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 😉
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
September update for @TheMagenpies and all going well.
$535 of Facebook marketplace sales, and alterations and mending income. Two regular payments of $660.
$1855 towards the mortgage, covering both principal and interest.
I've been crunching some numbers, and rather excited as I could dramatically reduce the mortgage time from 30 years downwards.
If I release the company car, and have it for commuter use only, that would free up $120 a week, allowing for continued expenses of car sharing with family who own an electric vehicle and use it but rarely.
Rental market is very difficult here on the south coast of NSW at the moment, and so I could conceivably rent my extra room for minimum $110 per week. They'd have to be the right person of course!
I'm feeling an extra push to knock this mortgage down while I have a fixed low rate, given the implications of inflation (to start with). Noting of course that interest rates will rise and so the calculation is flawed to start with, this extra repayment scenario will have me pay it off in 12 years rather than 30. What's not to love about those numbers haha!
I'm almost at the finish line on my HELOC!!
October: Maximum payment $618.85
November: Maximum payment $495.08
December: Will be $618.85
THEN JANUARY: Final LUMP SUM PAYMENT OF $2500 (approx) paid back 9 months early!! Been saving for that lump sum amount in its own category.
Since joining this group in 2020:
January 2020 owed: $28514.85 which will be GONE in January 2022. Thank you YNAB! ❤️
💃HAPPY DANCE! 💃
Only my minimum payments of $800.00 made this month. My partner and I are in the process of buying a home and it's shocking how expensive it is - it seems like every day, we need to shell out more money for one thing or another. Amazingly though, even after an $775 electrical repair on the new home, all of our deposits and fees, and finishing all my Christmas shopping, I avoided adding new debt.
I've already beat my debt smackdown goal of $15,000 for the year, and I'm still hoping to beat my second goal of $18,000. We're closing next week, which is also my birthday week so I'll definitely be ending 2021 with a bang!
See you all in 2022!😆
November check-in: $1,668.52 paid to debt (includes P&I)
Slow and steady over here. Added another bit of red to my debt paydown thermometer on my fridge :) Hoping next month to reach the under $10k balance milestone on my credit cards. For someone who started at credit cards at $26k+, this is very exciting.
Hope you all have a good end of the year!
Line 99 reporting in!
Its been a few months since I posted, but I've still be paying off debts. Probably just best to do a year end summary now that my last payment has gone through.
Beginning debt: $77,797
Total debt paid off: $51,086
⭐ I cleared my credit cards in June.
⭐ I paid off my truck in November.
The only debt that remains is my RV, which is my full time residence so that's basically just a mortgage masquerading as an auto loan. I'm now snowballing the truck payment and my alimony check into the trailer every month. At that rate, I'll have the trailer paid off in 15 months.
Its been a good year. Hope you're all doing well too.
December check in:
Chucked 994.51 at credit card debt.
Since I have the remainder of my credit card debt at 0% until September of next year and I'm looking at potentially changing jobs in the next month or so, I'm going to take my foot off the gas a bit and start to build up my E-Fund (or as I call it in my budget 🏴☠️ War Chest).
Final check-in for 2021: $18, 517.80 paid to debt last year...since the student loans were at 0% I had been socking that money towards payments into a savings account. It felt AWESOME to hit "make payment" on 2 of the 3 loans to knock them out! The balance isn't dreadful anymore, and I plan to tackle that last loan in 2022 with a goal to pay it off by June.
PS- then I can sign on for the YNAB Savings Challenge!!
Happy Holidays everyone at YNAB....cheers to 2022!
Line ID 179 reporting - for the first and last time this year since I'm looking forward to continuing my debt-free journey in the 2022 edition! While my debt was way too much to even think of finishing it off in 2021, it was great to see me making the dents. I can't believe I paid off almost $30k - having the visual progress and starting YNAB in February really shifted my perspective on my debt-free journey: my mindset went from "this is insurmountable, I'm just going to live in overdraft forever" to "I've almost slashed my debt in half in a couple more months!"
Paying off cards one by one via the snowball method was amazing and kept my momentum going pretty hard at the start. The pandemic relief funding helped dig me out of a hole as well. Things started to plateau a bit in the summertime until I was suddenly promoted in the middle of a short-staff pandemic emergency (yikes). Despite my new burden of responsibility and stress with the new role, seeing my debt actually go down instead of increase makes me feel like I can handle anything, at least.
This is the first time since I finished undergrad in '09 that I actually have a positive net worth. I eventually want to feel free enough to consider a major career switch; sticking to the challenge was absolutely worth it. Instead of feeling trapped, now I feel that (almost) anything is possible. I think I officially deserve that Sonic 3: Barrel of Doom mug I've been eyeing (and budgeted for 😉).
December Debt Smackdown update!!
Loan Balance: $2065.63
November Loan Payment: $325.00
Current Loan Balance: $1750.96
Goal: $3864.29/$3600 -> EXTRA $264.29
Last payment of the year made pushing me over my goal, which REALLY makes me happy. VERY proud of myself for actually accomplishing more than I set out to do this year.
There's only $1700 left on the loan, so I'll be back next year, and I may still try to figure out if there's a way to flip this into a new car and get a better interest rate. Or if I should just keep this a while longer and save up to be able to put a down payment towards something new... choices, choices.
December 2021, Line #37
Weeks 1-5: Tithe, then a Weekly Chunk to January. The rest goes to debt snowball (truck). December was a 5-check month. Also, we applied proceeds from settling the estate toward the truck loan.
Total paid in December: Minimums plus $11,064.98
Miles driven for work: 28,398 miles
2022 goal is to pay off the RV.
Final 2021 check-in for December:
Nov balance: $14929.68
Dec balance: $14786.79
$1163.27/$2500 = 46.53%
Overall, not bad. Could be better, could've been worse. I have decided my homeowner dreams need to happen sooner rather than later, so the next few years I want to really buckle down even more strictly on only buying things I have already budgeted for and following my debt pay down schedule better. I can do this. On to 2022!
December and Year End check-in
December: $1,646.13 paid towards debt (includes P&I)
Year End Totals: Goal $15,000.00, Total Paid $23,529.04 156.86%
Thank you everyone who checked in throughout the year. It is inspiring to read about everyone's journey. I'm sad to see that there will not be an official challenge for 2022! This forum got me started with paying down debt. It really helped me to check-in and read about other's thought process and learnings as they successfully paid down their debt.
Wishing you all a happy and prosperous 2022!
My final check-in for 2021:
I slowed down the last couple of months, but I'm really proud that I surpassed my goal and ended up paying off $25,412 this year! For the first time in my adult life, I have no credit card debt. And I just have a few thousand left on a student loan for 2022.
Thanks for all the support everyone!
The year went a bit wonky because 1) for a balance transfer we did, the new card limit wasn't enough to transfer the entire balance so we decided to pay off the difference; and 2) in March we decided to take out a 12 month RRSP loan at a cheap rate to get the 30% tax back. That was a $5k loan. The loan pushed our debt free date from December 2021 to JUNE 2022.
Finally getting a chance to update the challenge. I can't seem to update the spreadsheet. We paid off the full goal of $11800 which includes paying off the extra $5K loan we took on during 2021. We are on track to make our last payment on consumer debt in February 2022.