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 :)

1871replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • Our goal this year is to pay off the car and we're almost there!! So excited :D  I'm having a hard time not just paying it off now because we are buffered, but I think waiting till next month is a lesson in patience and discipline because "what if" can happen at any time.  Meanwhile we are also doing some home improvements that we saved up for.  It feels awesome to see the progress without the guilt!  Oh, and I'm done Christmas shopping for our 6 grand kids, all with budgeted funds.  Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and blessed holiday season.  I Love YNAB!!

    Checking in with final numbers for November.....

    Starting balance                                                        Ending balance

    $63,259.36                1st Mortgage                         $62,745.18

    $13,317.56                2nd Mortgage                       $13,092.99

    $  3,844.99                Car                                                $  1,853.70

    $80,421.91                                                                       $77,691.87

    Total debt paid down in November $2,730.04, total for 2019 $26,039.98 (99.58% of goal).

    Reply Like 6
    • Whiskey Mama Congrats! That's huge!!

      Reply Like 2
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 1 mth ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      Whiskey Mama 

      Awesome observations and a gold star for discipline.

      I think that people who cultivate that "patience and pacing" are the ones who eventually win the war against debt/financing  for the long-term. Learning to spend, smack-down debt, and invest all at the deliberate pace of your own income is another way of "leveling up" in this game of money, IMO.

      Reply Like 6
  • October check-in:

    I know, I'm a little late. The last few weeks have been quite discouraging.

    However, I have managed to pay down a total of $323.46 in October, to bring me to 75.04% of my goal.

    New totals are:

    Owed to joint account Sept: $1278.49  - now $1010.03 ($268.46 less)

    Owed to Liberty Trust Sept $1210.00 - now $1155 ($55 less)

    The CC is still managing to stay ahead of the scissors - it's turning over about 2.5x its limit each month. 

    The rest of my news will be in my journal.

    Reply Like 3
  • So, I already shared a bit about this because I was so excited, but here's my FINAL official monthly checkin. 😀

    November check in 

    Starting balance from October: $178.56
    Paid down this month: $178.56
    New balance: $0 🎉
    Debt Smackdown Totals: $2,221.14/$2221.14 = 100% 🎉

    Check out that graph - isn't that a beautiful sight? I am just so excited about this. I've never managed to be all that successful with this challenge in the past, so I'm extra proud of myself for not only meeting my goal, but meeting it ahead of schedule! I've also just realized that because of my success this last year of keeping new debt a bit more in check and paying down more than I normally would, PLUS this new behavior has led to a lot of credit limits being raised - all in all, my credit score has jumped up 20 points just in the last few months. VERY good news as I'm planning on a new car next year (my very first car not bought cheap from some friend or family, i.e. my very first car payment ever eek.)

    Next year my goal will be a bit different I think, as I'll have that car payment I mentioned. I won't have as much extra to go toward paying debt down, but my main goal will be reigning in my Amazon habit. My balance on my Amazon CC has been really bothering me, so I'm really going to work on not adding to it more than absolutely necessary and then start chipping away at that debt. Wish me luck on that, and good luck to everybody else finishing out this year's challenge! If I can do it, we all can do it!! 😄

    Reply Like 7
    • Orchid Display WAHOOOO!!!
      Way to go!!
      My recommendation is to start setting aside however much you desire to pay in a car payment every month now so that you can get used to the "payment" and budgeting for it. Then you'll know how much you can handle each month without too much strain, AND you'll have a down payment already saved up.
      Of course, it's easier said than done, but every little thing you can do now will help later! You're on an amazing track!!

      Reply Like 4
    • farfromtheusual That's a good idea, thanks! I hadn't thought of it, but probably better to stick it into savings so it's not sitting in my account begging to be spent on holiday gifts lol. Out of sight, out of mind, gathering interest ;)

      Reply Like 4
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 1 mth ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      Orchid Display 

      Well done.

       If you're wondering where to start in assessing how much car to buy and whether it will work in your budget, I posted my own formula and process in this post linked here.

