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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  • I want to pay down a total of 5065.38 out of 5932.35 I owe on two credit cards - I'm a little worried because I'm applying to med school in the summer and that's gonna be expensive. But my goals are already set and there's no harm in sticking to it as best I can for as long as I can! 

    Reply Like 14
  • Line 3 claimed! I have a stretch goal of paying off $20,000 in 2019.    I have a total of $29,836.81 of consumer debt (not including student loans ) that includes 2 CC’s, a car loan of just under 22 k, and a balance of $600 on my kids braces. Hoping to kill the brunt of this debt in 2019!

    Reply Like 10
      • SapphireSweetie
      • Changing my financial future!
      • Sapphiresweetie
      • 8 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      SapphireSweetie Feb check in 1940.18 paid to debt this month. So far so good on a mix of saving and paying off debt!

      Reply Like 3
      • SapphireSweetie
      • Changing my financial future!
      • Sapphiresweetie
      • 7 mths ago
      • 9
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      SapphireSweetie  March check in 2759.62 paid to debt this month. Making good progress!

      Reply Like 9
      • SapphireSweetie
      • Changing my financial future!
      • Sapphiresweetie
      • 6 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      SapphireSweetie April check in 712.37 paid to debt, pretty much just the minimums, hoping for a better month of May!

      Reply Like 4
      • SapphireSweetie
      • Changing my financial future!
      • Sapphiresweetie
      • 5 mths ago
      • 7
      • Reported - view

      SapphireSweetie May check in, 2620.65 paid to debt this month. I am 48.95% on the way to my goal! Closing on my house in June, so I know my debt payments will slow, but I am still determined to meet my goal!

      Reply Like 7
      • SapphireSweetie
      • Changing my financial future!
      • Sapphiresweetie
      • 4 mths ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      SapphireSweetie  June check in. 6532.77 sent to debt this month. This is insane! Looking forward to the last 6 months of the year!

      Reply Like 6
      • SapphireSweetie
      • Changing my financial future!
      • Sapphiresweetie
      • 2 mths ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      SapphireSweetie July check in. Only paid the minimums pretty much. Life has come at me fast with moving and taking on more responsibility at work so it has been really hard to stick to a budget. $2141.28 sent to debt in July. I have to figure out a way to get the fire back going!

      Reply Like 6
      • SapphireSweetie
      • Changing my financial future!
      • Sapphiresweetie
      • 1 mth ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      SapphireSweetie August check in. $1180.58. Although I am 98% to goal, I have really lost steam in my debt smackdown. I have barely been budgeting and inputting my transactions into ynab. I am trying to get my motivation back to kill this last quarter of the year. Wish me luck!

      Reply Like 3
    • SapphireSweetie You can do it!! You're SO close!

      One of the things that helped me recently that I heard is that motivation won't find you, you have to go find it. So hunt it down and crush your goal!!

      Reply Like 3
      • SapphireSweetie
      • Changing my financial future!
      • Sapphiresweetie
      • 1 mth ago
      • 3
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      farfromtheusual Thank you for the kind words! Motivation definitely wanes, just trying to stay consistent some how some way.

      Reply Like 3
    • SapphireSweetie That's the key!!

      Reply Like 1
      • SapphireSweetie
      • Changing my financial future!
      • Sapphiresweetie
      • 3 wk ago
      • 8
      • Reported - view

      SapphireSweetie 1570.93 paid to debt and I have officially met my goal of 20K to debt for the year! Woo-Hoo!

      Reply Like 8
    • SapphireSweetie WAHOOO!! Congrats!!!!

      Reply Like 2
      • SapphireSweetie
      • Changing my financial future!
      • Sapphiresweetie
      • 3 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual Thank you!!

      Reply Like 1
      • Mx Emmin
      • Orchid_Banjo.5
      • 3 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      SapphireSweetie congrats!

      Reply Like 1
  • And for myself... I didn't do too well on my Debt Smackdown in '18. For '19, I want to rid myself of all my current CC debt - total of just over £6k. 

    Reply Like 11
  • I need to pay off all debt (except mortgage) and save several thousand toward buying some time into my retirement pension.  That's currently estimated to cost $24,000 or so.   

    My debt payoff goal is (ID # 4)  is $9,550.52

    Once I get firm numbers on the retirement buy-in, a family member will loan me the balance beyond what I've been able to save prior.  A realistic portion of the loan will then be added to this Debt Smackdown goal.

