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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  • Hi, I was happy to find this and hopefully will be able to keep up with it!!   Our current debt is:

    Total Debt as of 1/10/2019

    Personal Loan @ 9.75% - 4,153

    Visa CC @8.99%  - 12,084

    Auto Loan @2.24%   -  19,875

    Mortgage @3.24%  - 146,318

    Store CC @0% - 643

    Total:  $183,073

    We will be paying off the Store CC and Personal Loan this year and according to my Snowball Table we should be paying off about $22,000.  My goal is to pay off more than that!!

    We're using the undeb.it website to help keep us on track with our debt smackdown! I'm claiming line #126 in the Google Spreadsheet.

    Reply Like 4
  • I just realized if I pay down $7000 this year, my net worth will finally be in the positive!!!!  GOALS!!

     

    Let's do this!

     

    ~pixel - line 111

    Reply Like 7
    • Pixel spender line 110.  Silly me.

      Reply Like
    • Pixel spender That will be AWESOME!!!!

      Reply Like 1
  • My goal is to pay down $11,753.69 total debt, not including mortgage.  There's $4200 on a car loan and the rest is on three credit cards.  My goal is to have it all paid by 2020!  I've made progress since I've been on YNAB (about three months) but I'm glad to have this forum to keep me motivated and on track.

    Reply Like 5
      • TC Jackie
      • HR Manager
      • tc_jackie
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      TC Jackie Oops - Line 128

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

      TC Jackie Update to oops!  Actually, I'm 133.

      Reply Like
  • Excited to join! I’d like to pay off my car loan this year, just under $10K. I claimed line #130 on the spreadsheet :-)

    Reply Like 6
  • Question: when inputting how much debt you paid off do you only count principle? Should I enter the principle amount paid on the spreadsheet or the total paid including interest?

    Reply Like
      • MartyH
      • MartyH
      • 9 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      bedebtfreegirl  I always think of interest as a new expense that is then paid as part of the payment. So I just put in the principal amount paid. That also makes the math work in the spreadsheet to reflect the amount of debt paid off.

      Reply Like 2
      • TheTabby
      • Just a common cat trying to budget uncommonly well.
      • TheTabby
      • 9 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      bedebtfreegirl I also record principal on the spreadsheet.

      I actually have a different spreadsheet I use for each one of my debts where I record the total payment and interest, and keep really detailed records, cause I like to be able to look at the current percentage paid and do some forecasting.

      Reply Like 1
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 9 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      bedebtfreegirl 

      when I did the debt smack down, I didn’t bother differentiating between debt and interest. I saw it all as one total, and it all needed to be paid.

      Reply Like 2
    • bedebtfreegirl I just record what I've paid, regardless of whether it's principle or interest. I figure, no reason for me to make tracking towards my goals more complicated than needed. I recommend doing what will be easiest for you to track and to stay motivated. 

      Reply Like
  • Not really debt smack down, but the fruits of last years work. 

    So I was doing my monthly check of my credit scores this morning, got a very pleasant surprise. The three scores jumped anywhere from 53 - 79 points last month. I keep this up and I bet that I will be in the mid 600's by the end of the year, if not higher. 

    Reply Like 8
    • Ruff16965 (05bd62cee897) WAHOO! Way to go! That's a great feeling!!

      Reply Like
    • farfromtheusual Thank you. It shows that my hard work is paying off.

      Waiting for confirmation that my student loans are taken care of, that will remove the majority of my outstanding debt.

      Reply Like 1
  • So happy this is a collective thing! I'd like to pay off my total debt in 3 years. So in 2019 my goal is to pay  $4,253 give or take (total debt $12,760.48 divided by 3 years). Paid off my student loans a few years ago so this is straight up consumer debt! Claimed line #131 :)

     

    Question for all you fine people - for the budget aspect, I have set up auto payments to pay my debt each paycheck, and when i mark the transfer from my main account to the credit card or loan, it reflects in the accounts BUT NOT my overall 'To Be Budgeted'. I have categories but because the transaction is a transfer, it won't let me pick a category. Does anyone know how to fix this?