      Reply Like 5
    • HappyDance I actually went looking for this post a while back to share with a friend - I sent the whole thread, but it was mainly for your calculations. Thank you for sharing! :)

      Reply Like 3
    • Orchid Display if it's in your budget categories, it shouldn't matter what account it's in. I never look to my bank account to know what I can and can't spend, I always look at my budget. If you do that, you won't be tempted to spend it if it's in the 'car payment' category, you'll know that's your down payment, and you don't touch it. That's how we've managed to get ahead and stay ahead with various payments. I don't touch them if they're sitting in a category I know I need for the future.

      Reply Like 2
    • farfromtheusual yeah, this would be how it works in an ideal world, but I still get online to my actual bank website for a variety of things and psychologically for me right now, it's best to move it to another account. I have multiple accounts and my bank has it set up to easily move from one to another. They actually have this secondary checking account specifically for that purpose, and I use it often for short/mid-term saving. It works for me. Maybe someday I'll get better at only looking at my YNAB numbers and not borrowing from categories willy-nilly, but today is not that day, I'm afraid. Goals to work toward ;)

      Reply Like 3
    • Orchid Display And, like you said, it'll earn a tiny bit more in a savings account anyway.
      And my advice is to just DECIDE that it's more important to look at YNAB than your bank, and move forward from there. When you can really just buckle down and make a decision that one thing holds more value and information than the other, you won't look back. YNAB becomes your total frame of reference for your financial situation, instead of your bank accounts.

      Reply Like 3
    • farfromtheusual That's definitely good advice. The more I think about it, I think I'm really going to try and take it - I often fall into the trap of buying things like groceries without thinking about what I have budgeted for it, knowing it's on my credit card (I get awesome cash back benefits so I take advantage of that). Usually because I need groceries but my budgeted amount for it doesn't really get set until a certain payday that hasn't happened yet. I'm still living relatively paycheck to paycheck, not really able to budget a current month with the previous month's income. So I go ahead and buy the groceries on credit, thinking I'll just remember to stay within my expected budget - I then go back and budget for it after the fact, which sometimes leads to the discovery I've accidentally overspent and have to borrow from another category where I was saving up for something else, like an upcoming annual expense or something. Something I've really learned on my YNAB journey over the last few years is I keep discovering all the small traps I've set for myself that have really hurt my financial freedom. Credit card floats, not thinking to save monthly for known annual expenses, depending too much on windfalls that are mostly dependable but anything could happen ... this is just another trap. I do this to myself. This will definitely have to be another goal I set for myself going forward. I need to work on how I really use YNAB and how I SHOULD be using it, and then really stick to how it SHOULD be done.  Thanks for all the advice, it's really appreciated. :)

      Reply Like 3
    • Orchid Display I have SOOOOOO been there. For the past *mumblemumble* years. I'm clawing my way out now. I have some thoughts for you, if you're interested, I'll shoot you a message here, rather than keep adding to this thread :)

      Reply Like 2
    • Orchid Display Congratulations! First, how did you make that graph? I would love to be able to use that feature.

      Second, about your grocery example of budgeting after the fact. Sometimes you're just not going to have enough money in a certain category to get to the end of the month, as you note. In the case of a necessity like groceries, I just accept that it is what it is - I'm not going to do a week's worth of groceries on $20, for example - pay the bill, and before I walk out of the store, WAM in order to cover the negative category balance. If there aren't any long-term or discretionary categories from which you can WAM, I'd suggest pulling from a shorter-term category, even if it is a necessity, such as utilities bills, as long as those bills are due after you get your next paycheck and you can re-fund the categories by then. This way, you'll always keep your category balances honest and accurate, and not have to face a string of red on your screen after the fact.

      Reply Like 2
    • Slate Blue Pilot I keep track of all my credit cards in a Numbers spreadsheet (I'm on a Mac.) It was really simple to create. I'll try and attach one here - there's no personal data on it or anything - and anybody can feel free to use it as a template. It's got all the formulas built in so you just enter your monthly purchase/interest and then any payments/credits for each month and it will do the math to calculate the total balance for that month and then throw that balance up onto the graph.

      Reply Like 3
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 9 days ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Orchid Display congratulations. But... do not get a car loan. Please. Don’t. We drive nice cars but they are used and cost between 6 and 8 thousand. 

