The Official 2021 Debt Smackdown

Welcome to YNAB's 2021 Debt Smackdown!

Happy New Year! 2021 is going to be a good one, I can just tell - or we can will it to happen 馃槈

With over 500 participants and more than $4.2 million in debt payoff, 2020 was absolutely incredible for the debt smackdown group! I 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 2021!

First, a quick shoutout to BritishMuseum - they have hosted our debt smackdown for the last few years and became DEBT FREE at the beginning of 2020! What an impact their work has made on this community!

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 2021 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 2021 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)
We'll be testing out some reminders this year when the month rolls over because we want to hear everyone's progress! 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: You can use ctrl+F (or command+F on a Mac) to search the spreadsheet for your name when the sheet gets filled up.

Last year, we paid off over $4million! Let's make 2021 even stronger!

In the event you have any issues with the sheet - please tag or DM Veronica

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  • I just graduated college after 8 years of undergrad and am currently working as an aerospace engineer for the Navy, so this is my first time having a steady income & starting to pay off my CC debt and student loans! Hopefully I can pay off at least $20k this year!馃

    Like 6
    • Navy Blue Lobster Welcome to the party!!

      Like 1
  • April Check in.... While this month is an even $1000 to the bottom number, I took advantage of a balance transfer offer. I transferred 3 of the 4 cards I'm paying down to a 0% for 18 months card. The plan is to use most of the interest on i was paying on those three cards to pay things down quicker. 

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    • Dave Great plan! I found it to be a huge impact to do the balance transfer and save ourselves from all that interest. 

      Like 1
    • Dave Awesome!! I love those promotions! They can be SO helpful to catapult you forward and make big progress fast!

      Like 1
  • March check-in! 

    Paid this month: $10437.48
    Paid this year: $20,582.57 (61.15%)
    Remaining goal: $13,077.43 (three -- now two! --  credit cards;  immediate goal is the card with the lowest balance)

    Thanks to federal stimulus money, we were able to knock out our wildest credit card, and it feels amazing! So despite some unexpected expenses, things are basically going according to our loose plan: we knew we'd have a bunch of money at the start of this year, and have used it to pay down a good chunk of debt. Now it's time to take it a little bit slower. I actually feel a little unsure of how we'll meet the rest of this debt goal and still keep everything else on track, but am  hoping that the summer will bring in some extra money.  (The money saved on interest/debt repayment from the card we just paid off will go to random domestic things like childcare and car repairs.) But for now, trying to bask in the happiness that we knocked out that one card . . . it feels so good! Will store the feeling up for when I'm tempted by instant gratification!

    Like 6
    • Harriet Awesome!! Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and it will all come together!

      Like 1
  • Belated March progress report on my battle against the student loan beast:

    As of February 28, 2021: $184,064.51

    As of March 31, 2021: $182,753.71

    Notes: Regular monthly payment resulted in principal reduction of $1,310.80. Wasn't able to make any extra payments. Total reduction of principal in March: $1,310.80.

    Year-end goal is to get the balance down $41,000.00 (from $190,958.60 starting place on January 1, 2021) to just below $150,000.00. With a $8,204.89 reduction so far this year, I'm now about 20.01% there.

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    • Slate Blue Pilot 20% = 1/5 there. Wooooooooooooo!!!! 馃帀

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  • April Check-In:  Paid $500 towards student loans!  Coloring in little flags is my favorite thing ;)  Also sent $1000 towards Roth IRA.  

    Like 6
    • Sweet Tangerine I love coloring!!!

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  • $735.25 paid to debt in April. That's $145.25 to the avalanche. 
    April, May, June, and July are fully funded. I also set aside money for my husband's employer's stock purchase plan coming up in June. 

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    • Pay Me To Draw AWESOME! Way to go!

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      • kbgetsitdone
      • knockin' out debt
      • kbgetsitdone
      • 3 mths ago
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      Pay Me To Draw 

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      • kbgetsitdone
      • knockin' out debt
      • kbgetsitdone
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      Pay Me To Draw That鈥檚 fantastic!! I鈥檓 so inspired by the fact you鈥檙e fully funded for next few months. I鈥檓 just getting started (again) and my dollars are only 10 days old! Appreciate any lessons you鈥檝e learned along the way. 

