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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  • Hi everyone, 

    I thought that I commented on this at the beginning of the year, and have been working on the smackdown feeling bad that I kept forgetting to check in. It turns out I never posted in January on my old account and so I didn't need to feel guilty the whole time!  馃槅

    Is it okay to update the spreadsheet with my actual data from Jan-June, or will that throw off the data project?

    I'll at least make up for lost time here, and post all the missing check-in's all at once! The debt my wife and I are carrying is student and auto loans with a little pre-YNAB credit card debt.

    Our original goal for 2021 was to pay off at least $40,000 of principal, and we've since adjusted that goal to $50,000 because we were able to make more progress than we expected and wanted to push a little harder!

    Month: Amount Owed - Principal Paid = Remaining Balance

    JAN: $353417 - $1682 = $351735
    FEB: $351735 - $4522 = $347213
    MAR: $347213 - $4083 = $343130
    APR: $343130 - $5755 = $337355
    MAY: $337355 - $2229 = $335126
    JUN: $335126 - $7483 = $327643
    JUL: $327643 - $5138 = $322505 (so far)
    ===========================================
    TOT: $30912 principal paid
    

    Anyway, congrats to everyone on the wins so far this year, and best wishes for lots of motivation and ability to keep pushing in the coming months! 

    馃挋

    Like 8
    • tekgy It shouldn't throw off the sheet if you add anything from the beginning of the year. Some of us just plain forget to update, too, and so we catch up a couple of months at a time. Welcome to the party!

      Like 1
      • tekgy
      • Neuroscience & Technology
      • tekgy
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual thanks so much! I鈥檓 so excited to be participating and to watch all of the success stories play out, and to join the rest of you in mutual support and celebration! 馃檶馃徎馃グ

      Like
      • Violet Yeti
      • Violet_Yeti.13
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      tekgy that鈥檚 awesome and inspiring progress - go git鈥檈m tiger!!!

      Like 1
  • July checkin so far - paid $1,023 toward credit cards. I funded emergency fund with $1,000 and true expenses before putting that amount toward the cards. I'm paycheck to paycheck right now but will work on the month ahead as soon as I am able to. It's hard not to take all my true expense $$ and the emergency fund and just throw it at the debt but I've made a snowball plan that leaves me with those reserves and am planning to stick to it. Have a wonderful day everyone :)

    Like 3
    • leelori Reserves keep you from adding to the debt again in an emergency, so it sounds like you're right on track! Way to go!

      Like
  • i skipped a few months updating, so playing catch up now. i think one of the reasons i've been absent here is that our debt repayment has been pretty minimal. the past few months have been kind of expensive -- medical stuff we'll be reimbursed for eventually, a whole bunch of little life things (car stuff, house stuff, kid shoes, etc.), and some (admittedly very optional) purchases that have just made present a lot better. some months, we would've been more strict about that last category; this month, we decided (in these moments at least) that it was okay to prioritize some of these lesser needs.

    i'm still getting comfortable with the idea that debt is something you can manage in a calm, measured, calculated way rather than deal with emotionally. in the past, i've had a lot of guilt whenever i buy something that isn't necessary, especially when i had debt -- but that guilt never stopped me from actually spending the money! so i'm trying to rework the whole thing, get away from guilt as a managing tactic, and instead figure out how to know when i can afford something or when i should forego it -- and how to stick to priorities in spite of competing desires. you know, little changes :  )

     

    paid this month [may+june]: $122.14 

    paid this year: $20,975.66 (62.32%) 

    remaining goal: $12,684.34

    Like 8
    • Harriet Awesome progress! And yes, ditching the guilt about it will help get rid of it so much faster!

      Like
    • Harriet Amazing progress! And better to pump the brakes on payoff than to add to your debt when you run out of cash. I'm also a big fan of pumping the brakes for nonessentials. I find that if I don't, I'll break down and spend MORE. When you're in a debt payoff marathon, it's ok to slow down and catch your breath when you need!

