The Official* 2022 Debt Smackdown!

Happy New Year! Here’s hoping that 2022 isn’t “2020, too”. Either way, we’ll be paying off some debt this year! 😀

Although YNAB is not hosting the 2022 Debt Smackdown this year, we know how impactful this is each year, so some of us volunteered to host! With over 200 participants and more than $2.4 million in debt payoff, 2021 was absolutely incredible for the debt smackdown group! We know some of us are still left with debt to knock out in the new year or you're joining in for the very first time. Either way, you've come to the right place. We'll use this group for accountability and support as we crush some (or all!) of our debt in 2022!

Thanks again to BritishMuseum for hosting for so many years, and thank you to Veronica for hosting last year! Onward to smacking down our debt!

If you want to pay off some debt this year, here's 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 2022 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. Post monthly on the 2022 Debt Smackdown Sheet to track your progress. (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!

4. Check in monthly in this thread and report on how your debt smackdown is going. (required)
Bookmark this thread and sheet so you can find it quickly at the beginning of the month!

If you come across this challenge later in the year, no worries, you can always 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.

Pro-tip 1: You can use ctrl+F (or command+F on a Mac) to search the spreadsheet for your name when the sheet gets filled up.

Pro-tip 2: To bookmark the spreadsheet so your row is always visible (without searching or scrolling):

-       Open the spreadsheet

-       Scroll down to your row

-       Right click on your Row # all the way to the left (in column A).

-       Select 'Get link to this range'. It will copy the link to your clipboard. Then you can put it in a browser tab and bookmark the link.

-       When you click on that link, it will open the spreadsheet like normal and move to the specific row you selected.

(Thank you @Peripherie for that second tip last year!)

Last year, we paid off over $2 million! Let's make 2022 even stronger!

In the event you have any issues with the sheet - please tag or DM Orchid Falafel. You can also tag/DM mandiferous but note that neither of us are YNAB staff so we won't be able to answer right away.


*Official meaning we have a spreadsheet. Not official in the sense that YNAB is hosting this. :D

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  • Thank you Orchid Falafel for hosting this!! WAHOO!

    My car loan is going to get crushed this year! It currently sits at $1750.96, and I'm going to knock it out before June. This is already 6 months faster than it was due, thanks to last year's debt smackdown.

    There is a small chance that I might choose to get a new(er) car and a new loan (if you were around last year, you'll have probably seen me waffling on that...), and if that ends up happening I'll just update the numbers. IF that happens, I want to set it up so that I can continue to pay off more than the loan amount every month. It is SO gratifying to do MORE than just the minimums. It's taken me about 4+ years to get into a position where I could do that, on any of my debt.

    Super excited to be jumping in on this, I've got line 3!

    Like 11
    • farfromtheusual SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!! No matter what you decide, you'll be going in with clear eyes and a firm plan. Let's do this!

      Like 1
    • farfromtheusual yayay!! Congrats on your progress so far and good luck crushing that car loan this year!

      Like 1
  • Thanks Orchid Falafel for setting this up. Have been looking forward to it since starting the new ynab in August.

    I have a ridiculous amount of credit card debt. £18,144.82.

    Its going. This year. All of it.

    As it stands I can throw £1000 per month on debt. So just have to find a way to get the other £6k paid. I should get a pay rise this year and also a bonus. My wife is due to earn more now my daughter is in school and she can do more hours. But thats all a bit unknown.

    What is known is I will do anything it takes to clear this debt by December!

    Like 10
    • Hammett98 yes! Good luck to you this year as you slay that 18k!

      Like 1
    • Hammett98 wooo! Welcome to the challenge. Bonuses are incredibly helpful for those extra payments, and also for getting a month ahead or padding up true expenses to avoid adding more back on to the credit card. It took me years to get control of my credit card(s...) but the effort was so worth it. Keep your eye on the prize of having £1000 every month next year for other goals, and keep updating here so we can cheer you on :)

      Like 1
      • Hammett98
      • Sea_Green_Vacuum.15
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      mandiferous Thank you! Am stoked to see what we can all achieve this year!

    • Hammett98 Welcome to the party!!

  • Yayyy! Thanks Orchid Falafel :D As they said in the main post, tag one of us for questions about the sheet or challenge, but because neither of us are YNAB staff it will also be helpful to comment in this thread so this amazing community can assist as well. 

    I have claimed Line 1 while testing out out the spreadsheet after resetting it from prior years 😉and because I am READY TO RUMBLE. Last year, my first year in the smackdown, I slayed nearly $20,000 in debt, with a TKO of all $14k of my credit card balance and keeping other loan opponents at bay with minimum payments - until last week when I laid a surprise $1,000 clothesline on my auto loan to knock it off its feet a bit before Round Two. This challenge and community is really a bright spot in a tough era; being cc debt free is an absolute life changer, allowing me to take some risks this year for my long-term financial and mental well-being.

