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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  • March check-in: $1645.73 sent to debt! Didn't quite reach our goal of $2500.00 this month. We had a side hustle end in March, plus the new puppy—so our snowball has shrunk.

    We're 25% to our goal for the year. Sending extra dollars in January certainly helped get ahead! We're making some adjustments for April and will re-evaluate our goal at the end of the month.

    Reply Like 7
  • I feel a bit off track. Two major things happened. 1. I paid off my car which was the debt I've been focused on for quite some time and was excited about paying off. Now my next debts have quite a bit to go on them. 2. My boyfriend and I had a pretty messy break up. We lived together and now there are things that I will need to get and things that I will need to fix from where he took things that were attached to walls and such.

    I'm emotionally a wreck and feel like I'm failing in this aspect as well since I was able to put so much toward debt so far this year and now I'm feeling more like I need to put a hold on it. Ugh! Any words of encouragement would be great!

    Reply Like 5
    • Gold Song Hang in there! Progress comes in spurts, and is rarely a perfect linear advancement. You made some big headway into your debt, and you may need to slow down for a bit while you roll with the punches that recently came your way. But you'll move forward, and once you've rolled with those punches, you'll be ready to take on the rest of the debt. Sometimes when life feels like you're going two steps forward and one step back, over and over again, always remember that you are still moving forward overall.

      Reply Like 4
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 8 mths ago
      • 7
      • Reported - view

      Gold Song 

      Consider my "like" a hug of support.  My financial journey did a really dramatic rollercoaster wave in the first 16 months. Exciting times and not all "nice" exciting.  I remember that I worried about what it would do to my budget, then I reminded myself that the budget is not the goal. The budget will simply be a reflection of my life like a completed journal, and that is exactly what it has become.  Do what needs doing.  I would encourage you to take your time when making any big spending or life decisions to ensure you are not making poor decisions for entirely emotional reasons.  It will be a little bumpy, but there are better smoother roads ahead.

      Reply Like 7
      • Coral Pony
      • If nothing goes right - go left
      • Coral_Pony.6
      • 8 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Gold Song Life happens. Good and bad stuff, you had both. It's okay to put debt on hold while you sort out the other parts of your life. That's not failing, that's being sensible.

      Reply Like 4
    • Gold Song Using "Like" to signify "Hugs" as well. Take care of yourself.

      Reply Like 2
      • MicroSpice
      • Crazy Person
      • Microspice
      • 8 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Gold Song You are doing great. Life happens, and it's not a failure for anyone, not even you. You're not that much more special than the rest of us! 😉

      Give yourself some time to step back and re-evaluate, but most importantly, to heal and take care of yourself.

      Reply Like 4
      • TheTabby
      • Just a common cat trying to budget uncommonly well.
      • TheTabby
      • 8 mths ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      Gold Song *hugs* Hey, I dunno what the situation was, and I'm not gonna say who was "righter" or "wronger".  What I'm gonna say though, is that if the break up was messy, you're probably better off in the long term without the guy (which doesn't make breaking up suck any less).  Is it gonna throw short-term financial wrenches in the works?  Absolutely.  But you didn't start utilizing a budget for short-term reasons.  You're using it for long term reasons, and in the long term, it'll do its job.  Heck, in the short term, it'll still do its job, it just won't be so pretty. *hugs*

      tl;dr: *hugs* break-ups suck; you're probably better off (once it stops sucking so bad); keep on going, you'll get there.  *hugs*

      Reply Like 5
  • March Check-In (I think I missed February - oops!)

    Starting Debt: $18,742.82

    Current Debt: $13,445.35

    Progress: $5,297.47  and 28.26% of debt goal paid

    I'm not entirely convinced we're going to meet our goal by the end of the year. ManSpice didn't get as big a raise as anticipated, which is a bummer, but we are still consistently paying $1150 a month toward the debt, so we are at least being consistent. Spicelet will be done with private pre-K in May, so that will free up around $500 a month to go toward debt, but some of it will also need to go toward some true expenses (vet visits, travel, and please God, please - new floors).

    Plugging along, no matter what, because being just shy of our year-end goal is way better progress than paying minimums.

    Reply Like 9
    • MicroSpice That's how I feel. I am starting to doubt being able to hit my payoff goal this year, but I figure if I try my best my total will still be a lot less than it is now. 