      Like 3
    • kbgetsitdone I've learned so much since starting YNAB that it's hard to really pin down the best lessons! I pretty much immersed myself in all things YNAB for about 6 months! I did every seminar and watched every single White Board Wednesday. I did deep dives into our finances and found that quite a few dollars were doing jobs I didn't even know about! I went through credit card statements, insurance policies, looked into consolidations, interest rates, discounts... I found the best rewards credit cards for how we use them... I researched HYSA's, I paid to get an elevation certificate to lower our flood insurance, we consolidated some debt into a much lower interest personal, I pulled everything out of escrow and started paying insurance and taxes directly, and got PMI dropped.
      The hardest lesson has been learning to live within our means. Well, actually, figuring out what those means are! Since my husband's income is variable based on the amount of overtime he works, I often adjusted the monthly budget according to how much money we had coming in. It seems so simple now, but I just landed on a low-average monthly amount and I stick to that number, regardless of how much comes in.  Between end-of-year bonus, tax refund, and stimulus money, it wasn't too hard to just keep rolling over into the next month. 

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      • kbgetsitdone
      • knockin' out debt
      • kbgetsitdone
      • 3 mths ago
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      Pay Me To Draw thank you so much for sharing.  The cumulative effects of all your actions and research have paid off. I think that鈥檚 critical info to know. Great job! 

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  • $4288.85 to debt for April.   46.09% so far in 2021馃帀

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    • Cyan Yeti awesome!!!

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  • Total debt: $37, 975.17 

    1.) credit card: $3,113.69 (did a balance transfer this year to get a 0% interest rate, so I can hopefully pay this off in 2021)

    2.) personal loan: $7,148.20 ( credit card debt + private student loan consolidated)

    3.) private student loans: $27,713.28 (refinanced this year from 4.46% to 3.08 interest) 

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  • For 2021, at the very least, I would like to pay off my credit card, which is $3,113.69. 

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  • I'm glad I found this thread. I would like to pay off my debt, but I feel like I need to be better at making a plan and having more of a strategy around it. I started using my credit card for everything so I can get points. I am very good at paying off what I spend, but find that my extra money is not going to the previously accumulated debt, but instead towards miscellaneous purchases.

    I keep saying I'm going to get better, but I clearly am not. Case in point, I used my extra money recently to buy a standing desk, which is nice, but wasn't really necessary. I would love tips that others use to stay on track with impulse spending. TIA!

    Like 4
    • pinkml87 Welcome to the party!
      Part of what helped me to get my debt paid down was figuring out a way to make "flat" payments. Once you have a handle on how much you need to cover all of your basics every month, then you can start to look at where to put the "extra". So once you know things like your rent/mortgage, power bill (average if possible), phone, internet, netflix (and whatever other subscriptions you have), groceries, gas, insurance costs, etc, etc, etc, then you can figure out how much additional you have every month to work with. From there I would choose an amount to put towards the debt every month. If you are accruing interest, you can look for a 0% balance transfer promotion to roll it over into to help reduce your cost and that makes it even easier to set a goal for paying it off. It took me several years (and quite a few balance transfers) in order to pay down my debt, and after I'd been struggling for a number of years I finally realized the reason I was having SO much trouble and was back sliding so frequently was because I literally barely had enough to cover the basics. It all made sense, and I was able to be a little more patient with myself, and to strategically apply windfalls that came my way to help get rid of it. I have now been able to pay my personal credit cards to zero every month for a year, and I've been able to start putting extra towards my car loan now, too.
      Getting a handle on what is flowing out the door is the first step to understanding how much you can apply towards debt, and then making the plan and sticking to it from there!

      Like 5
    • pinkml87 Ashley has a great YouTube video on controlling spending that I've appreciated.

       

      In my own budget, I use goals in all of my debt categories to be sure that I'm setting aside extra money to those categories in the same way I set aside money for rent and utilities. It's a monthly, nonnegotiable thing. Is there a way you can set an overall goal for yourself to work toward, and reward yourself along the way?

