but surely still making progress. I don’t think I’m going to meet my goal of $15K for this year, but I’m going to get pretty close. Total paydown to date for this year is $11,096.96.
2019 Starting Debt: $45,414.70
October Debt Paid: $1680.18
Current Debt: $34,317.74
Debt Smackdown: $11,096.96 / $15,000
We are 96.46% of the way to our goal! A few months ago, I really thought we wouldn't make it. This challenge has really helped us stay on track when we didn't want to or didn't know how it would work. Now, we're set to pay off all the student loans (that was originally going to take until March 2020) by December!!! We'll finance a home improvement/repair before then, so not debt free, but it will be nice to be done with that large minimum monthly payment! And we can snowball it into the financing, of course.
October update: I've updated the spreadsheet with my debt payments on my student loans (minimum pymts) and on our interest free flooring card, which I was able to pay $500 towards just that. Expenses have really racked up because we had a bad storm with a very close lightening strike that fried so many electronics - all 3 tvs, wifi router, charging cords, all of our Nest products (thermostat, 4 smoke detectors, & our new video doorbell), our AC unit, furnace, electrical GFIs throughout the house, and more. It's SO much money that I've filed an insurance claim. But in the meantime, I'm shelling out money for replacement items and an electrician, while insurance reviews the claim.
I will definitely not make my stretch goal of $28k this year, but I've already exceeded my base goal of $18k. So I guess I should be happy about that. However, while I still feel like we're hemorrhaging money for this mess and a 6 month old baby (man they are also SO expensive - good thing he's cute!), I don't feel happy about my progress for the year because it feels like we're just going backwards. But I know it will be better once we get the insurance claim.
And to help cut household costs, I've cancelled DirecTV, which has just gotten awful since taken over by AT&T anyway, Now we have Hulu Live TV, which works just fine and is so much cheaper. One month at a time.
October check-in: I'm right on track to make my goal - one more car payment in Nov. and two payments on the last cc. Both of those are at 0% interest. I'm so tempted to just pay them both now (thanks to YNAB I could do that), but I have a couple of potential bigger bills hanging out there. I've budgeted for them, but not sure they're totally covered.
This group has really helped me focus. Next year I'm going to join the savings group, too.
Second October Update:
Since I didn't have to pay my personal loan back (see post above), I was able to put the majority (431,51€) of it towards one of my CCs.
Why not all? I figured since I am way faster with paying down my dept than I thought three weeks ago, I would by traintickets for christmas now instead of budgeting till december for them (because discounts) plus put a few euros away for paying for a nice dinner with my boyfriend (cause he paid for a lot of food for me in the last few months).
I will also get a ~€190 refund on CC#2 in the next day or two, so that balance will go down as well.
That makes overall:
Sept Balance Payments Current Bal
Per.Loan € 500 (- € 500,00) € 0,00
CC#1: € 1538,31 - € 431,51 € 1106,80
CC#2: € 478,89 € 478,89
Total: € 2517,20 € 1585,69
Is it just me, or are there more people that are hitting the zero debt goal, or their goals for the year in general, this year than there have been in the past??? I think this is the second or third year I've followed this thread, and I'm just blown away by how many people are paying everything down to zero! It's AWESOME!!!
So hubby is in the process of getting a new job (he just has to get the paperwork, etc done) but he won't start until November so I wasn't able to pay as much on debt this month, just $1891. But thankfully because of all the work I did earlier this year, it doesn't look like it even pushed our debt-freedom date back any! And once we get rolling with his new job, we should have more and will be able to push the date the other way! :)
October Check In
Bad month for me. Only paid $120 on the CC. Progress is 68%. My main side income check (which is what I use to pay down debt) was small this month and it is late. So I will just roll it into next month's check. Thankfully I have worked a lot this month so my check will be bigger. Hoping for good things in November.
Also took on a lot more debt. :( More than double what I had. Which is super sad. But that's okay, it was expected and it is 0% interest. I am not going to add any extra to the chart, but I will count payments in the smackdown since I will be switching my main focus from my CC to my new loans.
November is an extra week paycheck for me, so hoping that will help out as well. Although I do have quite a bit to purchase for the baby on black Friday, and I need to start thinking about Christmas... Ugh.