      Reply Like 2
      • ISuckatMaths
      • Where Budget and Math collide
      • ISuckatMaths
      • yesterday
      • 2
      • Reported - view

       Orchid Display I really like your set-up, so I actually dl Numbers as the file didn't open in Excel. I've never used Numbers, and took me a bit to figure how to change the currency, but now that I've got it going its so pretty and im excited. Thank you for uploading the file!

      Reply Like 2
  • November update, nothing like overachieving your goal.  😎

    • Starting Balance (January  2019): $69,112.11
    • Current Balance: $58,032.23
    • Paid Off this Year: $11,079.88

    Overall Progress Update:

    • Starting Balance (April 2018): $74,400.00
    • Total Paid Off: $16,367.77
    Reply Like 8
  • Nov check-in: I am able to make my minimum payments to my 2 student loans, and another $250 to my flooring 0% interest card. Hopefully, will be better next month. One month at a time.

    Reply Like 4
  • November progress report on my battle against the student loan beast.

    As of March 31, 2019: $251,414.81. This is my starting balance after joining YNAB in mid-March, 2019.

    As of November 7, 2019: $233,183.54.

    November notes: Regular monthly payment resulted in principal reduction of $1,143.70. Made extra principal payment of $600.00. Total reduction of principal in November: $1,743.70.

    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 $18,231.27 reduction since I've started making these progress reports, I'm now about 58.03% there. 

    My first thought is that I don't think I'm going to hit my goal, as this year has flown by and next month is December already! My company typically pays out year-end bonuses around Christmastime, so I do think I'll get pretty close, but how close is going to depend on the amount, plus whether I decide to funnel some money into pre-funding upcoming travel expenses for early 2020 and otherwise topping off a few categories in order to go into 2020 without anything being underfunded. Though I'm trying not to count my chickens before they hatch, I'm trying to decide whether it's more important to me to (a) get as close to hitting the goal as possible, or (b) get not quite as close, but accomplish some other goals at the same time.

    Reply Like 6
    • Slate Blue Pilot Way to go! You've made huge progress already.

      That is one of those tricky things that is a really personal decision. For me, it has become more important not to slide backwards into debt anywhere else over eliminating debt that I've got. The only exception that I make to that rule is if new debt carries less of an interest rate/payment total than the original debt, and even then, sometimes it's still not worth it to me.

      I hope you get a whopping bonus that allows you to do all of the above!

      Reply Like 4
    • farfromtheusual Thank you for the support! The point about avoidance of sliding backwards into debt is a good one. Throughout my time using YNAB (8 months next week), I have prioritized throwing pretty much any "extra" money toward my debt, and I'm thinking that a year-end windfall may be the time to spread the love a bit, so to speak. My income replacement fund, for example, needs a lot of love!

      Reply Like 4
    • Slate Blue Pilot yes! That's great that you have the opportunity to help spread some things around. I used a couple of situations like that for us to get ahead. We had some windfalls last year that enabled us to start paying the car insurance in the lump sum for 6 months instead of monthly payments, and that saves us almost $300 every 6 months, that was HUGE! Then we also managed to get ahead enough for an extra mortgage payment to be sitting in the bank at all times, and that has made me feel SO much better.
      The BF was complaining last night about the debt he is still carrying, and I was trying to get him to understand that it's sitting there *for free* and not costing him any money. He's like yeah, but I stress about it! And I'm like well, I can throw more money at it, and make it disappear, but then you won't have money for X, Y, and Z, and I do NOT want to slip into debt again. If you do that, you will have to pay interest on that debt, THIS debt is sitting there for FREE, and I'm not willing to do that. He was unhappy about it, but I was like get over it LOL. It's all about mindset. Since he's down to less than 10% debt, his credit score is fine, and the debt isn't bothering that either. It's all about knowing how to work the system in your favor. We'll have tax returns that he can put some money towards the debt if he wants to (he's got a TINY bit on the float with the CC he uses frequently), so that can be eliminated. I'm just praying that we don't add any debt this holiday season because I'm SO over doing that, too!!