      Like
  • July Check-In

    Personal Loan #1 principal down by $586.80. 
    $13,498.69 left to go.
    22% of my goal with half a year already gone.

    Still, I'm glad that it's going down. It will feel great when I can use that 554 minimum payment and the extra money I've been putting towards it with Qoins and CC points to the next debt instead. I've just really had bigger amounts that I haven't had the motivation of snowballing yet - really want to get to that place. And it will feel really good when I get it under $10k which feels like that may be possible by the end of the year. 

    Qoins as definitely helped me to I pay more than just the minimum but I've been cancelling most of those transactions lately due to CC debt I've accumulated - yet again. Disappointed that I have CC debt to contend with and that's starting to charge interest already but it is what it is. 

    I had to get appliances for the new house (washer, dryer, and fridge) and then truck registration hit and then I needed new tires and some car work and then we ended up getting a second vehicle (something we've put off but with a baby coming, we decided we couldn't any longer) so insurance increased and it was due already for the first with extra money for the second added on top. Just a lot of larger expenses all at the same time and I did not plan for my true expenses well at all. These are all things (besides the appliances) I knew were coming eventually but I never did put money aside for them like I should have. 

    I've still not got a handle on the true expenses aspect that I know is the real crux of success. I take from those categories to cover overspending so I never get ahead of it. 

    Like 3
    • Green Cleric It takes time to adapt to all of these things and getting them in the right order at the right time. You have the clarity, so you'll work it out, and next time you'll be better prepared.

      Like
    • farfromtheusual Yeah, just need to manage it all better. All too often I allow myself to dip into the true expenses to cover overspending, and I need to nip that in the bud and keep to my budget. I can always talk myself into spending money even though it's limiting future me. 

      Like
      • Violet Yeti
      • Violet_Yeti.13
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Green Cleric Hang in there - life happens and you adjust.  Keep working at it and things will come together.  It鈥檚 hard to be patient but try to focus on what you鈥檝e accomplished versus what鈥檚 left to get to.  Sometimes you just gotta put your head down and plug away.  You got this!

      Like 1
    • Violet Yeti Thanks for the encouragement! Definitely hard to focus on the progress when you're looking at the mountain sometimes, I have to keep in mind how much I've already accomplished completely. 

      Like 1
  • July check in. Nothing special, just chucked $1,124 at it this month.

    Like 2
  • joining very late...aiming to pay down $17000 total. I just paid off about $12000 toward my car loans. Now to start tackling the MTG.

    Like 2
    • Flame's Edge Woohoo - we're glad you've joined us! 

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

      Flame's Edge I started in September last year and was amazed at what I was able to pay down... glad you鈥檙e here with us!

      Like
  • Here's July's debt smackdown update:

    Loan Balance: $3616.69

    July Loan Payment: $325.00

    Current Loan Balance: $3309.20

    Goal: $2239.29/$3600 -> $1360.71

    So long as my budget holds, I'm just going to do $325/month, which is $75 over the minimum payment. I'm tempted to do more than that just because I want it gone (and to potentially trade it in for something else... but we'll see on that). It's exciting to realize that next month's payment will take it down below $3000. Undebt.it says payoff is June of 2022, but the last payment is only $150 so I have a feeling I'll end up paying that off a bit sooner because I'm already buffered pretty much one month ahead on the payment anyway.

    Good progress, I just want it gone, though! Geez what could I do with an extra $325 in my budget every month?!

    Like 2
      • Violet Yeti
      • Violet_Yeti.13
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual omigosh! I love thinking about that too!! I鈥檝e got a post debt budget template and it鈥檚 funny how quickly I was able to assign those extra $$ 馃 馃 馃槀 

      Like 1
    • farfromtheusual woohoo!!! That's really quite close!

      And Violet Yeti  I do too! Made one for each successive debt paid off, which is kind of overkill but helped me see a light at the end of the tunnel and feel like there's a future to plan.  The extra money does get "spent" quickly though, haha!