    Jan 2022 debt total (USD):
    Car Loan: $12,180
    Student Loan: $11,395
    Mortgage: $32,200
    Medical Debt: $1060 (very recent, this number may change as I am negotiating the full amount)
    Total Debt: $56,835

    2022 Goal: $14,700. I adore my car but want the payment off my back. That would be $280 every month back in my pocket. Otherwise I'll maintain minimums on other debts. Seems small compared to last year's final count. But... I'm taking nearly two months off work to finish up my grad degree (!!!) so the smackdown will be more of a patdown (...that's not quite right) until usual paychecks resume. I spent the last half of 2021 building a war chest for this hiatus, and if I come in under budget (or get a better-paying job afterwards), I should be able to plunk down the surplus on my car and re-evaluate this goal. Either way, it's a pleasure to be back in the ring with you all. I love gamifying the more tedious or scary aspects of adulthood, so one of my other 2022 goals is to be more playful in those arenas to keep spirits up even when surprises (like this medical debt) cut me down a bit. Cheers to us all!

    Like 10
    • mandiferous thank YOU for getting the spreadsheet set up! gooood luck with getting that 14k gone -- and finishing your grad degree!

      Like 2
    • mandiferous so awesome that you were able to get so much done last year and prepare for the time off! That's amazing! Can't wait to see what you do this year!

      Like 1
  • I so wanted to join the debt smackdown this year that I ended up hosting it myself LOL!

    This year I've got to get rid of my balance transfer credit card debt (about 11k) before the interest kicks in Nov/Dec. After that, my only remaining debt will be a ~315k mortgage, which I'll decide whether or not to start paying off in earnest, while balancing investing/saving.

    Unfortunately my first Jan paycheck is already spoken for thanks to my seriously overspending in December 🙃 but hopefully after that I can get on track and get this debt gone!

    Like 9
    • Orchid Falafel onward and upward! Those looming balance transfer deadlines are pretty motivating, aren't they? I found that my "post-cc-debt" goals shifted several times during last year's challenge, as I reconsidered my priorities and read more into schools of thought regarding debt vs investing for different age brackets. It's a lot to take in. Either way, getting that credit card off your back is gonna feel sooo good.

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

      Orchid Falafel  Thank you for setting this up!! 

      Like 2
    • Orchid Falafel wahoo! Thank you for setting this up, looking forward to watching your progress.

      Like 1
  • Many thanks  Orchid Falafel for hosting this again in 2022!

    I've got some really lofty goals this year after a setback in December, but I'm planning to fight the good fight and knock out as much debt as I can in 2022, while staying upright on the balance board of life!

    22 is my lucky number so I have taken line 22 on the sheet - sorry for the gap in between but  I am sure it will fill in, in no time.

    Lets do this!

    Like 6
    • Curated Content Ha! I love it!! Lucky numbers are good!

  • @Orchid Falafel thank you for starting this challenge!

    Total debt owed: $15,396.26

    Total amount of debt I hope to pay off in 2022: $7,698.13 (1/2 my debt); I want to have paid off my only remaining credit card account left with a balance (Citi Simplicity Card, $1,995.00, moved old CC to this CC to get a 0% interest balance transfer January 2022)

    Total income/month: $1,617.00 SSDI, $100 volunteer compensation

    2022 Debt Smackdown Sheet: Line 6

    Monthly Check In: Bookmarked this post and the Google sheet (Thanks for the hint on bookmarking the spreadsheet so my row is visible!)

    Here's to 2022 being the year I pay off half my debt!! 🎉💰

    Like 11
    • internettie Can't wait to watch you rock this!!!

      Like 1
  • Hi, I've claimed line 7 and my goal for 2022 is €12,643.16:

    • Credit Card: balance €0 - keep PIF and off the float
    • Overdraft: balance €500 - to be PIF in 2022
    • Private Loan: balance €18,000: €500 monthly for a 2022 goal of €6,000
    • Mortgage: balance €131,053.01: €511.93 monthly for a 2022 goal of €6,143.16
    • Total 2022 goal: €12,643.16

    My main debt payoff goal in 2022 is to pay off the remaining €500 of my overdraft as soon as possible but definitely by the end of March.  I also want to close my overdraft facility completely this year but I'm going to wait until I've built up my emergency fund more.

    Everything else is just steady going as I'm planning more of a focus on savings this year.  I'm in year 3 of my current 5 year plan (2020-24) and each year so far I've felt more in control and able to consider new possibilities so I'm really looking forward to even more progress this year.

    Good luck for 2022!

    Like 7
    • Zoë so amazing to watch your progress! Can't wait to see you smash your goals!

      Like 1
  • Last year I paid off my credit cards! I just went back to look at the progress and I'm amazed by it.