      Reply Like 1
  • Two goals I had set out for this year was clearing off my two largest credit cards.  Combined they totaled about $14,000 and I've been working on paying them since 2018. I was able to clear the first one in May. This month I made the final payment on the second one! 

    Now I only have one more credit card debt to go and my auto loan. 

    Reply Like 8
    • Tishy Wishy WAHOO! Congrats! That's huge!!

      Reply Like 2
      • Mx Emmin
      • Orchid_Banjo.5
      • 3 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Tishy Wishy congrats!!

      Reply Like 1
  • November check-in. Started this challenge in October. Owe $30k on my LOC. Got $900 from matured bonds & used that plus $300 I scrimped to make $1200 lumpsum towards the $7500 principal lumpsum allowed to make per calendar year. I also increased my weekly payment from $61 to $75. A month ago I changed the payment frequency from biweekly to weekly on both my LOC & mortgage. Now they are in sync every Friday (never knew when my LOC was coming out) and will save on interest. I just budget 2 weeks worth every pay.

    I set up several lines under the category debt to organize my attack plan:

    - Lumpsum  Attack $7500 with a goal. 

    -Weekly payment $75

    -WAS categories - expenses that I have eliminated or shaved, I made the bill to fund, then move to the attack to remind myself that I don't have extra money in my budget anymore and this saved money is for the attack goal. Want to attack $500/month off the principal. Will move money from saved categories to my attack goal. 

    -WAS: Enercare $60 (bought hot water tank so saved rental/maintenance $1400/year)

    -WAS: Mortgage Insurance $55 (cancelled since have it from work, also mortgage is now $167K)

    -WAS: Plot $65 (last payment in Dec, so will start funding in Jan)

    -DEC tax break $370 (pay monthly for 11 installments)

    Focusing on this debt & belonging to this thread, has made me look at my Xmas budget a lot more clearly! 😀

    Reply Like 6
  • I made it to 100% of 2019 goal!  I was scheduled to make the final cc payment in December, but decided to do a little WAMing just to have it done.  I'll be back in 2020 to tackle the HELOC.

    Thanks for all the support.  It's a great group.

    Reply Like 10
      • Mx Emmin
      • Orchid_Banjo.5
      • 3 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      TC Jackie congrats!! See you next year  :)

      Reply Like 1
    • TC Jackie Cue the canons! 🎉🎉🎉

      Congratulations on reaching your 2019 goal - here's to just as much success next year! :)

      Reply Like 1
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 3 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      TC Jackie 

      Awesome job!

      Reply Like 1
    • TC Jackie hey - congrats on a job well done!

      Reply Like 1
  • November Check In - a bit early
     

    November has been a much better month as expected. I'm a little early this month to post numbers but I don't think I will be adding anymore. Any extra I get this month will be put towards Christmas, or saved for next month's debt payments. 

    I paid $1,187 on debt. This was split between my now three payments. My 0% CC, my 0% construction loan, and my 0% medical loan.  This amount was more than the minimum I need to pay to make sure they are all gone before interest kicks in.

    Unfortunately I am only 77% complete of my goal this year. I'm almost $3,000 short for it to be finished next month. Which isn't going to happen. But I got close, and with a baby on the way it's still a success! 

    Reply Like 6
    • The Goat Queen That's still huge! Way to go!!

      Reply Like 2
  • November Check-In

    Since my last check-in I recieved back 190€ on one of my CC's for a clothing order i sent back. That got the balance down to -287€. My other card I kept using (for groceries and stuff) BUT I had that money budgeted so I was not incresing dept. 

    I decided that this month I wanted to pay at least 500€ to dept. So as soon as I got my paycheck I paid the remaining 287€ to CC#2 and have that paid off fully. HURRAY!

    CC#2 I paid 216,80€ (plus budgeted grocerie money)  to get it to a round number. 

    I COULD pay off an additional amount off 150€, but I think I will not do it and rather now focus on getting ahead one week at a time because right now it's paycheck to paycheck for me. Also I need to start funding my long term bills, so ~500€ dept payment it is. 
    Which I think is awesome anyways because it is more than 1/3 of my paycheck. 