      Like
      • Michelle
      • No drama llama
      • Salmon_Tiger.7
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual Great job! I know I loved freeing up the extra money when I finished my car loan.

      Like
  • Hi all! I haven't posted much in the group as I didn't have to much to report on tackling my debt. I realized that I really need to use my windfalls (as I learned from this group!) to my advantage. Plus I have some side hustles now to earn extra income above my expenses.

     

    I just made a $1,235.44 payment on my credit card. This brought my balance from $3,082.13 to $1846.69!!!!!!! I'M SO EXCITED & FEEL LIKE I'M GOING TO REACH MY GOAL OF PAYING IT OFF THIS YEAR. THEN I CAN MOVE ONTO MY NEXT DEBT!!! WOO!!!!   馃コ馃コ馃コ

    Like 6
      • Violet Yeti
      • Violet_Yeti.13
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      pinkml87 woot woot! Happy dancing 馃拑 over here for ya!

      Like 1
      • pinkml87
      • Project Manager
      • Orange_Piranha.8
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Violet Yeti thank you so much!

      Like
    • pinkml87 NICE!! You are getting so close!

      Like 1
    • pinkml87 yay!!! Congrats! YNAB made me realize how often I actually get windfalls, which was a cool realization. I now plan out my triple paycheck months into undebt.it so I can see how much those extra payments change the trajectory.

      Like 1
      • pinkml87
      • Project Manager
      • Orange_Piranha.8
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      mandiferous awesome! 

      Like
  • Hi,

    On the spreadsheet this morning I cannot see any cells to the left of and including the formula cells.  Anyone else?

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

      Sweet Tangerine ruh -roh! Something is looking fishy with the spread sheet for me too 馃槦

      Like
      • tekgy
      • Neuroscience & Technology
      • tekgy
      • 2 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Sweet Tangerine 

      I don鈥檛 know what happened that the columns got deleted, but I was able to fix the spreadsheet earlier today using the version history that Google saved. 

      Like 2
    • Sweet Tangerine Violet Yeti tekgy Thanks for mentioning it! All is well in the spreadsheet again. Let us know if you see any further issues!

      Like
  • June Check-In (line 73)  

    Sooooo... it鈥檚 another month of minimum payments.  But I鈥檓 good, friends.  May and June were tough on my budget and I needed to do some major WAMming in order to avoid the credit card float. This month saw a little unexpected fundage come my way.  I got to do some overtime and as ridiculous as this is...  tackled some piled up paperwork and found a refund check that was sent to me back in January! So with that extra - I was able to payback some of my categories that I dipped into and sock a little more away into my pay down fund.  Pretty amazing news - I should have less than $1k left next month and with a little judicious pilfering and possible continued overtime - I may still make my stretch goal of paying this sucker (loan #2) off in August! I鈥檓 mind-boggled, maybe even boon-doggled, at the the prospect!! 馃馃き馃槤

    In other fun news... I just booked a trip with my niece for her 16th birthday (only she鈥檒l be 18 by the time we take it... thank you covid).  It鈥檚 going to be a huge splurge... but I cash flowed the deposit and travel insurance.  I also am setting $$ aside for the remaining balance and this trip will be paid for well before we take trip.  This is HUGE!!!  I - one time - in my life had money set aside for an expensive piece of travel - and that was an odd situation that didn鈥檛 have anything to do with me being intentional with my money/budget.  I didn鈥檛 really have a plan so I don鈥檛 think it really counts.  This here is knowing exactly what I want, how much it鈥檚 going to cost, and making sure I鈥檝e got the money for it beforehand.  I feel like grown up!!!

    Happy debt-slaying my friends!

    Total as of:   

    Jan 1: $15,925.65    

    Jul 25: $7,569.16  

     

    Loan # 1: 0.00 (paid off in February)     

    Loan# 2: $4,392.41 (by August, now September)    

    Loan#3: $3,176.75 (by October-ish)

    Like 3
      • pinkml87
      • Project Manager
      • Orange_Piranha.8
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Violet Yeti Great job! I totally understand the mindset of checking your budget before you spend and actually planning ahead. My old method was to charge things and be like, I deserve this, and I'll figure it out later. Yeah, not a great plan.