    Reply Like 2
    • Debt Punisher That's the way the payments should show- without a category. If you are budgeting more toward your cards, then budget more for that particular card in the card's category within your budget. 

      Reply Like 2
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 9 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Debt Punisher 

      If this is credit cards that you've cut up, never use, will never use again, and are simply paying off the old balance, then those should not be active accounts in your budget.  Then you would need a category to reflect those payments.

      But if these are active accounts that you will continue using after you've cleared off the old balance, then how you're doing it is exactly right.  You'll be able to see your progress in the networth report as it becomes increasingly less negative or more positive over your smackdown journey.

      Reply Like 2
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 9 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Debt Punisher 

      The loan should not be an active account in your budget, unless it is an account that you can spend from.   Unless the "loan" is money you've borrowed from a line of credit account, it really should not have been set up as an active account.  If it's a personal loan or a car loan, you can set that up as a tracking account if you want to monitor your progress in paying it down, or leave it out entirely and just pay it like you pay other monthly bills. Either way, you will need to use a category for the loan payments.

      Reply Like 1
  • Hello to all my new best friends and accountability partners.  I'm coming to the party with $12,870.28 in debt that I am tired of having hanging around my neck. I'm planning to clear it by the end of the year which should be doable. 

    I've claimed line 133 in the spreadsheet.  I look forward to getting to know you all and sharing in your triumphs and struggles this year!  

    Reply Like 7
  • Feeling proud today! I scheduled my $203.10 payment to my smallest debt on 1/3 and I stuck with doing that. It was deducted from my checking account today. I now have $230.10 less debt on my smallest balance debt! That includes the $27 minimum monthly payment. That will bring my balance to $460.18. On the 21st I'll accrue about $16 in interest bringing the balance up to about $476. I will make another payment on 2/1 (payday) for half of whatever the current balance is on that day, which should be about $238 ($27 minimum monthly payment plus $211 additional payment). In March I will pay it off in full! I want to get this bill paid off on my March payday (3/3). This is my last joint bill with my ex-husband. We will have been divorced almost 3 years! I have been carrying around this less than $800 debt for all that time. It will feel so good to have it paid off. I will close the account once it's paid off. It is my last tie to him and I'll be glad to have it gone. I'm so proud that I didn't touch that $203.10 in the last 12 days since I scheduled the payment. I could have cancelled the scheduled payment and spent it but I didn't. Yay me! #YNABwin 

    Reply Like 11
    • internettie wahoo!!

      Reply Like 1
      • internettie
      • Writer
      • internettie
      • 9 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual Thanks!

      Reply Like 1
    • internettie Nice job! Congrats!

      Reply Like 1
      • internettie
      • Writer
      • internettie
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Debt Crusher Cat Mother thank you!

      Reply Like
  • Not exactly debt related! But I was freaking out because my car insurance and umbrella policy both went up >_< (what, my cars are older and I'm a better driver now, so that's a bit rude). I called the company my homeowner's policy is with, and originally it seemed like it was gonna be more expensive (but better coverage), and they took $266 off my homeowner's policy. So now I'm gonna save $194 this year! Much better toward debt!

    Reply Like 7
    • imaginaryannie Yay!! Those phone calls take some time but they can really pay off!! Way to go!

      Reply Like 1
  • My first time on the forum! I claimed line 51. I have $87,977 in student loans, personal loans, and credit cards (EEK). I'm using undebt.it (thanks for all the tips!) and my goal is to pay off all debt by December 2022 using the snowball method. My 2019 goal is to pay off $17,507.

    Reply Like 6
    • Coral Squirrel Early February check in, I'm down to $86,613, but falling into bad habits. Not sticking to my budget and using my savings for non-necessity items. 

      Reply Like 1
    • Coral Squirrel It happens to everybody. Just hop back on the bandwagon and you'll be back in the game again.

      Reply Like 1
  • I can't believe just halfway through January and there's already been over $100,000 in debt payoff! Nice work, everyone!