    Starting point:

    Reply Like 8
  • claimed line 6.  I have 50,000 of Credit Card debt on 14 different cards!  I have a goal to pay off 20,000 in debt this year.  

    Reply Like 15
  • YAY!  I haven't been active in the forums before but have been waiting for this to start!  I'm at work and don't have all my numbers in front of me so I will add that this evening but I claimed #9 on the spreadsheet.  I know that our goal for the year is just over $10,000 - I'll post the break down this evening. 

    Reply Like 8
  • I'm in! This year we want to pay off both our car loans and there is one more payment left on a 401K loan.

    Cars- $14,076.20

    Last payment of 401K- $225.22

    Total- $14301.42

    We have one more debt that is around $8800... but it is interest free with set up auto installment payments, so I think after knocking out the cars we will focus on our sinking funds.

    Reply Like 5
      • M K
      • magiwp
      • 10 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      M K I realized that we are paying $258.18 towards that interest free loan and that deserves to be included! So I’m going to add that annual total to my line :)

      Reply Like
  • New year, new challenge! I didn't do very well last year, but I am determined to do better this year. Let's do this!

    I've claimed Line 12 on the spreadsheet. I currently have about $11,000 USD in credit card debt. My goal is to pay down a collective $4,500.00 this year.

    Good luck everybody! :)

    Reply Like 8
  • Hi All, I did really well with this challenge a few years ago, but things happened and now I am almost back to my starting point from before. I wandered away from the support of this group and lost focus, so now I am back. 

    I am currently sitting at $32,429.63 in Line of Credit debt.  My goal for 2019 is to pay off at least $12000, with a goal of being debt free by mid 2021. The first few months of this year will have minimal payments as I am about to head on a month long trip and need to finish saving for those costs. Will officially start smacking the debt down in April.  Will add myself to the spreadsheet tonight as I can get to it from work.

     Props and Credit to MartyH  for their excellent excel sheet design

    Reply Like 5
  • Thank you, BritishMuseum , for getting this set up for 2019! Your spreadsheet design skills are flawless.

    I am rejoining after a successful 2018 Debt Smackdown. We are in the "still have a mountain of debt, but we will pay it off one day!" group.

    This year, we want to pay off a dental loan and a personal loan, which is a result of consolidating our credit card debt in August - and we have been doing things the YNAB way and have accumulated no new debt!

    Total (non-mortgage) Debts: $123,828.52

    • OrthoFi: $2,155.20
    • Personal Loan: $16,587.62
    • Private Student Loan: $7,977.72
    • Federal Student Loan: $97,107.98

    2019 Goals:

    • Pay off OrthoFi: DONE! I love me some HSA.
    • Pay off Personal Loan

    We got this!

    Reply Like 8
  • I have credit card and student loan debt I'm chipping away at! I'm glad to be back again this year, because looking at everyone's progress really keeps me motivated and accountable. 

     

    I'll be snowballing my credit card debt, and once that's gone, I'll hit the student loans harder. I'm keeping my goals short and sweet:

    Goal: $5500 toward debt
    Stretch goal that I would be overjoyed to reach: $8300 toward debt

    Reply Like 4
  • I'm in! Total debt = $109,052 most of which is a car loan and grad school student debt.

    Our 2019 goal is to continue our debt snowball which we started in Spring of 2018 and pay down $20,000.

    We are using the site undebit.it to track our snowball; a site I highly recommend. 

    Reply Like 5
  • I want to pay down a total of 10,000 out of  46,000. Goal this year payoff my kids braces and snowball thatvamount into getting rid of 3 credit card payments. The majority of the amount 33,000 is student loans. And 13,000 car I have to pay off 

    Reply Like 4
  • Shooting for paying down 15K in CC debt.  That will put a nice big fat dent in my debt.

    Reply Like 6
  • We started YNAB back in October and we have turned our finances around.  Our debt is going down instead of up.
    So this year I want to join the Debt Smackdown.

    We have credit card debt, line of credit debt, 2 car loans and a tent trailer loan.  With the regular payments we should put $17500 on our debt. We also have some extra expected windfalls, which should allow us to throw another $5100 at our debt.  This will be a total of 22600 Paid down on our non-mortgage debt.

     

    Good luck everyone!!

    Reply Like 7
  • I owe $124,249 as a combination of a tractor, truck, HELOC, and personal loan from my MIL.  This year I want to pay back $35000 of it.