      And! I've found that if I restrict myself, I binge like I do when I've dieted! So, if you're like me, it will be critical to have balance and enable thoughtful spending on the things that truly bring you joy or fulfillment.

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      • pinkml87
      • Project Manager
      • Orange_Piranha.8
      • 3 mths ago
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       farfromtheusual thank you for taking the time to read my post and for your response. Omg, yes! I totally did not have enough money for basic living expenses right after college and leaned on my credit cards too much. I recently did a 0% balance transfer from one of my credit cards to a different, brand new one. However, I thought my credit card utilization would go down having more credit cards, but instead, it seems like my credit card utilization went up and my scores went down. The new card has a lower overall credit limit, so the carried balance is producing a high utilization rate.  

      I totally hear you on getting a handle on basic expenses. I calculated that my monthly expenses are around $3K between rent, insurance, food, etc. 

      I think my other thing is impulse control. Sometimes I will charge something I don't have the money for now, but know I will shortly. Or I charge with no set plan on how to pay it back and feign ignorance/denial, I'll figure it out.... Not a great strategy for money management. Before YNAB I did that way more and this forces me to be way more accountable and to see where my extra money is going. 

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      • pinkml87
      • Project Manager
      • Orange_Piranha.8
      • 3 mths ago
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      Dela thanks for reading and for your response. You're totally right! I don't actually have goals set up for my debt in YNAB. It might be good for me to get on that, so as you said, it will be non-negotiable like my electric bill or student loans. Happy budgeting and be well! 

      Like 1
    • pinkml87 yay for the 0% balance transfer! If you did not close the old account, then you are right it will increase your available credit which does help your credit score. Keep checking on it because I have noticed with my accounts when I do a balance transfer that sometimes my credit score drops for a month or so between moving the debt to the new account and the old account clearing the balance. Hopefully that is what is happening in your case, too.

      YNAB is a big help for changing those old patterns, but it does take time. I know I am guilty of those sorts of things now and then, too, and I just have to keep working at them to make sure I refocus again as soon as I am aware I'm sliding into bad habits.

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      • Annieland
      • I was told there would be no math.
      • Annieland
      • 3 mths ago
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      pinkml87 I open new credit cards somewhat often, if there's a really good perk, since I know I can accurately and responsibly manage any new account with YNAB.  The credit score hit is temporary, so don't sweat it.  Sometimes there's a delay between one account reporting the pay off and the other showing the balance.  As long as you keep paying everything you'll see your score tick back up in the next few months.

      Like 3
  • April Check-In

    Principal down to $15036.50 which makes $538.81 paid on that. Interest is killer when it's on debt instead of returns... It's not even the minimum payment I do on the loan but it's going down. 13% for the year. Not the 25% I'd have hoped at the quarter mark, but I'm staying positive that progress is happening on this and all the rest at the same time. If I don't pay more than I "have" to, I'll be out of the woods with 2 out of 4 loans by the end of 2023. It's been a long time coming and I want to make that sooner, but it's progress.

    I'll be moving in May which is expensive so I'm not putting anything else to it this month and it will be minimal next few as well. I'll have to figure out new expenses. My rent is going up and I'll have to buy a washer/dryer that wasn't planned for so I'm worried I'll be adding to debt in the next few months, but the move is going to be worth it. Being closer to my mom means we can get occasional free daycare when the baby is born and looking at the cost of daycare, anything in that regard will be a huge help. I'm worried about how expensive the baby will be because I'm stretched thin already but I'm trying to be more logical on what are true needs in my expenses to cut more but it is tough.

    I feel like my perspective needs a fix. I always feel overwhelmed with finances which makes it hard to be smart with choices. I make decisions out of fear or trying to make myself feel better and not decisions from a logical place. I'm working on being more conscious on it but still am overwhelmed most of the time. Plus I'm just crazy hormonal and everything as it is with the first time pregnancy that I'm much more prone to intense feelings as it is. But making it a mantra, progress is happening, there's always a light at the end of the tunnel. 