      Reply Like 3
      • Technicolor Cheetah
      • Not sure when I became a cheetah...but I'll run with it
      • technicolor_cheetah
      • 8 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      MicroSpice 

      Your new floors is my new driveway.  Did you know that asphalt could have ruts?  Neither did I!  Ever so much fun when trying to shovel snow or walk to the car in the dark!  We'll be lucky if we don't have potholes before we can get the money together.  

      Reply Like 2
    • Technicolor Cheetah I hear yall on the floors and driveway! I have a giant mud hole that's been there since Oct that's the driveway-to-be.... Between the rain, mud, and funding issues it's still a dirt hole waiting to be a driveway. It'll get there eventually...

      Reply Like 2
  • 🤩😎I will pay off 34573.09 by October, 1 car loan and 1 student loan. I will be getting 1-2 more jobs in addition to my day job.🤑

    Reply Like 5
  • Hi everyone!

    I've claimed row #253

    I'm a bit late to the party, I wish I had found this forum when I started YNAB 2 years ago 😊 we started with $144,586.00 in total non mortgage debts, it still makes me feel so ashamed just thinking about that total.

    I have the following non mortgage debts left

    ANZ credit card $1,872.37

    Westpac credit card $8,121.09

    Citibank credit card $12,000.00

    CBA Personal Loan $24,683.36

    Total non mortgage debt $46,676.82

    My plan is to snowball away the credit card debt of $21,993.46 this year!

    Reply Like 9
    • Purple Butterfly  Pay-off of $100,000 in just two years - that's amazing progress! Just think... at this rate you'll be free of your non-mortgage debt in a year!

      Reply Like 2
      • Technicolor Cheetah
      • Not sure when I became a cheetah...but I'll run with it
      • technicolor_cheetah
      • 8 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Purple Butterfly 

      You've paid over $97,000 since you started YNAB, if I did the math right!  That is really awesome!  In addition, I'm assuming that with YNAB you've corrected or are correcting the issues that caused the non-mortgage debts which is also wonderful.  Obviously you've had to build better habits to have gotten this far and that can be hard, so trust that you're making great progress and personal growth!  

      Remember, like with extra weight, it took you some time to accrue the debt, so it's going to take some time to divest yourself of it.  It's also ok to to take a month here and there where you don't apply as much to the debt but divert to true expenses and some just for fun stuff (budgeted and within reason, of course).  It can be hard to sustain breakneck pace as I'm sure you're aware!

      Reply Like 4
      • Purple Butterfly
      • It's never too late to start!
      • purple_butterfly
      • 8 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Slate Blue Pilot That’s what I’m hoping, that 100k did include money from an unexpected windfall, but you’re right I need to focus on how far we have come. Thank you 😊 

      Reply Like 2
      • Purple Butterfly
      • It's never too late to start!
      • purple_butterfly
      • 8 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Technicolor Cheetah  YNAB has been an incredible help! I was using a spreadsheet for about 3months before I found YNAB, It’s the knowing exactly how much you have allocated for everything that’s really helped me.

      I also took some advice from the Barefoot Investor, I didn’t realise that you can negotiate the interest on your credit cards, we rang the bank and they dropped the rate from 19% to 3.5%

      Thank you for reminding me of the growth that it’s taken so far, it’s too easy to forget that and just see the negative that you got in trouble in the first place.

      The thought of relaxing and taking a break for a month actually terrifies me.

      Reply Like 2
      • Technicolor Cheetah
      • Not sure when I became a cheetah...but I'll run with it
      • technicolor_cheetah
      • 8 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Purple Butterfly 

      Purple Butterfly Some people do better with intermittent rewards when trying to implement a new behavioral habit.  So you don't always deny yourself the things you've mostly cut from your budget.  Maybe you go out with friends or host a dinner party.  Maybe you catch a movie in the theater instead of waiting for Netflix.  Maybe you get a pedicure or haircut with your old stylist instead of Supercuts or the Flowbee.  (link is a Flowbee Pinterest pin)

      If you think it's too dangerous and you might backslide, then don't.  You know yourself best and how not to set yourself for failure.