    Reply Like 6
  • I claimed line 22. We have a total of $62,994.26 in debt (not including student loans - big sigh). I would like to pay off $24K, with a stretch goal of $30K in 2019. 

    Reply Like 5
  • I currently have $63,596 in credit card debt and my goal is to pay off $34,586 this year. This will leave me with one credit card left, my car, and my house. That’s about 54%!

    Reply Like 4
  • I claimed line 11! Pretty excited that I am actually to a point in my budget where debt payoff is the priority :) I have $60,026.06 in debt and my goal for the year is to pay off $13,391.68 of it. I am using undebt.it as well, and the plan is to pay off the vet, Capital One #2 and Kohl's this year as well as make a big dent on the Chase card. I have set the list below with the current priorities set in Undebt.It

    Debt Payoff (current owed/original balance 1/1/2019)
    Horse vet: $135/$135
    Capital One #2: $1,435.97/$1,435.97
    Kohl's: $1,093.63/$1,093.64
    Chase: $3,066.19/$3,066.19
    Capital One #1: $4,851.90/$5,027.10
    Personal Loan: $8,344.37/$9,874.36
    Truck Loan: $18,358.81/$23,466.54
    Student Loans: $22,740.19/$23,601.06

    2019 Debt total (paid/current owed/original owed): 
    $12,803.92/$60,026.06/$60,026.06

    Seeing other people get to $0 in current owed in lists like this is motivating, and getting there myself on a few debts is even more motivating. Looking forward to this challenge and this year!

    Goal is to by an acreage. I'm in the process of getting pre-approved but of course, the more debt I pay, the better my credit score, and the easier it will be to purchase a property.

    Reply Like 6
      • Tif_Ann
      • Tif_Ann
      • 10 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Shoot, forgot to finish adjusting the numbers from last year:

      Debt Payoff (current owed/original balance 1/1/2019)
      Horse vet: $135/$135
      Capital One #2: $1,435.97/$1,435.97
      Kohl's: $1,093.63/$1,093.64
      Chase: $3,066.19/$3,066.19
      Capital One #1: $4,851.90/$4,851.90
      Personal Loan: $8,344.37/$8,344.37
      Truck Loan: $18,358.81/$18,358.81
      Student Loans: $22,740.19/$22,740.19

      2019 Debt total (paid/current owed/original owed): 
      $12,803.92/$60,026.06/$60,026.06

      Reply Like 4
    • Tif_Ann hello to another horse owner!! If you haven't already be sure to check out USDA loans, and check in with the housing office in your county because they often have grants, especially if your income is low. Feel free to message me to chat about it, we went through this last year, and got a loan that helped us get our property and house with only about $1700 out of pocket!

      Reply Like
      • Tif_Ann
      • Tif_Ann
      • 10 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual Hi and thank you! We did originally look into the USDA program but apparently I make just a little too much for our area. I'll have an FHA loan with a 3.5% down payment. I was actively in debt repayment to be able to drive up my purchasing power however found a property we thought might be "the one" so went ahead with the mortgage approval process. After seeing it and the large amount of water (flooded creek in winter) in the main pasture, the property is not "the one" but at least I have the pre-approval and can actually shop now, while still focusing on debt repayment while I shop.

      Reply Like
  • The goal is to pay off (at least) $11,865 of our $57,934. This includes a personal loan, student loans, and one credit card.  I just realized today (thanks to YNAB, because I just never paid attention before) that one of my student loans has a variable interest rate, but the balance is less than $2300. I'll be adding extra to those payments to get it knocked out ASAP. 

    I'm also using Undebit, and we'll be debt-free by May of '22. 

    Reply Like 5
  • I currently have about $18,000 of debt, which is my motorcycle loan ($7,800) and my car loan ($10,400). My goal is to pay off my motorcycle and then start tackling the car loan this year as well. I plan on paying $1,000 per month (instead of my usual $200). I claimed line 29; excited to make some progress!

    Reply Like 5
  • Hello! In 2018 I made a decent dent in my debt, but this year I want to use the debt smackdown to pay it all off! I've got $9,718.71 USD total that I will pay off before 2020.  Of that, $1,096 is my car loan and the rest is student loans. I claimed line 30 and I'm excited to share this journey with a like-minded community! The time will pass no matter what, why not make the most of it by paying off our debt?

    Reply Like 5
    • Debt Crusher Cat Mother Wooo! Today is a big day for me! I paid off my car! I paid it off in 15 months and I'm so happy to know it's ACTUALLY mine now!