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    • Green Cleric Kudos to you for having the forethought to know that you need to shift gears. And good luck with the move! Glad you'll have access to daycare support, that's huge! There will be a lot of adapting, I'm sure, but I know you've got this! With YNAB you can keep a handle on everything and it will be so much easier to manage that way.

      Like
    • farfromtheusual Thank you! Moving is a huge process, but I do think it'll be worth it in the end. Definitely happy to have support nearby for the baby. We've been lucky to also be getting a LOT of hand-me-downs already so I'm hopeful we won't have to spend too much to get all the essentials for her. Really glad that I was already working on being more conscience and deliberate with YNAB too so that we can handle this transition better. 

      Like 2
    • Green Cleric It sounds like there's a lot going on in your life! Reading this, I think, "I'd be overwhelmed, too." So, I hope you give yourself a big hug and acknowledge all of the many ways you're totally rocking life from day to day. 馃А 

      I notice that when I'm feeling that way it helps to simply voice it鈥攍ike you did here!鈥攐r talk at someone I've asked to simply listen without giving me any advice and receive all of the everything that comes out of my worried self. Afterward, I'm always lighter! I wonder what works for you?

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    • Dela Thank you! I'm trying to keep in mind all the wins for sure. 

      Voicing it definitely helps! I've been working to make a practice of journalling too. Getting everything out on paper (definitely a non-judgemental avenue to vent) has been helping me to put certain things in a better frame of mind as well. 

      Like 1
  • I'm a bit late to the party but as they say "better late than never"...

    I just claimed line 200!  Wifey and I are looking to destroy $11,000 of debt in 7 months.  This round breaks down as follows...

        CC's -  9350

        Back taxes - 1650

    We're planning to do a snowball attack and use any windfalls to destroy this debt.  Here's to digging out slowly but surely!

    Like 8
    • chazdiezal Welcome to the party!

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      • Violet Yeti
      • Violet_Yeti.13
      • 2 mths ago
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      chazdiezal no such thing as late here!  As one of my personal finance podcasters says - the best day to start was yesterday, the next best is today!!  Welcome to today!

      Like 1
  • Checking in for April. Took off another $268.37 off the loans and 47% almost 48% of the goal for the year. Still working on reducing the number of sheer payments, but take what I can get and looks like I will be squeaking really close to the true breakeven point. 馃帀

    Like 5
    • Turquoise Griffin Awesome!!

      Like
  • March AND April update: Line 99

    ----------------------

    March: Paid $882 towards my credit cards, truck loan, and RV loan. 

    HOWEVER, I added $1375 of debt to one of my cards because my lawyer needs a retainer. It was necessary and I'll get that back when my legal business is done, but it still chaps me to increase debt in any way. 馃槪

    Net: -493.17

    ----------------------

    April: Paid $2281 towards my credit cards, truck loan, and RV loan.  

    Credit card with legal fees increased in debt by $197

    Net: $2083.67

    -----------------------

    Some excitement: A year and a half ago, I set up a balance transfer to a new card with the O% APR deal during the promo period. I have been snowballing my other cards with high-interest rates for the last year because I expected to have sold my house well before now and use the proceeds to pay off the balance transfer card. So I'd only been paying the minimums. In March, I realized that my house sale may not happen for a while and my promo period is ending in the middle of May. 馃槼 I'm guessing that the interest penalty will be in the range of $2000 if I don't meet the deadline. I still had $6700 on that card and about 8 weeks to come up with that money. I'm four weeks out and still have $5200 to go, but I have several options that may pay me in the next month. If everything goes sideways, I do have *barely* enough in my emergency fund to cover it. 

    So whether I can eek together several windfalls or I have to dump my e-fund, this time next month I will be about $6000 lighter in the debts category. 馃馃槄

    Like 6
    • 92to0 
      It sounds like you're rolling with the punches and jumping over hurdles! Here's hoping for some awesome windfalls this month!

      Like
  • April update!