      Also, you are crushing it on your debt this year - you paid off half!!! 

      Like 1
    • Violet Yeti Your progress is incredible! Nice work on the budgeting gymnastics this month. 馃帀

      Like 1
      • Violet Yeti
      • Violet_Yeti.13
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      pinkml87 thanks so much... it's exciting to see it go down!

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

      Marisa thanks so much... I'm no Simone - but I try 馃槣

      Like
  • SPREADSHEET MISSING DATA HAVE BEEN RESTORED

    The bad news: I'm not sure what happened, but it looks like someone accidentally cleared out the first few columns of our Smackdown Spreadsheet on Saturday Night (July 24). I don't see that any other changes were made at this time, so the other data appears (to me) to be okay. But you should probably check yours to make sure.

     The good news: Google Sheets tracks and allows us to restore version history.

    I have restored the data for these missing columns from the version right before they got deleted. 

    Hopefully nobody has any major problems related to this hiccup. 

    Cheers!
    Chris

    Like 5
    • tekgy  Thank you!! Checking into protecting a few more cells to avoid that sort of thing.

      Like 1
      • tekgy
      • Neuroscience & Technology
      • tekgy
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Marisa Happy to help! What's the point of being a friendly neighborhood tech guy ("tekgy") if you don't share your love of spreadsheets and version control with your YNAB family!? 鉂わ笍馃槅 

      Like 1
    • tekgy Indeed. So glad you're here! 馃槃

      Like
  •  In years past I did this and loved it! I'm late joining, but want to get back to it! 

    total debt owed: 54,000

    total to pay off 2021 :  16,000

    (so far this year I have already paid  16,000 toward debt)! this is a mixture of credit cards and personal loans.

    thanks!

    Kitty_S

    Like 3
    • Kitty_S Welcome back! Glad that you're joining us again. It's never too late! Congratulations on the 16K so far. That's amazing!

      Like 2
      • Kitty_S
      • Jewelry Artist
      • Kitty_S
      • 2 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Nicole Thanks Nicole, it's great to be on track and this keeps me motivated ! I tell everyone I know to join YNAB...it's been a life saver for me :) 

      Like 2
  • 馃尛馃憴 July Check-In   馃憴馃尛

    Another 1544.56 paid off this month and I am so close to being done with credit card debt. 

    馃憦馃徏Two 馃憦馃徏 more 馃憦馃徏 months. 

    And! Look what else happened! 

    Debt pay down progress in 2021:

    • July: $1544.56
    • June: $1544.56
    • May: $4214.40
    • April: $5207.18
    • March: $3038.60
    • February: $3094.69
    • January: $3923.86

    Current Standing

    • 87.96% of the way to my 2021 goal.
    • Credit card debt remaining: $3089.10
    • Student loans: $20,121.18 (in covid forbearance)

    Total progress in 2021: $22,567.85 paid off

    Total debt paid off since starting YNAB (11/2019): $46,628.98

    Like 9
      • tekgy
      • Neuroscience & Technology
      • tekgy
      • 2 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Violet Storm Oh MY!  That's fantastic on all counts, but that positive crossover!?  BEAUTIFUL!!! 

      Like 3
    • tekgy Thank you! 馃 It's been a hard road (much less fun getting out of debt than getting in) and it feels great to be worth something!

      Like 1
    • Violet Storm Wooooo! 馃帀 Congratulations. Making that change to positive net worth is a huge milestone! Hope you take some time to celebrate your hard work. Then again when the credit cards are smashed. 馃槈

      Like 1
      • Violet Yeti
      • Violet_Yeti.13
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Violet Storm that's FREAKING phenomenal! 

      Like 1
    • Violet Storm That net worth flip! 馃ぉI could look at that bar graph all day long.