      Reply Like 9
      • TC Jackie
      • HR Manager
      • tc_jackie
      • 10 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Debt Crusher Cat Mother Awesome!

      Reply Like 1
    • Debt Crusher Cat Mother WAHOOO!! WAY TO GO!!! That's a big deal!
      It feels so good to me to eliminate debt, but to eliminate debt on something you get to keep is even better!

      Reply Like 1
    • farfromtheusual Thank you thank you! I am so excited, mostly because now that this is out of the way, I will be making massive (for me) payments to my remaining student loan and I can't wait to watch that number drop in big chunks. I'm SO sick of that last student loan! 

      Reply Like 3
    • Debt Crusher Cat Mother Congrats on paying off your car! A big accomplishment! 

      Reply Like 1
    • Debt Crusher Cat Mother I'm sure that feels fantastic!! And whatever is "big" to you is valid. It's very very different for each person. No matter how "big" if it makes you feel good then it's a good thing!

      Reply Like 1
    • Debt Crusher Cat Mother Thank you all for your kind comments! I love this community.

      Reply Like 1
    • Debt Crusher Cat Mother I was able to file my US taxes early this year and I'm getting a $710 refund, which will go straight to my debt goal once I receive it! yay!

      Reply Like 2
    • Debt Crusher Cat Mother WAHOO! That's awesome!
      I'm hoping my return is fat enough it can do that plus be able to buy me a new laptop, which I desperately need! We'll see, I met with my accountant on Friday, so I should know in a few weeks!

      Reply Like
  • Alright, I'm in this year! I'm in shock at how much progress was made in 2018 and I know how motivating these monthly check-ins can be. In fact, I went ahead and added a reminder to check in on the spreadsheet at the beginning of every month for the entire year!

    We have two lingering car loans and some credit card debt that I'd love to get rid of in 2019. We moved around some items in our budget and found a stretch goal of $800 per month to chip away. So I put in the spreadsheet that we'd like to pay down $9,600 in debt in 2019. 💪 Let's do this!

    Reply Like 6
  • I'm gonna be in this year! I think I'm going to work it a little bit different than I have in the past years, and make sure I am accounting for interest. My personal debt is pretty small right now, just under $1500, but it is a lot for me to manage along with my car payment and everything else. So I plan to ditch it fast!
    I'll post at the end of every month once I calculate how much I paid vs how much interest there is.
    I'm starting right now with 2 cards with debt on them:

    Mastercard: $1363.28

    Visa: $355.42

    TOTAL: $1718.70

    My plan is to focus my efforts on the Mastercard first since it is hitting me with the interest. I'm maintaining the other card since it is my "daily use" card, so I've managed to stave off the interest due to making larger payments more frequently.

    Right off the bat, I'll be getting a $50 bonus credit from my bank, which will go right onto the Mastercard, in addition to my payment this month! I've also just finished totaling out the expense sheets for 2018, so taxes will be submitted in the next few weeks, followed by the W-2's, and so we'll have our returns some time no later than March, I expect, which I will toss a chunk of the return at the debt, too!

    Here's to being personally debt free before 2020!!

    (this does not include my small business debt... that is significantly more complicated, so I won't stress myself out with those numbers, too! Baby steps!!)

    Reply Like 6
  • We want to pay down $38,700 this year, out of $60,168.01 non-mortgage debt.  This includes two small credit card balances due to a longer than expected loss of income from moving this year, a car loan and half our remaining student loan balance.  This will definitely be a stretch, depending on what my new income will be (waiting on final job offers right now), but this should also motivate my husband and I to reevaluate other categories on the short term to see where all we can find extra money.  

    We're line 37!

    Reply Like 6
    • Magenta_sloth. 1 So, it's taken WAY longer to find a job than I was expecting, so I am having to adjust my goal after all. (I did find a job, and it starts next week, but 3.5 months of no checks put a big crimp in my debt pay down goals.)  My new overall goal is $22k.  I was only able to make minimum payments for Jan, Feb & March. (So, another $606 paid this month.)

      Reply Like 2
    • Magenta_sloth. 1 Congratulations on the new job! Sometimes, you have to make those adjustments when things don't go exactly to plan. Progress is still progress! 

      Reply Like
    • Nicole thanks! Fortunately, my income is all "extra" so even though I had to slow our aggressive debt pay down, I'll take any progress. 

      Reply Like 3
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