Technicolor Cheetah said:
Also, the first 6 months of the budget are a bit of a panic as you're feeling YNAB broke all the time
I hear you! I'm close to 4 months in. It's amazing how different life is when you aren't putting on credit cards to float them or build them. Just use & pay off the new spending. Just have to get used to saving up for all expenses. The awareness & clarity of my finances is so empowering. :)
Haven't checked in for a bit, just updated though next month since I was paid today instead of Friday. I have $105.00 left to pay Social Security and that will come out next month. So I have cleared all my goals. Wish I could say that was a recent to celebrate. However I will be back next year as I ended up backsliding and have some credit card debt and personal loans to now wipe out.
We have had a horrendous year, but we are still here. Instead of decreasing the debt, even with a "windfall" of $46K (which was supposed to be the starter sinking fund for our new home down payment), we've gone backwards by $5K. But we are still here. Amazingly, we have paid the bills, not lost utilities, paid off a car and two credit cards, and retired another small installment loan balance this year. Major setbacks are registering three vehicles that all needed some manner of work to pass safety inspections, funerals and flights, and preschool for 2, but I'm counting it all joy and we will keep moving down.
DH's main client barely stayed open this year and went into survival mode, which has meant his work has dried to a trickle--some months, it's been one drop *sigh*- but we are still here! Even bringing in 35% less than last year in an area with a COLA that is 95% higher, we have made what feels like progress: we are no longer USING the credit cards. So, there's that. We are NOT paying them down (and carrying balances means that the balances don't move at all) but we are not adding to the debt anymore either.
I'm still thankful for YNAB for letting me see how bad it could be.
Technicolor Cheetah said:
Some day I'm going to have to replace an appliance (looking at you washing machine and dishwasher 👀). Some day I want to replace my windows and repave the driveway. Some day is looking more possible every month and it is a beautiful feeling
Those are the things that make me despair. Its like its never going to end. Pay off the debt. Then the cars will need to be replaced. Then the furnace. etc. The house is really a money sucking monster. When will it ever be time for me? Just whining because I am feeling YNAB broke today. Day after payday and everything budgeted. Yay but its kind of like a food hangover. I just stare at the YNAB screen and want magical money to show up.
October was a good month! I paid off $1260 in debt. My yearly total is up to $16901.15! This is definitely the most I've ever paid off in a year. It feels really good! I've knocked out a car loan and now have a little over $10k on a waterproofing loan. I'm trying my hardest to get it paid down below $10k before the end of the year! Can't wait!
November check-in: I paid off our 10.65% credit card! Undebtit's plan was to pay it off next month, but I scraped up enough to finish it off this month. I am 93% of the way to my 2019 goal and have plans to exceed it. I have a student loan with a balance of less than $1000 that I plan to pay off next month.
I've been doing pretty well with debt reduction. most of my money has gone to the future debt I was planning for this month - medical stuff. And lo and below it has started. I was able to pay $3927 of those costs straight from cash I saved.
I will find out the full cost owing by next week total for the procedures I've calculated to be about 18,000. The best part is that once again I have taken advantage of 0% balance transfers. Plus, I'll be getting close to 6k for a side gig I've just completed. So the debt load should drop to under 10k. I'm pretty happy. That means I'll have a year to pay that off with less then 1k going to servicing an interest free debit. I'm pretty sure I can clear it all in less then a year.
My next year smack down will be working towards this medical debt and squirrelling away extra money to pay my LOC. I didn't do so great with the LOC. But honestly, I shouldn't be too hard on myself. I have maintained a consistent payment of $200 to it, which is over my min payment. The next goal will to be to fully cover interest costs. Which I will start doing latest by Jan.
It sucks to have all this money, that I could just use to clear the LOC. It hurts in that oh man, if only way. But, I have to now focus on this year increasing my income, so I'm pretty confident.
Car loan - gone! It was at 0%, so I've never been in a big hurry to pay it off, but wow it feels good. I'm at 93% of my goal for the year. Two more payments on a 0% credit card and that will be done, too. C'mon 100%!
This group is a big help in staying focused. I check it all the time and it's inspiring to see people working hard to meet their goals. Sometimes it's a big chunk and sometimes a lot less, but we're all trying to move forward. Thanks, all.