      Reply Like 2
      • Purple Butterfly
      • It's never too late to start!
      • purple_butterfly
      • 8 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Technicolor Cheetah It’s definitely important to reward yourself along the way, we allocate a weekly amount for “date night”, even if it’s just fish and chips on the beach, or a picnic in the park we try and make it special. We also allocate some personal discretionary money.

      I have never heard of a Flowbee before, I cut the families hair, learned over several decades, and many early disasters when the kids were little, though i’ve never been game to do my own, will have to look into it 🙂

      Reply Like 1
      • Technicolor Cheetah
      • Not sure when I became a cheetah...but I'll run with it
      • technicolor_cheetah
      • 8 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Purple Butterfly 

      I was joking on the Flowbee.  Sounds like you already are making sure to keep small treats and rewards which can be very important.  People who go out for lunch every day at work to brown-bagging it every day are less likely to be able to make the change stick because it's too big a change all at once.  Maybe you pack lunches 1-2 times a week for a month. Then 3-4 days a week for a month.  Then you go out once or twice every couple weeks.  Cold turkey sometimes works but sometimes you get the yoyo diet effect, budget style - too much austerity all at once leads to spending sprees.  Small incremental changes are easier to sustain.

      Reply Like 1
  • Check-in for month 3!  Not adding to debt payments but able to make March payments, as planned.  Per the spreadsheet we're 19.22% of the way there for 2019!  :-)

    Reply Like 3
  • I've been using YNAB since December 2018, and I've already found more money in my budget than I thought possible. Windfalls this year enabled us to pay off 2 cars and a credit card.

    My goal this year is to begin an aggressive snowball on the last debt, which is my mortgage. The first part of this year will be spent topping up some large pending expense categories (AC that's 20 years old and roof work), and the second half of the year will snowball that money into the mortgage. 

    The current debt amount is $65,153.66, and my goal is $5,000 in extra payments. This year is the beginning of the snowball, so the long term goal is to roll it into 2020 for 10k in extra payments. 

    I'm late to the show, so April will be the first month to update on later. If I've done this correctly (??), looks like I've got # 254. 

    Reply Like 5
    • Wanted to Add: (and it seems frivolous to add an aside after only a week) But making a post here and entering data on the spreadsheet has seriously kept my goal in the forefront of my mind all week. So much so that I elected to allocate discretionary funds over to my debt. The realization that it was my personal money to spend (outside of the budget), and that it was my name on the mortgage, and if I wanted to spend my personal money to reach my goal, then I could absolutely do that. I never really thought about spending my discretionary money on my debt, and usually left the main budget to handle it. I think I will make it a mini goal this year to keep seeding some of my fun money over into my debt. Small steps still mean great rewards. 

      Reply Like 9
      • Alia Gee
      • Let me explain... No, there is too much. Let me sum up.
      • Pink_Keyboard
      • 7 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Navy Blue Colt I love that idea! Thank you! 

      Reply Like 2
  • Hello everyone and sorry it's taken me so long to get here this year! There are big changes in my life right now. You can follow those in my journal, but for here I'll just put my goals, and actually start checking in:

    Total debt as at 31 Dec 2019: $2961.60 made up of: Personal Loan $1765; and a not truly PIF CC with a rolling balance that keeps me from paying interest of $1196.60.

    The goal (again) is to pay this off in full this year.

    January progress: 

    CC $ 297.18; Loan $65; Total $362.18 = @ 12.23% of goal

    February progress: 

    CC $662.10; Loan $65; Total $727.10 = @ 36.78% of goal

    March progress: 

    CC $-160.10; Loan $55; Total $-105.10 = @ 33.23% of goal

    Obviously going forward I'm hoping to reverse that negative trend from last month (and on track, I have today reconciled my "In the black" CC!) and make some serious headway on that personal loan. This year could see my "graduation" from the Debt Smackdown thread!

    Reply Like 8
  • Hi everyone! This is cool!

     

    Debt totals (as of 3/31/19)

    Personal loan: $34500

    My student loan: $1960

    My wife’s private student loan: $2650

    My wife’s other student loans: $41000

     

    I pay $725 to the personal loan, $65 to my student loan, $65 to my wife’s private loan, and $150 (interest only sadly) to the other loans. 