    Loan Balance: $4518.88

    April Loan Payment: $321.79

    Goal: $1271.25/$3600 -> $1728.75  

    Spreadsheet says 35.4%

    Pretty happy with the progress, a little confused why the interest goes up and down month to month instead of down consistently.

    undebt.it still says July 2022 payoff, I don't know when it will drop down a month since I'm paying the extra $50 plus the interest charged each month. I hope it does drop down, but since the interest is so low (only $20ish/month) I don't know that it will have a huge impact on it. But it's still awesome to look at the total and see that it is saying only 16 more months on the loan. I think I've cut it down by 6 months over the original loan date, which is really awesome because I didn't know how that would be possible in the past!

    Like 5
    • farfromtheusual 
      I know that feeling of eagerly entering in my data into undebt.it and then not seeing the result I wanted. I find it frustrating, to be sure. I would like to say that this very long debt payoff journey has taught me to not seek that instant gratification, but, I still want those little (and big!) wins, darn it!

      Here's hoping that undebt.it drops down a month for you soon!

      Like 1
    • Orchid Guitar Thanks! It's mostly a sort of curiosity, since I'm paying the interest in addition to a $50 extra payment, plus the regular payment, but you can't add that calculation into undebt.it LOL It doesn't think that way! I guess it's getting close enough now that I'd really like to push to pay it off faster! I'm still toying with the idea of getting a different (hopefully newer) vehicle once this one is paid off (or really close to paid off), and I'd love to keep the miles as low as possible. No sense in fussing over it, though, I guess!

      Like 2
    • farfromtheusual yeah, I really wish undebt.it would give you the option of incorporating the interest into your payment schedule. It's a common YNAB strategy and they otherwise are really well synced with each other. I tend to play with the snowball calculator in an incognito window and enter 0% interest for the account so I can get a more accurate read on the payoff date. Re: changing interest, it may not decrease as much as you expect when it's paired with February vs March?

      Like 1
    • mandiferous Yeah, I guess that's probably what the issue is, the difference in number of days in the month from one to the next. It's just annoying to not see it going down consecutively!

      Like
  • April check-in: paid off $4499

    More good news. I got a very unexpected bonus at work this month so I was able to put most of it toward my credit card debt. 

    With that money, I have completely paid off another card and just have one more card and a smallish student loan to go. I can finally see the light at the end of the (very long) tunnel!

    Like 9
    • MoneyMonster This is so awesome! 馃帀

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    • MoneyMonster WAHOO!!!! Congrats!

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      • Violet Yeti
      • Violet_Yeti.13
      • 2 mths ago
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      MoneyMonster I love unexpected infusions into my budget!  Way to put it towards your goals!!

      Like
  • I want to share some small wins and ask the larger group for feedback. 

    1.) I checked my budget in YNAB for my groceries category before buying any groceries yesterday. 

    2.) I didn't go to the nail salon an instead did my nails myself. 

    3.) I have been able to budget my money for the whole month (only get paid monthly in my new job) & I would have never been able to do this in the past. So glad I have discovered YNAB to make my money stretch and for the categories! 

    Here's the piece where I would like some feedback. I have lived in apartments for 13 years and 6 of them at my current place. It's a great neighborhood and I have enjoyed most of my time here, but I have been wanting to move for years. I have held back though because moving is expensive. Until I have been hearing lately that people have been moving to new apartments and getting insane deals (mostly likely due to COVID) like $500 security deposits and free rent for 1 or 2 months. I would love to move to an apartment with an in-unit washer and dryer and underground heated parking. I also would like to move to a building that's a bit more modern and has less children crying all the time. 

    Here's the rub, I've held off due to it being expensive, but realistically I could afford a place for $100 or $200 more a month. However, I don't want to lose sight of my debt and I have about $3,000 between two different savings accounts. Would it be wise or unwise to use some of that to move to a new place? Paying off my debt could take years, so why hold off anymore? TIA! 

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      • Hachi bean
      • hachi_bean
      • 2 mths ago
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      pinkml87  It sounds like you鈥檙e doing such an amazing job getting a handle on your budget so good for you! 
       