    PLUS I am under 1k in Dept. *happy dance* 

     

    My balances now:

                             Starting Balance    Okt Balance        Payments                     Current Bal

    Per.Loan    €   500                             € 0,00                    (- € 500,00)                  €  0,00
    CC#1:         € 1538,31                    € 1106,80              € 216,80                       €  890                     
    CC#2:         €   478,89                     €    478,89              € (-190,89) -287      € 0,00

    Total:           € 2517,20                                                         €1627,2                         € 890

    Reply Like 6
    • Aquamarine Storm So Exciting to be under 1k in debt! I can't wait to join you, but I'll do the happy dance with you for your success. *happy dance*

      Reply Like 4
    • Aquamarine Storm congrats!!

      Reply Like 1
  • I post in anticipation of the $15.xx I will be charged in interest this month, as opposed to the $100 ish amount that would have been charged if I had maintained minimum payments.  Yay!

    The November payment is scheduled, and I am resisting demolishing December ahead of schedule.  That would be unwise and impatient. 

    Reply Like 7
    • Move Light Sound Life Great job! When you actually look at the interest as something you could've had, then it makes you want to attack the debt!! My LOC was refinanced and when I looked at the paperwork, it said I would be paying $2200 in interest by the end of the term and still owe $22,000. No way! I am now determined to pay off that loan by the end of the term. That $2200 would've been a ski trip! :)

      Reply Like 7
  • Behind on updates.  September was the same as previous months, mostly just our regular payments, but with a little extra on the student loans.  For October, though, we were able to put a little bit more extra down (another $190 above what we have been doing).  November should be a good month, with three paychecks for husband and finally having regular paychecks for wife.

    We still have about $7,000 to try to get to our goal, but it's doable, especially with Christmas coming!

    Reply Like 8
  • OK, So I am pretty new ot YNAB and I am just getting my head around how this works but I do find it inspiring. I am looking at clearing €23,000 in debt by December 2020. It will be tough but I find that if I check YNAB every day, it makes it easier to stay focused.

    Reply Like 5
    •  PJ (Just quietly, there are many of us who can't go a day or less without checking our YNAB...)

      Reply Like 4
    • PJ Welcome to YNAB! We're happy you're here and that's a sturdy goal you have for yourself, but you can do it! :)

      PS. I check my budget multiple times a day, knowing that nothing has changed since breakfast.. or lunch..

      Reply Like 3
    • PJ I check my budget several times a day for fun. lol.

      Reply Like 4
    • PJ Guilty..... I often go look at it, just to go look at it. Nothing has moved since yesterday. Or the day before that. And I still go look at it.

      Reply Like 5
  • Nov 2019 : I'M DEBT FREE!!!

    Reply Like 14
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 9 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Trish B 😮 way to go!!!!  🎉 🎉 

      Reply Like 1
      • SapphireSweetie
      • Changing my financial future!
      • Sapphiresweetie
      • 9 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Trish B  Congratulations! 🥳🥳

      Reply Like 1
      • PJ
      • peterjb
      • 9 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Trish B  well done you. 

      Reply Like 1
    • Trish B Congratulations!!!

      Reply Like
    • Trish B Talk about happy holidays! ;)

      Congratulations! 🎉

      Reply Like 1
      • Mx Emmin
      • Orchid_Banjo.5
      • 8 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Trish B  congrats!! 🥳🥳

      Reply Like 1
      • TC Jackie
      • HR Manager
      • tc_jackie
      • 8 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Trish B Well done!

      Reply Like 1
    • Trish B Congratulations!!!!

      Reply Like 1
    • Trish B That's FANTASTIC!!!! Congrats!!

      Reply Like 1
    • Trish B Hooray! 🎉 That is amazing news. Congratulations!

      Reply Like 1
      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 6 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Trish B Amazing!!! Now start saving & investing since you're used to living on less. And time to treat yourself! That is a major milestone. Celebrate! 😄🎉🍾

      Reply Like 1
    • Trish B wahoo!!!!!