    This year I will tackle the last remaining debt I have which is my car loan. 
    I claimed line 28 with $17,813 left to go. 

    -If I pay my regular loan I will pay $4,680. My goal is to pay as much as possible by giving extra payments towards the principal. 

    Like 10
  • I'm claiming Line 8 this year! Focusing on my Student Loans  that have a balance of 47,166. I plan to payoff 10K this year. Really can't focus on more because I want to enjoy life a bit more and do things around the house. Let's go everyone!!

    Like 8
    • SapphireSweetie anything is better than nothing!

  • Last year I paid off 15K for debt , 

    This year I am planning to pay off 30K split between Personal loans and Student Loans

    Like 6
  • Thank you to the volunteer hosts for putting this challenge together! Much appreciated.

    Claimed line 10.  

    Below are the current consumer debt amounts that we owe:           

    • Credit card = $5,000.00 (0% promotional APR for balance transfer ending September 2022). 
    • Auto loan = $9,129.42 (3.24% APR). 

    In 2022 our target goal is to pay off the credit card in full prior to the deadline ($5,000.00) and make regular payments to our auto loan ($4,616.64). That makes our 2022 debt payoff goal = $9,616.64.

    Like 8
      • Ivory Tiger
      • Ivory_tiger.1
      • 5 days ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      January check-in (complete): Paid off $884.72 as outlined below.  

      • Credit card = $500.00
      • Auto loan = $384.72

      Total debt paid down YTD: $884.72, which is 9.2% of total goal. 

      Below are the remaining balances for these consumer debts:            

      • Credit card = $4,500.00 (0% promotional APR for balance transfer ending September 2022). 
      • Auto loan = $8,768.79 (3.24% APR).
      Like 6
  • Line 11: Sweet Tangerine here for another year of smacking down debt!

    1) Student Loan Debt: $18,320 (5.5% interest) 

    This is my final debt with exception of mortgage.  YNAB has made all of this so much more manageable. Since joining in 2015 (still use the OG version of YNAB...YNAB 4 I think?), I am empowered and have been ever so slowly taking control.  I am planning to use the majority of my PTO pay out (end of January) and my yearly bonus (end of February) to knock out a big chunk of this debt.  I'll plan to throw $1500 each month to this debt as well with a goal of pay off by June.  I have faith this WILL happen!  

    Other goals this year include $5000 to emergency fund, fully fund Roth account, shore up my Buffer Account, and save $5000-8000 for some needed home repairs.  

    Here is what I want to say to anyone that feels discouraged by their debt:  Looking back to January 2019, my debt was $57,425 (and likely a whole lot higher prior to this, but I "hid" those categories i.e. things like yucky debt and icky credit card I'm not looking back at any of that!).  I will achieve a $0 balance this year, I just know it...there truly is a point where you can see the light at the end of the tunnel!  

    Best of luck, but mostly my hope is for peace and self-awareness and self-forgiveness as we journey down this kind to yourself and others!  Cheers to 2022!! 

    Like 12
  • For line 13. My goal is to clear the last of my student loans by December 31st and hopefully by my wedding in June!

    Like 7
  • Thank you so much Orchid Falafel for starting the 2022 challenge this year! 

    I've claimed line 14 and set a goal to pay $17,000 toward my debt this year (includes P&I). My focus for the year is to pay the rest of the credit card debt off. Oh my goodness, if/when this happens I will be so very happy. It's been YEARS that I've had credit card debt. The highest was $26,561.91 in March 2018 - oof!

    My current debt as of the end of 2021 was:

    • Credit card #1  $3,725.00
    • Credit card #2 $7,141.00
    • 401k Loan $25,277.32
    • Student Loan $45,898.18
    • Mortgage $213,052.98

    Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

    Like 6
  • YAYAYAY!!! I may be a lurker, but I love filling out this spreadsheet!


    Starting 2022 with a total of $22,645.40 in credit cards. Paid off $10,822.00 in 2021. Hoping I can make a lot more progress this year.


    Credit Card #1 - $7,629.59

    Credit Card #2 - $6,963.67

    Credit Card #3 - $6,941.85 <-- Main focus

    Credit Card #4 - $1,110.29


    I'm trying to pay down the highest interest rate first. This was also above 100% utilization. Just got it to under $7k which was the limit!!! That should help a bunch!!!


    Edit: And I've claimed line 16 on the spreadsheet!

    Like 6
    • Melissa Lurking or not, glad to have you here! :)

  • Line 17. I've got just over 20k left on my student loans and I'm hoping to pay around $16,000 this year. A year and a half more and I should have them gone! I never thought it was possible before I started YNAB. 

    Like 7
      • Kitty_S
      • Jewelry Artist
      • Kitty_S
      • 11 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Forest Green Gazelle awesome! you got this!! You will have your loan almost gone!!

