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 :)
I don't check in often, but thought I would for September. So far I'm 89.15% of the way paid off, which imo is pretty great. However, we keep end up bringing on more debt in various little ways, so truly, I don't know that I can feel like it really counts. It's still debt that is being paid off, but it sucks that the debt I'm calculating being paid is new debt and not paying down the original that I wanted to pay in January.
Anyways, a work in progress for sure...
September Check in: Like I predicted, I made another 300€ in dept. I'm now at ~-2600€ of dept. My Ynab is looking absolutly hideos, everywhere is red and orange and overbudgeted categories.
I am recording spending, but the rest I'm just letting as it is. I'm debating whether to start fresh or not once I get my next paycheck. I have data from one year now, and it would be awesome to see that networth grow again. On the other hand those not so pretty colours are driving me mad.
Maybe I just wait, try to sort it out with reconciliation and setting everything to 0,00€ and if that doesn't work, I will start fresh.
13 days until my first paycheck since 4 months. I am crossing out the days. Can't wait!
Is it too late to join in? New to YNAB but been trying to get my finances sorted out a while.
In January I had £1716.07 of debt. Now I have £1183.46 of debt (paid off £532.61) although at it's peak in February it was £2355.04 after personal drama.
I paid off £161.98 in September. I plan to pay off a further £273.99 minimum by New Year, closing two credit cards. I'll also be making minimum payments on the final card, so £312.99 total.
I'd pay off more, but I also need to try save up some money for a new laptop. Some of the laptop will be paid for w new debt, unfortunately, but I want to save up as much as possible to offset the new debt.
September check in: It was just a normal month for me in September, no extra put towards debt than what I'm already doing ($2852). This month might get a bit interesting though. My husband finally quit a bad job and is in the process of looking for a new one. So we'll either be able to pay more (hopefully!!) or if he doesn't get a job go into conservation mode and just pay the minimums... At the moment the job prospects are looking fairly good. 🤞
September check-in: Sadly, September marks the first month all year that my debt went up instead of down, due entirely to spending on a credit card. It was “only” an increase of $80.77, but still… There were a number of factors- some carryover from an August 31 anniversary date that posted in September, a bunch of copays and prescription changes from a plethora of doctor’s appointments, a birthday gift request that I thought had been forgotten about, and a significant amount of “eff it, I’m already overbudget, I may as well get xyz too”. I’m pretty unhappy about breaking my streak. Not unhappy enough to give up of course, and I’m feeling fired up to throw as much as I can at it this month, but I’m still pretty bummed, not just about the money itself, but also about how easily I slid into my old ‘throw it on the card’ mindset. Those $10 salads and $15 impulse internet purchases are exactly why I’m in debt to begin with, little dribs and drabs of spending here and there that kept adding up and not being fully paid off. I don’t want to end up back where I started.
September check in - I made some more progress this month, although not as much as I would like. I have, however, saved enough to cover my car expenses that are due this coming month. Woot! Only a few more months until the end of they year. With that in mind, I have been carefully spreading out my gift purchases for the holidays in hopes of keeping my debt reduction moving in the right direction. How is everyone else doing with the holidays fast approaching?
Joined Oct 5/19 claimed line 303. Better to join now & start attacking debt vs waiting for the new 2020 Debt Smackdown. $30k in LOC debt that I am allowed to make a $7500/calendar year lump sum payment. Want to get rid of this debt before the 3 year renewal. Just renewed in August, and actually read the paperwork in detail. At the end of 3 years, if I carry on making the scheduled payments, I will have paid $2200 in interest and still owe $22,000!!! That is a consolidation debt from past consumerism. This is not going to happen. Debt is not an option anymore (YNAB/Mr Money Moustache). I will join you all and crush this debt.
I have made plans for what I will attack the debt with (bill reductions, repayment finished & snowballed towards, monthly expense savings, spending freeze) to make a lump sum payment of $500/month.
Question for you all: I have money in savings. Should I use savings to make up the $7500 lump sum for 2019? :)
October check-in: $2792 paid to debt. I'm not quite on track to hit 100% of my goal for the year, but I think I might be able to surpass it... I'm about $2000 away from eliminating a 10% interest credit card and my highest interest student loan (5.5%, variable) is down to $1100. I think that if I use the hurricane evacuation fund (once hurricane season ends), spend less than what's budgeted for our short Thanksgiving beach trip, and bargain shop for Christmas, I can manage to pay off all three by the end of the year and still stick with my Undebit pay-off order. The credit card is already scheduled to be payed off in December, so I only need to throw an extra $550 in November and December to eliminate the student loan.
October progress report on my battle against the student loan beast. Coming in early because this is my first "buffered" month in YNAB where I budgeted for the entire month on the 1st.
As of March 31, 2019: $251,414.81. This is my starting balance after joining YNAB in mid-March, 2019.
As of October 7, 2019: $234,927.24
October notes: Regular monthly payment resulted in principal reduction of $1,135.98. Made extra principal payment of $600.00. Total reduction of principal in October: $1,735.98. It feels weird that I don't need to wait for my bi-weekly paychecks to make the extra payments, but I guess that's the beauty of budgeting a month ahead. Still need to get used to it.
Year-end goal is to get the balance down $31,414.81 (from the March 31, 2019 starting number) to $220,000.00. With a $16,487.57 reduction since I've started making these progress reports, I'm now about 52.48% there.
Checking in with numbers for October.....
Starting balance Ending balance
$63,772.10 1st Mortgage $63,259.36
$13,519.58 2nd Mortgage $13,317.56
$ 6,827.88 Car $ 3,844.99
Total debt paid down in October $3,697.65, total for 2019 $23,309.94 (89.14% of goal).