      Reply Like 1
      • Grey Tux
      • Silver_Wizard.3
      • 2 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Trish B Happy Dance!!!  :)

      Reply Like 1
  • October was the same slow & steady for us, but we caught a windfall this month and ended up doubling our debt goal for the year! Next month will be a bit more and then I might join the 2020 savings spreadsheet when it opens up. We aren't debt free, but our I can see our priorities shifting next year.

    Reply Like 7
  • November Update: £98.13 put towards debt in total - I'm down to two cards now, and the December payment will finish off one of them. My debt has dipped below £1000! The google sheet says I'm 78% towards my goal for this year, some of the debt will carry into next year. My overall debt thermometer says I'm 40% of the way to being debt free.

    Reply Like 6
    • Mx Emmin that's huge!!! Congrats!!

      Reply Like 2
  • Another update. 

    I could somehow free up another 69,18€ which went straight to my  CC dept. So my balance on this card is now -820,82 which is also my whole dept.

     

    On another note, I just signed today a kind of student loan. Right now I am a full-time student AND am working 20hours a week to survive. It's aweful. I got like this through my bachelors which resulted in multiple additional semesters. My master is so so much more work AND my classes are only taught once a year which only makes the pressure worse. Because if I fail a class, I would have to wait a full YEAR to do it again. 

    On the other hand, if I succeed everywhere I can start my thesis in August next year with  a company which will pay me (therefore no more need for a loan).

    This loan is quit good because you are not paying interest. They charge you 5% of the whole sum once (!) with the last pay and thats it. My payments will start in Oktober 2021, but I could start faster if I want to. Also if you pay them back fast enough you can even get back up to all of the 5%. Which is awesome I think.

    This loan is already making me calmer. Crazy I know, but right now it is constantly juggling surviving and finishing my degree as fast as possible, because I am almost 27 and I just want to be finished with school and get a real job. 

    Sorry you had to read all of that, have a nice weekend everyone :)

    Reply Like 1
    • Aquamarine Storm  I hear you on work sucking your study time. Being able to focus on your study so you can get a pass, and knowing that doing so will put you in a position to get that 5% charge waived will help you stay motivated. All the best with it.

      Reply Like 2
    • WairereRose thank you! I'm so motivated, I just want to sit at the library all day and do my stuff haha. 

      Reply Like 3
  • November Update here. Unfortunately, although I went forward on my loan, my debt to the joint account went backwards (feeling the pinch from having stopped work). The net deficit this month was $155.17 which leaves me at 72.21% of my goal. *sigh* I'm hoping December will be an improvement, but will put more about that in my journal.

    Reply Like 3
  • November check-in: paid $3,778.26 toward debt! 100% of a windfall went in the debt snowball and we're so close to meeting our goal.

    Reply Like 5
  • November check-in: $871.29 paid toward debt (includes P&I)

    I'm slowing down some as the year comes to a close. My monthly payment goal is $1250, but the past few months have been more around $850-$900. I'm taking it as a win that I was able to pay for medical expenses without taking on further debt and still making progress toward my debt paydown goal.  Good news on the credit card front, I moved $8600 from a card with 10%+ interest to a new card with $0 transfer fee and 0% interest through April 2020.  I am starting to think about goals in the new year, especially purchasing a house. I had looked a bit late summer/early fall and quickly realized I did not have enough cash on hand to feel comfortable with the expenses like home inspection and escrow deposit, plus things I would need to buy as a first time homebuyer, like a lawn mower, snow blower, etc. I want to try again this upcoming year with the goal of having more cash on hand and a clearer vision of what I hope to buy (2 bed, 1 bath SFH, know which neighborhoods I want to live in, etc.).

    Thanks to all for your check-ins. It is super inspiring to read!

    Reply Like 5
    • Hot Pink Admiral Each month looks a little different, and you roll with the punches. You've made a lot of progress this year! Those first time homebuyer items can be a long list, and are great to consider in your plans.

      Reply Like 1
  • Hi all! I don't write here often, but basically after looking through my numbers, I basically took on the same amount of debt in 2019 that I planned to, and did, pay off (approx $8k). So, super depressing. I know it's at least good I didn't go into an even deeper hole than I started in, but I feel like the entire point has been defeated. So....do I just feel like the entire year was a waste and start over in 2020? 