  • I'm claiming 18, will update for more info in a bit!

    Like 3
      • Cinged
      • Cinged
      • 3 wk ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      I thought I could edit my post, but apparently I took too long. I'm definitely going to pay off my credit cards this year. I could probably pay off the car too, but more than likely I'll trade it in late this year/next year for something better that I actually want. That puts me at $4458.82 in credit debt. If that gets paid off soon then I'll roll the payments to student loans. I'll only add student loans here though if that happens relatively soon in the year, but otherwise I'm focusing on the CCs. 

      THANK YOU Orchid Falafel for setting it up this year!!

      Like 4
  • I'm Circlemaker.  My husband and I have been using YNAB for six years. 

    Line 19 for me.

    Without going into an enormous backstory, we sold our house in a hot market in California in mid 2021, relocated to central NY to a much more sane cost of living, and now no longer have an enormous mortgage hanging over us.  This year we aim to pay off $48k of home improvement debt, we did a lot of renovation and update to the house we bought here in NY. Our goal is to send $4k a month at the loan.    

    Thank you Orchid Falafel for setting this up.  :) 

    Like 6
  • Hi all! I claimed line 20 and will update on my debts once the kids stop interrupting. :) Thank you Orchid Falafel and mandiferous for setting this up - I was looking forward to joining for the first time and so disappointed when YNAB decided not to host. Thank you for making it happen!

    Like 4
  • Claimed line 23.  Hoping to be better at writing this year, but I met my goal last year and I'm keeping it the same at $50k this year!  Let's get rid of consumer debt and student loans!

    Like 5
  • Hi Ynab's, Thank you for setting this up @Orchid Falafel for hosting.  It is great accountability for all of us to check in each month.   

    Like 4
  • HAPPY NEW YEAR 🥂 Fellow Debt Crushers!! I will be joining you for 8 months this year! That is when I will be buying out my Subaru lease in cash.

    I'm so happy to announce that I have been a member of the 2020 & 2021 Debt Smackdown and have paid $30K off my HELOC. The final payment will be this week! Feels so great!!! 🕺🏽🎉🍾

    I know I can do this - because I already have! I've claimed line 30 this year.

    🚙 Goal: $14,000 by August 2022

    🥊 Plan: $400 Snowball biweekly from my paycheque and $300 weekly (approx) from my side hustle. Add any other windfalls. Transfer payments into a high interest tax-free savings account. Watch it grow! 

    💰🚘 August 2022 onwards: Save $450 a month into investments for 5 years to buy my next (used) car in cash. Snowball $2000 a month that I was saving for this car into investments / renovations / travel.

    Good luck fellow YNABers! ❤️

    Like 7
  • Thank you Orchid Falafel  for hosting this year. I have claimed Line 31 ☺️

    I did joing late into last year and unfortunately fell off the wagon with life and some unexteceted expenses (and also emotional spending 😥). I decided to jump straight onto this challenge this year, right before my first paycheck too! 
    I am aiming to have minimum 80% of my debt paid off by December. I want to start bulinding savings as well and also account for birthdays throughout the year so I don't want to make my goal too tight.

    I have 4 debts that I am focusing on:

    • Small personal loan $150.00
    • Afterpay $826.36  (this will be paid off by the end of Feb at the latest. )
    • ZipPay $1994.95
    • Credit Card $1958.29

    Total: $4930.26

    Afterpay is my first target, as it is set fortnightly amounts I know what is upcoming and it will be the quickest to pay down. The small personal loan I will chip away until Afterpay is gone then pay it off outright. Then I will put majority of my money towards the credit card (I have interest-free periods  but want this gone asap), the ZipPay is interest-free overall but with an $8 monthly fee (not accounted for in my total) but I will pay 1.5 times the minimum monthly amount while cracking down on the credit card. 

    Since I have started this today, I will update this post on the 4th every month and the spreadsheet as I pay the debt down. 

    Like 6
  • Thanks for hosting this @Orchid Falafel !  Claimed line 33.  In the first two years of participating in this challenge have paid debt down by nearly $70,000.  Sold some things along the way and hope this year to add $6500. to total debt paid.

    Like 5
  • Claimed line 36!

    I paid off $16,680.12 during my first debt smackdown last year, and I'm hoping to pay down $20,000 this year, including my credit card and all of my private student loans.

    My debt breakdown: 

    • Credit Card: $7,311.02
    • Private Student Loan: $9,749.92
    • Federal Student Loan:  $25,611.73

    I'll continue posting about my debt-free journey in my journal here:

    Let's kill it everyone!

    Like 6
      • Kitty_S
      • Jewelry Artist
      • Kitty_S
      • 11 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      AstronautEAP awesome goals! You got this! 🙂

      Like 1
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