    At this rate my main debt goals for 2019 are to keep making these payments without accruing any new debt- because the personal loan was the result of consolidating and refinancing several credit cards over the years. I got a great interest rate and a 5 year plan and I’m already overpaying it a little bit, but that doesn’t mean anything if I take on new debt. 

    If I stay on track, I will have knocked out $6000 of debt principal this year. 

    I’ve got ID 256

    Reply Like 5
  • I paid $455.60 towards eliminating our debt this month. My goal is $7500 for the year.  I am currently at $4755.98 paid, which puts me at 63.41% complete. I'm a little disappointed because I was hoping to put a minimum of $700 towards debt each month, but $455 is nothing to scoff at. Hopefully we will be back on track next month. This month was a little rough. But my progress is incredible - so no complaining!!! I am more than halfway to my goal, and still have roughly 9-months to go!

    Reply Like 10
  • Paid off $2,165.34 in March, but that includes about $300 for purchases made in March.  Still trying to cover the accruing interest in my monthly payments.

    Reply Like 5
  • March checkin.  Paid $2380 toward debt in March.  April is starting out with over $2000 in car repairs.  Much of it was saved for, but not all.  So April will be lean.

    Reply Like 4
  • March Check-In : We did good progress this month but as we're currently working on our financial security, i.e. drafting our will, all extra income has been going towards our sinking fund to pay the notary. Hopefully, May will be a dramatic change in lowering our debt tally.

    Reply Like 6
    • Sea Green Lightning Many banks and credit unions in the U.S. have notaries available free of charge, if you have an account with the bank.  Is that an option for you? 

      Reply Like 2
    • Sea Green Lightning I second checking with your bank. You already bank there, and they will often do it for free. I hope you can find that as an option!

      Reply Like
  • Here's my check in for March... After adding over $2200 in debt each of the last two months, I was able to finally get headed in the right direction in March. I paid off a total of $552.17 in March. Pretty excited to see the numbers start heading in the right direction!!

    Reply Like 7
  • Another month, another update.  This month is pretty standard in terms of debt pay down, but we haven't even made it 7 days in and I'm having to roll with the punches. Escrow went up and the cat had a larger vet bill than expected at his checkup, so there went my fun money this month. Hopefully, things settle down and it stops feeling like money is flying out of my account. 💸

    • Starting Balance (January  2019): $69,112.11
    • Current Balance: $64,501.77
    • Paid Off this Year: $4,610.34

    Overall Progress Update:

    • Starting Balance (April 2018): $74,400.00
    • Total Paid Off: $9,898.23
    Reply Like 3
  • April Check-in: Got my tax return and took some to pay another tax bill then put the last 1,000 toward CC debt along with my tenants rent payment so in April I have paid 1400 off already which puts me at 35% toward my goal of paying off  10,000 with another 2 paychecks to go from my part-time job.  

    Reply Like 6
  • Checking in for April - I send all payments out on the 1st of the month and my balances have updated so here goes :)

    Starting balance                                                        Ending balance

    $66,818.48                1st Mortgage                         $66,314.31

    $14,765.81                2nd Mortgage                       $14,558.19

    $13,769.90                Car                                               $12,197.30

    $95,354.19                                                                        $93,069.80

    Total debt paid down in April $2,284.39, YTD  2019 $10,662.05 (40.77% of goal).   We're still on track to pay off the car this year - yay!

    Reply Like 8
  • Bit of a rant, really. I HATE SELF-EMPLOYMENT so much sometimes. Hubby told me he'd bet getting 32 from a client. I assumed it was thousand (yes, the business income varies enough that this is quite usual), it turned out to be $3200, but that would have been one client plus his usual one...but then the other client decided that they're not paying til next month so that's IT for the month. So down from $12K to $3.2K for the month. Currently WAMMING to cover true expenses. There will be $0 goal progress this month. GRRRR.

    Reply Like 1
    • Slate Blue Vacuum *hugs* self employment is a whole 'nother ball game in terms of money management.

      Reply Like 4
      • Slate Blue Vacuum
      • Trying to ignore the Joneses
      • Slate_Blue_Vacuum.5
      • 8 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual Yup and thanks for responding. My usual response to this is shopping *we'll never be debt-free anyway why bother* or eating. Accountability helps. 