      Like
      • Michelle
      • No drama llama
      • Salmon_Tiger.7
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Violet Storm Well Done! Congrats! 馃帀

      Like
    • Violet Storm yesssss!! I am obsessed with the net worth reports. Huge milestone!

      Like
  • July update:

    June balance: $14618.33
    July balance: $14861.30
    Difference: +242.97

    $1088.76/$2500 = 43.55%

    backslid from shopping I didn't really need to do 馃槚 More discipline needed next month.

    Like 1
    • Orchid Display Those months happen! Good on you for checking in and keeping on. Are there any wins to celebrate elsewhere in the budget?

      Like 1
      • Violet Yeti
      • Violet_Yeti.13
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Orchid Display that was me in May/June... I blame my pregnant friend... I couldn't stop myself from buying baby clothes! 馃槀

      Like 1
    • Orchid Display We've all been there. You have still made fantastic progress on your goal this year!

      Like 1
  • June & July Update:

    Paid the $7500 max for 2021 so now it will be just the weekly payments until the final lumpsum in January. I've started putting the $350 snowball amount into its own category for January. Will be so happy when this HELOC has bitten the dust!! Started saving for my Subaru buyout in Aug 2022.

    June: $1349.39

    July: $618.85

    Paid this year: $10,651.18/$13,936 = 76% paid in 7 months.

    Like 2
    • Purple Foal Nice job meeting that $7500 max. Grow, snowball, grow! 

      Like 1
  • Very late with an update for the months March through July (and really August because I've already budgeted for next month). I did not make additional payments on my federal student loans as I was searching for a new house and through the purchase and settling in process. I needed to divert those funds toward downpayment and an additional cash payment above the appraisal price, which was 26,000 extra...in cash...that I had to temporarily borrow from my 401k. Thankfully, I was able to pay back my 401k within a month, so really limited any interest payments for that short term loan and limited any impacts to my 401k earnings. However, my original goal to pay off $16,000 of student loan this year, with an Elastigirl type of stretch goal to pay off the remaining $56,000 for my student loans, is way off the rails and both are unlikely to happen this year, especially given the house - while we LOVE it - has so many needed maintenance and updates. This includes a new furnace because the current one is going on 35yrs, fixing leaking pipes, new washer/dryer because the previous owner disclosed those appliances were dying a quick death, our kitchen appliances are already on life support, new shades for key rooms that have none (would especially like one for my bathroom - ha ha), new carpet for the finished basement that supposedly was at one time white carpet (not even close to that color now), and so many other things. So my debt paydown will be much slower than I'd planned. And yet, I am rolling with the punches and still enjoying the flexibility YNAB gives me to do that and still feel in control of my budget and finances.  

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

     

    Week 1:  Tithe. Pulled from 5 long term categories; paid off car! August needs funding, & those categories need to be refilled. Next up:  pay off the truck.

    Week 2:  Tithe, then a Weekly Chunk to August. AND THEN the A/C died. Raided many savings categories since buying a new A/C unit is now the highest priority. Pulled together about a third of what we need. Called the credit union for a personal loan for the difference between WAM-o-rama and the balance due.     

    Week 3:  Tithe, then I moved the rest to Money for Next Month (in August, so I don't see it when looking in July). I was going to refill some raided categories. Nope, not yet. What a Rule 3 month it鈥檚 been. Work says coast-to-coast runs are available. Good; more miles = more money.

    Week 4:  Tithe, then fill up Debt Snowball for the A/C loan. 

    Week 5:  Tithe, fill up Debt Snowball for the A/C loan. Adjust the targets on the savings categories (type what they are in the Notes section of each, then delete each Target for goals due after Christmas). Those targets will reset after the A/C loan is gone. We may get some traction on the Truck Loan, too. Paying it off by the end of December was the dream. 鉂わ笍

    Hubby鈥檚 mom鈥檚 leukemia treatment is still going well. She had a liver biopsy this month, and it came back clear.  :)

    Total paid in July: Minimum to truck, plus $6500 to A/C loan.