    I paid an additional $811.27 toward debt this month and that will probably be my only check-in. It's a little over what I have to pay monthly to hit my goal, but I think I can keep it up!

    Reply Like 8
  • Joining in... Our total debt is $153593.43 between a vehicle and our home. The goal for 2019 is to pay off the vehicle and put a dent into our mortgage - hopefully about $25k total gone by EOY.

    Reply Like 2
  • so sad right now, had a trip to A&E with my son and (he's doing good now) but the bill was more than I have available in my medical category. Good part is that we will get refunded a portion by the insurance company after the process the claim. At the beginning of the year we have to pay out of pocket till we reach the deductible so that charge has to go on the credit card. One of my goals this year is to pay off the cc balance every month so now it's time to go steal from some other categories to make up the difference. and hopefully get enough back to refund my categories.

    Reply Like 3
      • Kombucha Kid
      • Slate_Gray_Router.1
      • 9 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      kayjenx have you tried to either 1) negotiate a lower bill or 2) negotiate a payment plan? Having worked on the provider side of this situation I know that there's a lot more flexibility than they let on. Ask if they have a financial assistance program and/or offer payment plans!!

      Reply Like 1
      • kayjenx
      • Debt Ninja Trainee
      • kayjenx
      • 9 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Kombucha Kid They do but unfortunately not with my son's employer and my son is on his insurance. If he was on mine they would. It's just silly. And the insurance company claims they process your claims in 10 days but it's always like 4-6 weeks.

      Reply Like 2
      • Kombucha Kid
      • Slate_Gray_Router.1
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      kayjenx hmm... Did you take him to a nonprofit or community hospital/clinic? 

      Reply Like
      • kayjenx
      • Debt Ninja Trainee
      • kayjenx
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Kombucha Kid I'm not in the US. But the public hospital here is terrible. Cheaper but you'll wait hours for someone to even see you and then hours to get a bill. He was severely dehydrated from vomiting for hours and unable to keep even water down. I took him to a private hospital and the dr. Placed him in the A & E for a few hours. It's either that or waiting at the public hospital. 

      Reply Like
    • kayjenx Glad he's feeling better now. I know when you've got a sick child, there's no lengths you won't go to make them feel better. 

      Reply Like
      • kayjenx
      • Debt Ninja Trainee
      • kayjenx
      • 8 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Veronica at YNAB  thank you! That's true. If it was me I'd probably try to hold off a little longer. Which is probably not a good thing either.

      Reply Like 1
  • January check-in: I've made my extra payment toward my car and my regular payments to both my private and federal student loans. Spreadsheet updated. All 3 of these totaling $1348 for the month, and of that about $416 in extra principle payment to my car. On target so far. One month at a time. 

    Reply Like 6
  • I am going to pay down my Best Buy card currently at 1100 and my debt consolidation loan currently at about 14000 this year. This year is THE YEAR OF THE MONEY. I am working two jobs to make this work. I just paid off my car loan and my American Eagle Visa. After my debt is gone, I will start working on my husband's about 29000 yikes! 

    Reply Like 9
    • Beige Piccolo Big goals! You can do it! Great job so far :) I can't wait to pay off my car.

      Reply Like 1
  • I got paid today, and although my paycheck was a bit short (I'm on short term disability right now for some health issues), I was able to allocate enough to eliminate the credit card float on my highest-rate card! I was really worried I wouldn't be able to make the full payment.

     

    A huge worry about the credit card float that no one talks about is that when you're trying to get out of it, it is a huge struggle. A part of what makes the float work through YNAB is continuous spending on the card. If you're spending budgeted money on the card, you're going to still have enough for your payment, and if you want it to be enough for your last statement balance, you need to spend at least that much again. Well, everyone knows that YNAB is a big motivator to stop buying things you don't need. So spending $486 this month at Target in budgeted funds was just not going to happen. So I've got enough for the full statement balance, and enough to cover all my recent purchases. No float at all!

    One down, two to go! The next one is easy, it's only $229, but after that, we're focusing on the big card we use everyday, so about $5400 of floating. So far, I've got $572 scheduled for next month's payment outside of purchases we've already made.