      Reply Like 2
    • Slate Blue Vacuum I have the same feelings sometimes, you feel so deep in the hole that it doesn't seem like it's worth it to try to climb out. But I remind myself that I'd rather not be in debt forever, either. Sometimes it's tough to keep up with the interest in my business, along with all my expenses. My business is a tiny fry right now, though, compared to most, but that doesn't make it any easier.

      In the long run, though, I wouldn't trade the self employment for anything. It's just a matter of working out how to keep things balanced when the income isn't.

      Reply Like 3
      • Technicolor Cheetah
      • Not sure when I became a cheetah...but I'll run with it
      • technicolor_cheetah
      • 8 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Slate Blue Vacuum  farfromtheusual

      Ideally, someday you'll be able to budget ahead and keep what you absolutely need plus a little in each month and then have additional months' funded in times when you aren't short 10x what you expected.  So instead of splurging and spending freely on the rich months, you fund one month or more into the future in case next month's income is less than desirable, and then maybe have a small splurge now and again.  Actually, if a lot of your income is variable, you might consider putting off some of your debt repayment for a month or four so you can build up a bit of a cushion to ameliorate crummy months.

      *hugs* I know it's hard.  Good luck!    

      Reply Like 3
      • Slate Blue Vacuum
      • Trying to ignore the Joneses
      • Slate_Blue_Vacuum.5
      • 8 mths ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      Technicolor Cheetah Yeah, that's where we are... 2 years into YNAB. Time was (before kids) we were always living on last month's money. This was even before I knew about YNAB. Our income didn't expand enough to have kids/daycare/+ our bonus kiddos (our godkids lived with us for a while with no parental contribution). Then, DH's business almost folded in 2016. It's just one step at a time to get out. Our debt isn't insurmountable based on our income, but the variability of his income makes it difficult to imagine ever being debt free AND with a really great AOM. My income increased by 65% this year, so it's helping, but our cost of living also increased about 30%...and we had a 2nd kid. And our godkids MAY be coming back...it's a whole thing. It's hard to budget for what you don't know. We are definitely rolling with the punches, but my goal is ONLY to not let disappointment cause me to spend (or eat) unnecessarily! 

      Reply Like 5
      • Slate Blue Vacuum
      • Trying to ignore the Joneses
      • Slate_Blue_Vacuum.5
      • 8 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual You totally get it. Thanks ❤️

      Reply Like 1
    • Slate Blue Vacuum Yeah. It's really really hard. You have a lot on your plate. Give yourself some credit for hanging in there this long!!

      Reply Like 3
    • Slate Blue Vacuum something I’ve found helpful is to record each day what I DIDN’T do to prevent me from reaching my goals. So for my weight loss goal  for example, I’ll record that I didn’t stop at the store for chocolate even though it took every ounce of will power I had - heck, that goes on my budget goal too because chocolate isn’t cheap. It’s a new thing for me, just learned it this week, but the scales are a whole kg kinder than they were on Monday, and it’s becoming immensely satisfying writing my list at the end of the day. Remember, it takes time for small steps to build into something significant, especially as it feels like you are getting nowhere, but suddenly (the experts say about 27 months average) the cumulative effects take over and you will be a significant way ahead of where you would have been if you’d done nothing. Hang in there, you’ve got this, and remember to budget yourself a tiny bit of freedom/fun money just to use when you feel that urge to give up. The urge will come less frequently as you have more history and can see the down lines on the graph slowly start to dip less low.

      Reply Like 6
      • Slate Blue Vacuum
      • Trying to ignore the Joneses
      • Slate_Blue_Vacuum.5
      • 8 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      WairereRose I love this and I'm going to try it! Thanks for responding.

      Reply Like 3
      • NewDawnNewDay
      • Turn your face to the sun and all your shadows fall behind you.
      • newdawn
      • 7 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      WairereRose excellent idea.

      Reply Like 1
    • NewDawnNewDay I got it from Darren Hardy on one of his Darren Daily clips.

      Reply Like
    • WairereRose Cool idea!

      Reply Like 1
    • Sky Blue Sidewinder why are you spamming this forum?