    Miles driven for work: 24,856 miles

    Like 2
    • Coral Mare Ugh - what timing for that A/C. Glad to hear your mil is doing well!!!

      Like
  • July check-in - didn't pay much on the principal of my cards ($278) but did get my one down below 70% credit used which I am happy about.  I have also now fully funded our trip for November (lots of tweaks but will be able to use AMA and AirMiles for hotels and car rentals so saving a bunch of money there!).  Starting August, I will be able to divert more funds to debt.  I'm still working on getting my true expenses in line and at reasonable targets - I seem to aim low and then overspend.

    Like 2
    • Orchid Cup I recently looked really closely at averages in my categories and did some adjusting, because I do the same thing. My budget seems a lot more realistic now.

      Like
  • July Check In:

    Had a bit of a crazy month, but still able to put 887.74 ($5263.29/15,000 or ~35% paid) towards my credit card debit (line 206), which feels good. I've been focusing on building up some of my true expenses and reminding myself that it's not necessarily about speed, but making sure I'm financially secure in other ways too!

    Like 1
  • Is it too late to join this? There are only 5 months left. 

    Like 1
      • tekgy
      • Neuroscience & Technology
      • tekgy
      • 2 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      polishrose the more the merrier! We鈥檒l be excited to support you and celebrate your success together! 馃檶馃徎

      Like 3
    • polishrose Please do hop in! We'd love for you to join us! 馃槉

      Like 1
  • July check-in: $1,294.58 paid to debt (includes P&I)

    Nothing too exciting this month to report. Inspired by the recent YNAB podcast I made an appointment to get advice on the best strategy to manage my student loans going forward. Looking forward to getting some feedback!

    Like 3
  • Checkin for July - total of $1,550 paid on credit cards. However I also took on debt of $3,336 to replace my water heater as a preventative maintenance item. This is on a 12-mo same as cash loan which is on my snowball plan to payoff in 10 months. This month I moved my money all over the place in YNAB first with the intention to put all available $$ toward the debt. I took all $$ out of true expenses and everywhere else and let it sit for a few days in a "debt smackdown" category. But it was too scary. I calculated I'll be charged $70/mo interest on the card that I wanted to pay off fast but if I did, in the meantime, I'll be strapped for cash with no reserves at all. So I  funded my true expenses again and made a payment on the card instead. It's on my snowball plan. This month I also participated in the YNAB Debt Bootcamp - highly recommend. I learned so many new things about YNAB to make my life easier and it reinforced keeping your true expenses in place and THEN paying off the debt. So at month end, I made progress on the credit cards, and even though I needed to take on additional debt, I have a plan to pay it off. Thanks everyone and good luck in August :)

    Like 2
    • leelori I love the debt bootcamp! Started in January and still attend live events as they happen since it keeps me focused on the finish line. The debt cycle charts were a total game changer. It's really tough to see money available and not send it to debt, but it's the right thing to do. Sorry to hear about the added debt, but avoiding a water heater disaster is probably overall a good move both financially and for peace of mind.

      Like 1
      • leelori
      • Khaki_Cyborg.18
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      mandiferous I agree on the water heater replacement. People told me to wait until it fails and then your home owner's insurance will pay for it. I said, no way!! Why would I want my place flooded like that if I can prevent it. It's a chunk of $$ but I feel confident about spending that money in the right place. I have a "Home repairs reserve" setup in my budget but it has been pilfered from for debt paydown. Learned my lesson on that one. Yes, the debt cycle charts from the bootcamp were a much needed visual tool for me. I've decided to join the bootcamps when they are available. Super helpful. 

      Like 1
  • My total debt ( not including my car ) 

    right now is 拢13198

    I guess I should list them all separately  
    Cap 8128    拢117.48       
    Cap 9200    拢635.79       
    Fluid    拢2,273.90   
    New day    拢2,717.18       
    PayPal credit    拢3,080.87   
    Simply be    拢870.16   
    Vanquis    拢1,396.79   
    Very    拢2,106.09   
     

    I鈥檓 not sure how much I will be able to pay off these as I can only cover minimum payments for the most part. 