    Reply Like 6
    • imaginaryannie It's so true. That credit card float is a huge struggle and sometimes the most difficult part is knowing whether you're in it. It sounds like it's been a great month for your budget!

      Reply Like 1
  • I want to pay down $10,416 of consumer debt .  This is on two credit cards. This is it for me except for my mortgage.  This is the year!!  I have claimed line 146 and entered my debt and my January payments already  made of $2394. 

    Reply Like 6
  • I'm a little late to the comment game - but set these goals for the start of the year. I have  total debts  of  $45,870 (oof, hurts to type out)... for 2019, I'd like to pay down $20,000 in principal. Its $1,981 in personal loan for medical expenses, $18,667 car note (at 2.09% ) and the rest are student loans (@6.4%). 

    Reply Like 5
  • I am totally in for this. I have only been using YNAB for about 3 weeks but it has already made a huge difference in my money flow. My total debts are $9,601 which are some taxes, 3 credit cards, care credit, and a student loan. I have already paid $802 this month. I should be completely out of debt by early 2020. Very excited to watch those numbers get smaller and smaller. 

    Reply Like 4
  • Payday today took care of the rest of January's debt payments so that's great.  I also paid off our May cruise this pay so now any extra money that was going to the cruise payment can be funneled into some sinking funds and a buffer!

    Reply Like 4
      • Skeettafic
      • Tan_Lion.3
      • 9 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Added to the spreadsheet and we paid just over $1100 this month.  Hoping to be able to keep the same momentum the whole year!  That will definitely get us to our goal!

      Reply Like 2
    • Skeettafic We're going on a May cruise this year, too! Fantastic momentum this month!

      Reply Like 2
  • Hi everyone! Hope it’s not too late to join! New to the forum but long time YNAB’er! With YNAB we have been able to accomplish some hard fought goals. We’ve paid off my husband’s student loans and one of our cars. And we bought our first home this year! Now we are focused on paying down the rest of our debt. We have remaining debt on one credit card, one car loan, and my student loan. We hope this year to make a $7,000 dent in our debt.  Here’s our starting point

    Credit card - $6,331.52

    Car Loan - $10,647.96

    Student  Loan - $77,395.33

    Looking forward to cheering everyone on!

    Reply Like 4
  • We had $1500 budgeted toward a repair for our ceiling from a leak. Just got our estimate and the repair is $800, so I moved $320 toward debt, $180 toward an overspent category on a credit card, and $130 toward a new light fixture for the playroom cause the old one is horrible and doesn’t seem safe sometimes. That leaves $870 for the ceiling in case it runs over a little bit. Whew! The new credit card payments and such won’t be reflected until I actually make them in February. I need to break this habit, but I don’t like to pay early; I’d rather let my money earn interest until the payment is due. 

    Reply Like 2
    • imaginaryannie I'm torn with you between making payments early and keeping my money in my bank account to earn me a smidge of interest. I probably should make payments early because the CC interest is way higher than the pennies I earn in my bank account. But I'm still with you, I don't like making payments any earlier than I need to!

      Reply Like
  • I paid $1439.45 this month which is good for me but not amazing. I'm hoping my full-time job gets a little less busy so I can do more freelance work on the side. Also, I'm not including interest, because math....

    Reply Like 4
    • MoneyMonster  'because Math' is also why I choose a lump sum amount to pay instead of calculating interest. Great job on making a payment this month. 

      Reply Like 1
  • January check-in:

    $3154 toward student loans this month. I have a vacation savings account that I took a chunk from  ($400 + $150 from my eyeglasses sinking fund)  to throw at this debt and am glad I did.  This month put me under the 10K mark. I cannot believe it! I am so motivated to pay these suckers off. Student loans are getting TKO'd in 2019! 🥊

    Reply Like 10
      • ScrapHappy
      • Beige_Transistor.3
      • 8 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      veggiegeek Wow!  That is SO amazing!!

      Reply Like 1
    • veggiegeek Congrats on hitting the milestone of under $10k!  It is a big accomplishment!

      Reply Like 1
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