      Reply Like 1
      • PugsBugs
      • PF enthusiast
      • trigger207
      • 7 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual I just blocked their account but is there a reporting mechanism to forum moderators?  This thread is already big with real comments, doesn't need to be inflated with spam.  :D 

      Reply Like 3
    • PugsBugs I have no idea if there's a way to report someone or not. I hope they get it taken care of quickly because that's just rude (and probably illegal...).

      Reply Like 2
    • farfromtheusual PugsBugs

      Thank you for pointing this out! All forum comments are sent to us for review, but these slipped in after we had left for the evening. We've cleared them out now. :)

      Going forward, if there's a particular comment you'd like for us to take a second look at, you can flag it and that will notify us.

      Reply Like 1
      • Technicolor Cheetah
      • Not sure when I became a cheetah...but I'll run with it
      • technicolor_cheetah
      • 7 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      PugsBugs farfromtheusual

      If you look next to the name on a post, to the right (on laptop, don't know about mobile), you'll see three vertical dots.  Clicking on that brings up a drop down menu with Report Post.  I assume that works.

      Reply Like 1
      • PugsBugs
      • PF enthusiast
      • trigger207
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Technicolor Cheetah Awesome! I admittedly went straight for 'block user' because I don't want to see any more spam

      Reply Like
    • PugsBugs  they may have been hacked, rather than being the actual user. It did start out “I am a hacker...”

      Reply Like 1
  • It looks like I'll only be able to contribute $300 towards debt this month which is a lot less than I have previous months. I'm just trying to stay positive and remember that at least it's moving in the right direction!

    Reply Like 7
    • Gold Song Progress is progress! And that's something to stay positive about. 😄

      Reply Like 3
      • Coral Pony
      • If nothing goes right - go left
      • Coral_Pony.6
      • 7 mths ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      Gold Song Why compare, this month isn't the previous month. You're doing the best you can, and it is going the way you aim for. That's pretty good, really.

      Reply Like 5
  • YAY! Tax refund came and before it could simmer in the account long enough for us to change the plan, I sent at least half on its way as we agreed upon a few weeks ago. Chase is now paid off, as is Citibank. So that's $4100 sent off today, for a grand total of 48% toward our smackdown goal for the year!

    Reply Like 9
  • Ok, so in 2019, we started January with $23794.70 on my student loans and $3602.95 on a loan for an air conditioner.  Our goal is to pay off the air conditioning loan and then avalanche the student loans as much as we can. 

    January: $1219.41 to the ACL, $405.42 to SL

    February: $2397.79 to the ACL, $405.42 to SL

    March: $0 to ACL!!!, $405.42 to SL (extra payment of $1350.69 was thwarted, so April's extra payment will be doubled).

    By the end of 2019, we will only have $4251.22 left on the SL, so that would be a whopping $4833.46 (Jan-Mar) + $3506.8 (April - $1350*2+405+400) + $15,643.36 (May-Dec) = $23,983.62!

    At that rate, the SL should be paid off by March 2020!

    I hope we can stay the course!  We'll take line 258.

    Reply Like 9
      • NewDawnNewDay
      • Turn your face to the sun and all your shadows fall behind you.
      • newdawn
      • 7 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Move Light Sound Life awesome! Stay the course!! 

      Reply Like 2
    • Move Light Sound Life

      I just realized I should be posting my updates on this sub thread so they don't get lost.

      April update: just confirmed payments totaling $3506.80, which makes the student loan balance 19517.84. 

      Ahead of schedule, may pay off loan by January! Then we'll put money to a needed car replacement and almost necessary home improvements.

      Reply Like 3
    • Move Light Sound Life 

      Payments are made to the tune of $2,433.17 to the student loan, bringing the total down to $17175.07.  Looking ahead through the summer, we may need to lower the extra payments to take care of other things - hope the paydown is not impacted too much!

      Reply Like 4
    • Move Light Sound Life I'm a little worried about the June extra payment. We will probably have to save it in order to take care of some family things. While this is important, and paying the student loan off by February 2020 is nearly as good as January, I don't want to have the slippery slope of other major things impacting each month... But that is out of my control. We can only hope and pray for the best situation, and the wisdom to make the right decisions. :)

      And be thankful that we can handle this so far without extra debt!

      Reply Like 4
    • Move Light Sound Life You gotta take care of you. It's better to not slide further into debt while trying to pay off debt. So do what you have to do!