    Like
      • polishrose
      • polishrose
      • 2 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      polishrose OK I'm going to try to pay off 拢1000 for the rest of the year. 

      Like 4
  • Help I鈥檓 confused about the spreadsheet. I don鈥檛 know how much I can pay off this year. Should I just pick a random number ? Also in the monthly ones do I put the amount I paid or the actual amount that鈥檚 come off ( which is less because of interest?) 

    Like 1
    • polishrose Welcome! What I did is set up my budget with my minimum payments along with other targets for monthly and non-monthly expenses, use my usual salary to figure out what kind of surplus I might have left each month, then multiply by the amount of months left in the year. That was my goal for 2021 paydown, though I then increased that number a bit to encourage myself to cut back on shopping expenses or sell off unwanted items.

      For the amount paid, generally people enter their payment minus the interest paid.  Sometimes folks will make note of that in their monthly updates here, as it may motivate them to see the interest payments drop over time :)

      Like 2
    • polishrose Also, just read your previous comment - if all you can do right now is pay off the minimums and try to tuck a little extra money towards one debt each month, that is still wonderful! YNAB recommends the snowball method, where you focus on your smallest debt at any one time. That will be the quickest way to feel like you're making progress, and also free up some cash sooner so you can tackle the next one.

      Like 2
      • polishrose
      • polishrose
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      mandiferous thank you-I'll be doing the avalanche method as one of my cards has an eye watering interest rate of 47.24%!!

      Like 1
      • tekgy
      • Neuroscience & Technology
      • tekgy
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      polishrose oh my! I saw that in your other post, but thought I must have misremembered the rate! Avalanche DEFINITELY sounds like the right path!

      Like 1
      • polishrose
      • polishrose
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      tekgy yeah it's a crazy rate!!

      Like 1
    • polishrose my goodness!!! Yes that definitely makes sense in your case. 

      Like 3
    • tekgy "misremembered" is my new favorite word!  i think i do this all.the.time ;) 

      Like 1
  • Big month for us, as we dramatically changed our category structure, had some really helpful and enjoyable conversations about priorities and hopes for the future, and recommitted to reaching our debt payoff and saving challenges on a faster timeline. And we definitely had some wins to start us off!

    Our original goal for the Smackdown was to pay off 40k in 2021. Last month we increased that goal to 50k, and we鈥檙e bumping it again so we don鈥檛 get lazy as we get close to the goal ahead of schedule. We may not come anywhere close to it, but we鈥檝e decided to double our original goal, and will try to pay off $80,000 in 2021! Whether or not we can move the needle that far, we鈥檒l definitely push ourselves harder, stay disciplined, and hopefully create some cool new opportunities!

    Principal Paid in July: $7,942.40
    Principal Paid in 2021: $33,716.60 (42% of goal)
    Goal Remaining: $46,283.40

    2021 Start Balance: $353,417.01
    Current Balance: $319,700.41

    Meanwhile, for the YNAB Saving Challenge, we also saved $3,553 ($17,870 for the year)!

    Like 3
    • tekgy impressive!!! Looks like you're at least on track to nudge that first digit down, which is a huge win!

      Like 1
      • tekgy
      • Neuroscience & Technology
      • tekgy
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      mandiferous Thanks a bunch! We are thrilled to be so close to the 200's! We're frustrated that US student loan interest is coming back online in a couple of months. Our interest rates are pretty low, but the debt is huge! ~$1200/mo interest charge will slow down our principal smackdown, but we'll enjoy the challenge and celebrate a lot of big wins anyway! 馃ぉ

      Like 1
    • tekgy yikes!!! I see why you're pushing so hard to work on it while the interest is paused. It does seem like there's a big push for an extension, but obviously can't depend on that. Have you listened to the newest YNAB podcast? It's about student loan refinancing, and was way more useful than I expected it to be. I'm super glad not to have refinanced prior to the pandemic but it seems worth exploring once the pause is officially ended.

      Like 1
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