After loosing control of the budget this summer, we came back strong in September to make a big dent in the car loan this month! I love the accountability that YNAB brings to the table. Do I need to buy mums and pumpkins for the porch this fall, or buy a new dress for my grand daughter's baptism? Nope - paying off the car is more important to us and therefore I choose to prioritize our dollars to that job instead!
Listening to YNAB podcasts & reading various blogs, especially this one at the moment. https://www.millennial-revolution.com/build/case-study/reader-case-pay-off-debt-invest/
Getting mixed messages.
1) Attack your debt & murder that debt monster. Don’t pay into investments until you do. Use savings to pay debt.
2) Pay yourself first. Get a month ahead & cover true expenses. Extra money to debt.
So what should I do? I’m on a spending freeze to sprint & get a month ahead. Want to save up true expenses. But also want to pay myself first so set up just $100/month to RRSPS. My LOC allows $7500 lump sum / year so want to get that amount on the principle, & cash in some savings to do so. Thoughts? :)
October Check in.
Paid 500€ personal loan
To go: 2100€ in CC dept, 0% interest.
Called my grandparents to let them know and my grandpa's respond was: but it was a gift Darling. Even though I insisted that I want to accomplish my stuff alone, they insisted to give me the money anyways 'because we can't take it with us".
We settled on a big Christmas presents for all grandchildren instead.
I'm still feeling kind of bad because I was raised to accomplish stuff alone and absolutely not rely on other people in money things.
Anyone of you here knows those feelings?
Not my official monthly check in but I just couldn't hold it in until then ... I just made my last payment on the credit card I aimed to pay off completely for this challenge! 😆 It's a relatively small achievement compared to my bigger debt picture but it's of course most definitely still worth celebrating! It's been a very slow progress, but I've really improved my financial well being since joining YNAB. I'm just so proud I met my goal this year (my first time succeeding at my challenge goal!) - I can't stop smiling.
Two debts to work on this year:
(ID# 305) Other: Buyback my 8yrs of active duty military time, so that it can be added to my current job's SCD/retirement etc benefits. Cost: $3,341.00. The interest doesn't kick in until Aug2019, so I want to have it paid off by then & save myself some $$. Started this on 10/17/2017 with a payroll deduction of $25 biweekly... the plan is to increase my payment as time goes so that I reach my goal.
(ID# 306) Auto: Original balance $28,351.64 in Mar2017, with the minimum pmt set to $542.87. The APR was at 12.19% coz of my 2016 bankruptcy. I really didn't want a car pmt, but my old vehicle finally died. :( So my goal is to round up my pmt amount and pay more than the minimum -- even if it's just pennies to begin with, and hopefully increase my monthly pmts so that I can have at least $6,600 knocked out by the end of the year.
!! I recently put an offer on a house, so that's going to be another debt to add to the list if the sale goes through. Getting a small credit card really helped fix my credit score after the bankruptcy so that I could get the car loan, and now hopefully a home of my own. (The mortgage would be cheaper than rent, otherwise I wouldn't bother.)
Good luck everyone!
latecomer to this thread! I've been tracking in my own spreadsheet, but thought it would be fun to join. Will definitely be joining for 2020.
Total debt : £35,627.53 (Started in 2018) Purchased our first property, had to take out a lot of money to fix things up and furnish etc.
2018: Paid off £9,285.40 (which was the goal)
2019: Goal is £13,912.16 of which £11,866.78 is paid. 85% woo
I seem to be updating the debt payoff every 2 months... at least it's consistent... 😂
So I guess I'll update September and October since I've just made the payments...
Aug Balance Payments Current Bal
Mastercard: $961.46 -$61.00 $900.46
Visa: $948.78 $948.78
TOTAL: $1718.70 $1849.24
So that makes October:
Sept Balance Payments Current Bal
Mastercard: $900.46 -$61.00 $839.46
Visa: $948.78 $948.78
TOTAL: $1718.70 $1788.24
Since I did have a fat paycheck, and I'm STILL expecting the raise/bonus to come in, AND we need a new washer/dryer and quite a few other things.... I'm not going to put anything extra on the debt yet. My hope is that once the raise kicks in and after we get some of these crisis level things taken care of I'll be able to really drop a LOT towards the debt and get my Visa back down to zero again. I have about 13 months left on that balance transfer at $61/month, which I will take the whole time to complete because I'm not rushing no interest! Unless I manage to pay off EVERYTHING else for some reason, then I might speed it up, but they've given me a loan for free so I'm going to use every last bit of time that I have for it.
So not much progress, but I'm happy being stable and being able to get ahead on some of the other things I've got going on. My gas fund and my grocery fund still had money left in them when I added my last pay check in, which made me feel good. I'm going to leave them padded until they reach a certain point, then I won't add any more. That will give me room for bigger trips to BJ's in the grocery category, and room if we go on vacation to pay for gas (or like the end of this month when I know I have JS coming to town so I'm going to need a lot of gas along the way). I'm so happy to know averages now so that I can spread out the funding and I don't have to worry about 'big' months surprising me.
I'm really glad to be crawling out of the hole, even if it is taking a long time!
I got my October paycheck today so I wanted to do a brief check in, but my direct debits havent gone out yet (they're next week).
In October 2017, the day before payday, I had -£1599.45 in my current account.
In October 2018, the day before payday, I'd made some progress and had -£946.22 in my current account.
In February 2019, the day before payday, I had -£1128.55 in my current account (my debt increased again when I moved city).
This month, October 2019, the day before payday, I had +£180.13 in my current account. Those £ had jobs and purpose, they weren't just... spare. But my account had a positive balance, and I am starting to earn interest rather than fees.
I didn't include credit card balances in the figures above. My direct debits for credit cards will process over the next few days and I'll do an update at the end of October with how much debt I paid off this month - probably less than I hoped, due to family drama.