      Reply Like 3
    • Move Light Sound Life 

      Ok, so we have another priority for the extra debt payment this month, which means we will only make the minimum payment on the student loan for June. 

      If there's anything left over, we'll add it to July.

      This will put our payoff date in February (maybe, but hopefully not March) of next year, which will be ok. As long as we don't have too many (any?) more events like this, it will be ok. 

      But, no need to add debt, we're not "wanting" for important things, and maybe my Dad is interested in YNAB. Good things!

      I just don't know if I should lower the goal in the spreadsheet. Our original goal was doable if we maintained a somewhat limited living budget, with no unplanned/large expenditures, and threw everything else at debt.

      There's not much left to cut, and it certainly won't add up to $2000 over 6 months, so maybe the original goal should have been the stretch goal. But it would have been too easy to think we were meeting the easier goal without as much scarcity, so I'm glad we didn't start out that way. Maybe I'll leave it and see what happens. We won't meet it, but we can see how close we get.

      Reply Like 6
  • I paid an extra $100 toward principal on my car loan in April - remaining total $4200.32.  I'm going to be able to pay an extra $100 in May. The car will definitely be paid off by the end of the year, but I'm shooting for October. Paid the minimum on my other two debts. 

    Reply Like 7
  • April Check in -

    Happily still on Track!  I basically made the same payments I did last month so paid $2789 towards our debt.  We'll see if there's any leftover for additional payments at the end of the month but I think I'm going to concentrate on Aging our money and trying to get a month ahead so we have a cushion...  One thing I am going to do extra starting next month is budgeting for the interest accrued on our debts (minus the mortgage) and paying that with the debts.  

    Reply Like 7
  • April Update line 245

    I got a significant tax return AND managed to make additional hours at work so I had extra money...In the past, I would have use a big chunk of that money to buy a "well deserve gift" but NOT THIS TIME!

    Car loan is DONE! (-765$)
    Credit card reduced to 6720$ from 8550$ (-1830$)
    Line of credit get down to 4064$ (-86$)

    I am now at 10 784$ from 13 465$ so 46% of my annual objective.

    Also

    - got a new card with a 12% rate to replace the old one at 20%. I hope the burden of interest payment  will be much less in the future
    - I kept 1000$ to build a basic emergency fund

    Looking forward to kick that debt down!

    Reply Like 8
      • Technicolor Cheetah
      • Not sure when I became a cheetah...but I'll run with it
      • technicolor_cheetah
      • 7 mths ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      Gray Router 

      A well-reasoned and altogether good way to use your return!  I know sometimes it's not fun now, but think of what you'll be able to do in the future without your debt hanging over your head.  I especially think the emergency fund is a smart choice.  

      Reply Like 6
      • NewDawnNewDay
      • Turn your face to the sun and all your shadows fall behind you.
      • newdawn
      • 7 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Gray Router Excellent way to use the tax return! Was it significant because of tax credits or because you are withholding more than needed?  You could consider changing withholding to have more money in your paycheck to add to debt.

      Reply Like 2
      • Gray Router
      • Gray_Router.4
      • 7 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      NewDawnNewDay it's both actually. Here in Quebec Canada tax deduction are made by the employer on each pay so I have little to no control over the amount. I know it could be less because I also make good use of the different tax credit available band tax free savings account.

      Reply Like 1
  • Not much to add at the moment.  Plugging along.  Paid $898 so far in April.  Also paid $482 owed in taxes.  We are sooooo close yet so far to paying off hubby's car.  Payoff is now $1300.  We've had to put some money into summer clothes for the kids, stuff we needed around the house, etc so we haven't really been able to add to the principal for that.  But regardless it will be paid off June 1 - whatever we owe on it at that point above the regular payment, we're going to take from savings and knock out.  We will use that money over the summer to take care of some things coming up that will need to be funded and put a bit back in savings before we rework our snowball.

    It's tough now because all the small stuff is paid off and after the car loan is gone, there won't be any more immediate gratification for a while.  I think I need to set some mini-goals and celebrations along the way to help us stay motivated.  Maybe after each $1500 we can buy a little something for the house or go out to a nice dinner or something.  

    Reply Like 7
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