      To respond to your question about moving and rent. I would think about a few factors, 

      A. I don鈥檛 know where you live, but here in LA rent control is a big big deal. I would take into consideration the rate at which your rent has been raised year after year at your current place and if you go to look at new spots inquire about their practices. Some newer, modern buildings are built and held by developers who plan to charge a premium and will increase your rent annually, so there may be a deal for this year, but what will your rent be in 2 or 3 years? 
      B. I think COVID taught us all a lot about being happy in your personal space, so yes of course that is something important to consider. How much happier would a place with less young children or a washer dryer make you? 
      C. Housing is a big expense and it鈥檚 a big big way to save and help you pay down debt. Making decisions that impact the large expenses and cash flows in your life is the number one way to get a handle on debt and pay down aggressively. Personally, as a person who is pretty young I would rather live in the small place a bit longer and accomplish my financial goals that much sooner. I don鈥檛 want to spend to the max on housing, but that鈥檚 just me. 
       

      Hope that helps! Good luck on your debt slaying, sounds like you鈥檙e doing great!!

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      • pinkml87
      • Project Manager
      • Orange_Piranha.8
      • 2 mths ago
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      Hachi bean Thank you for the encouragement, support, and for your feedback. I totally hear you! I live right outside Mpls, MN, so it's way less expensive than LA for sure!!!! I totally hear you. I am thinking it would be a good motivator for me to pay off my credit card (1/3 debts) to free up money in my budget. Moving would make me way happier not having to listen to children crying and running around a lot. Nothing against people who have children, but it's different when they are not your children. 

      Like 2
    • pinkml87 It is totally different when they're not your children!
      Good for you for examining options. Calling up some other places and doing research is FREE and won't cost you a dime. The worst you are going to discover is that you actually DO have a great deal where you are, and it's better to stay. The best you'll find is that it's way more affordable (or could cost less) if you move, and you could have a better location with a nicer apartment with fewer children. Ask LOTS of questions, as suggested, and do your homework. That will cost you nothing, and you never know what you might discover!

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      • pinkml87
      • Project Manager
      • Orange_Piranha.8
      • 2 mths ago
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      farfromtheusual great points!

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    • pinkml87 
      Those are some great wins! Way to go!!

      Like 1
  • Debt on credit card: $3,301.15 

    Payment + cash back bonus applied: $586.10 

    New amount owed: $2,700.36

    I also have a personal loan and a private student loan (why oh why did I change from federal to private last year right before March 2020?????!!!) I am trying to tackle.

    Like 6
  • April check-in:

    March balance: $14774.41
    April balance: $14673.53
    Difference: -100.88

    $1276.53/$2500 = 51.06%

    I didn't manage to get a full snowball payment in this month, but repaying all that I charged plus a few snowflakes here and there at least got me ahead just a touch, which is definitely a win that I'll take over the alternative lol. :)

    Like 6
    • Orchid Display every bit counts!!

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  • Highest Balance on Student Loans in Oct 2019: ~$70,900

    Fed Student Loans Today:  $47,504

    2021 Debt Smackdown Goal: $18,900

    Jan:        $          0.00
    Feb:        $          0.00
    March: $    254.64
    April:    $4,664.12

    $4,918.76/$18,900 = 26%

    1. In a previous post, I talked about how we decided to put all of the money we had saved for the 2020 student loan debt smackdown toward purchasing windows. We're very happy with this decision, but it also means we start over saving up toward the student loan debt.

    2. A positive change that will help with this is that I haven't been working, and I accepted a new job!

    3. The new job does mean that we might have to buy a car since we're now a 1 car family & will work in opposite directions.

    Like 3
      • Violet Yeti
      • Violet_Yeti.13
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Orchid Guitar Congrats on the new job!  I encourage you to think of it as respecting your priorities and not that you have to start over.  It sounds like you weighed your options and made the best decision for you!  Well done!!

      Like
    • Orchid Guitar Congrats on the new job!

      Like
  • mandiferous said:
    Tantalizingly close to four digits...

     oh it's a good feeling once you get there!  

    Like 2
  • April Check-In (line 73)

    Made solid progress this month - into the four digit realm... Yay!  I realized that my large payment last month to Loan #2 put my autopay on hold until December, so I'll have to either set up autopay on my bank's end - or just make the payment myself.  I kind of like making the payments myself - puts me a little more in touch with my budget.  