    Reply Like 3
    • gosolino We know set backs will happen, that's why Rule Three exists. While this year may not have gone as you had hoped, it's a learning experience you can apply to next year. The first step can be taking a step down a new path. Do what you can the rest of this year and start anew in 2020. :)

      Reply Like 3
    • gosolino You still have a month of 2019 to do something that gets you ahead. Don't let the mistakes of the past steal more from your future than they have already. Every step in the right direction takes you further away from those defeats and closer to your victory. Don't wait till 2020 to start over, start over now.

      Reply Like 4
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 4 days ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      gosolino 

      Sometimes breaking even on a big spending year is an absolute win.  Think about where the old you would have been after such a year if you hadn't had a budget and goals in place. Maybe further in debt? rather than breaking even?  You may look back on this year as  a big win character-wise, one in which despite what life through at you, you  held on to your goals and did not lose any ground. The 2020 you is going to be grateful you didn't lose ground.

      Reply Like 3
      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 4 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      gosolino Stay positive. You are moving forward. Life does throw us curveballs. Maybe you need someone to look over your budget and help you. They may see ways for you to save money and anticipate costs that you aren't seeing, especially when you are upset. Don't give up. Ask for help. You've got this. :) 

      Reply Like 1
    • WairereRose Yes start over now. Maybe use the Fresh Start feature on your budget. :)

      Reply Like
    • gosolino not going deeper into debt is a win!  Maybe not what you had hoped to accomplish, but a win none the less.  Life happens and we have to roll with the punches.  Use that roll to get a start on 2020. The only way to fail is to quit and you didn't do that :)

      Reply Like 5
    • gosolino The win is that you broke even.  If you weren't in debt, you would see this as a budgeting WIN!  As Whiskey Mama (the best name) said, not taking on more debt is a total win.  It may feel like it was pointless, but think of the lessons you've learned along the way and carry it all forward.  

      I've had years like this and I finally feel like I've grasped everything enough that incremental decline in debt, even if it's the break even point, are wins.  Reflect on the things that you can save on for next year, ways that you can shift spending to be more thrifty, and most of all don't beat yourself up or it could have the opposite effect and you could defeat all the work you put in this year for that break even.

      You've got this!  Roll on to 2020 with 20/20 hindsight.  ;)

      Reply Like 6
    • Pixel spender “Roll on to 2020 with 20/20 hindsight”..........love this!!! 

      Reply Like 3
  • Happy, blessed, and proud that we exceeded our goal this year.  Can't say that's always been the case and being in our mid fifties, we should of had this budget thing figured out decades ago, but alas here we are.  Drum roll please.........

    Total debt paid down in December $2,587.91, total for 2019 $28,627.89 (109.48% of goal).  

    The best part is, I just confirmed that my car is paid off - exactly 2 years after we purchased her new :D

    Reply Like 12
      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 3 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Whiskey Mama That's incredible!! Way to go! 🎉

      Reply Like 1
    • Whiskey Mama Nicely done! Accomplishing a goal is one thing and surpassing a goal is a completely separate reason to celebrate! Congratulations! :)

      Reply Like 1
    • Whiskey Mama AMAZING!!!!! Congrats!!!

      Reply Like 1
  • Barclaycard Platinum... zero. Bosh! 
     

    Now to start hammering the last of the student loan.

    Reply Like 10
    • lindsay_g wahoo!!!

      Reply Like 2
  • I've kicked it into high gear. I've worked on the side for two other departments at my agency and started selling plasma. I never thought I could make this kind of progress in a year! I just hit over $20k in debt paid off this year on a base income of $46k/year. Side hustles really make a difference! I'm just so happy to see my hard work paying off! The loan I'm working on killing is down to $7,274.88! Although I have another $200 payment posting at the end of the day. Thank you everyone for sharing your stories and for all the support! Good luck everyone!

    Reply Like 9
    • Gold Song You've paid almost half of your base income off in debt - that is outstanding! Congratulations on making so much progress in just this year!! 🎉

      Reply Like 2
Like80 Follow
  • 80 Likes
  • 1 hr agoLast active
  • 1871Replies
  • 13139Views
  • 233 Following