    But this month, I went ahead and made a larger payment since I was making a payment anyhow - even though I'm trying to buttress (thank you to Schitt's Creek and Moira for re-introducing that word into my vocabulary!) my emergency fund with my category of budget surplus and not making monthly large payments - but spacing them out.  But I just couldn't help myself!  I've got a third check this month so I'll have some extra wiggle room in case of something unexpected hitting my budget this month and I'll get my "earmarked for loan 2 payoff" fund back up above the threshold that makes me feel a little more security.

    Total as of: 

    Jan 1: $15,925.65  

    Mar 24: $8,870.31

     

    Loan # 1: 0.00 (paid off in February)   

    Loan# 2: $5,329.39 (by August)  

    Loan#3: $3,540.92 (by October)

    Like 7
    • Violet Yeti YAY four digits!!!!

      Like 1
    • Violet Yeti Yay 4 digits and yay Schitts Creek! So exciting to see all the progress you're making. 馃帀

      Like 1
  • Green Cleric said:
    making it a mantra, progress is happening

     I'm rooting for ya!

    Like
    • Violet Yeti Thank you! 馃檶

      Like
  • April Check-in:

    2021 Overall Goal: $25,000 paid off credit cards debts

    Paid January-March: $5,373.16

    Paid in April: $1,857.27

    Progress towards goal: $7,230.43/28.92%

    It's funny how different my philosophy on debt repayment (or should I say "attempted debt repayment" since it has never been successful before) has changed since starting YNAB.  We had a few windfalls this month (it's three paycheck month for me,  and we also finally received our tax refund).  So, why doesn't the April payoff amount reflect that?  Because, duh, I have put money into True Expenses to prepare for upcoming expenses that would have previously gone on credit cards!  It's so simple, but it is the reason why this time feels different.

    Keep on, keepin' on, everyone!

    Like 10
      • ChasingPar
      • Chasingpar
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      PennRach I agree, that was the big game changer for us too!

      Like 1
    • PennRach way go to! Those are smart decisions, though, that will keep you out of further debt, which is the whole point!

      Like 1
    • PennRach That true expenses mindset shift is POWERFUL. Keep up the amazing work! 

      Like 1
    • PennRach I feel this deeply... and funding the true expenses is almost as satisfying as paying off the debt!

      Like 1
  • April 2021 (second of five 5-week months!), Line #37

     

    Week 1: Tithe, then both checks (short week due to a camping trip & truck repairs) were applied to the May budget. $300 per week goes to the income replacement category (馃崑 Lemonade Stand) through May. 

    Week 2: Tithe, then after putting $300 to the Lemonade Stand, remaining TBB from both checks is applied to the May budget (it's 鈪 funded).

    Week 3: Tithe, then May is 90% funded & our Lemonade Stand got a boost ($300).

    ***Brainstorm #1: If we can use the remaining April checks to fund May & June, then May's checks will go toward the car loan.***

    ***Brainstorm #2: Let's put 25% of Underfunded (aka Weekly Chunk) into "馃挷馃挼 for Next Month" each week rather than into individual categories.***

    ***Brainstorm #3: Our work schedule will be lighter in May & June due to camping & visits with our kids & grandkids. This might not be the time to send the whole Debt Snowball before the end of the month.

    Week 4: Tithe, then after funding the last smidge of May & adding $300 to the Lemonade Stand, the May budget's Next Month line (for June) got a Weekly Chunk. $1100 went to the debt snowball (car).

    Week 5: Tithe, then Lemonade Stand ($400; it鈥檚 topped off & hidden until needed) & another Weekly Chunk. Now June is 50% funded. $555 went to debt snowball (car).

     

    Hubby鈥檚 mom鈥檚 leukemia treatment is going fairly well. She's in the hospital.

     

    Total paid in April: Minimums plus $1755.

    Miles driven for work: 3137 + 4674 + 6076 + 6287 + 4826 = 25,000 miles

    Like 4
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