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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  • Hello!

    Line #58 here. This will be my 3rd year aggressively paying down debt and tracking with the YNAB Debt Smackdown. I started with almost $75k in 2019, now looking at $34, 800 to go (all student loans).

    Goal for the year is $20k, same as 2020. I plan to stretch beyond that and do more, but as last year taught all of us鈥攜ou can't count on things going as expected. Because $20k was more realistic for my budget, I was still fortunate enough to meet it last year even with a temporary salary reduction.

    Here's to progress and a new year! Good luck, everyone!

    Like 5
  • Ok, why not.  Line 59.  I love a good opportunity to track something on a spreadsheet.  I've been a YNABber for well over a decade, and haven't dealt with personal CC debt since my old YNAB days, but I did take out a car loan for my husband in July 2020 for $40,000 total.

    It's a 1.99% APR loan over 60 months, but I've always followed Suze Orman's rule to pay off in 36 months.  If I can't pay a car loan in 36 months, then I consider it a car I cannot afford.  This was a biggie, so I am getting creative with accelerating my payments.

    The current balance on the loan is $36,000 and change.  My goal this year is $13,500.  I am trying to pay it down by increasing the amount I pay each month by about 10%, but I don't know how practical that will be.  We shall see!

    Good luck everyone! :D

    Like 6
  • Year #3 doing this. Re-adjusted my goal as I underestimated the cost of owning a home. This year I hope to pay of $8000 of debt on my two lines of credit:

    $45, 526.00 in a student line of credit @ 2.95%

    $5,103.52 in another line of credit @ 5.99%

     

    I have only been paying the minimum on my debt which I don't feel bad about as I have been building up my emergency funds, adding to my retirement funds and home reno fund as the my rate of returns have been higher for the e-funds and retirement funds then what I owe in interest.  I am looking at getting a second job to really put a dent in my debt, but I haven't really tired hard and not sure if  I want to look for a job that allows me to work from home or in the customer service field. I have given myself until April to find something as I am registered to write an certification exam in March and I don't want to spread myself too thin.

    Here's to hoping that I actually exceed my goal this year (missed it by about 24% last year). :) 

    Like 4
    • Ivory Wildebeest Owning a home does cost quite a bit of money, doesn't it?? LOL It's worth it, though, and maybe you'll get a fat tax return to help out!

      Like 2
    • farfromtheusual I live in Canada so owning a home doesn't impact our taxes like in the states. On the brightside my monthly mortgage payments which include property taxes are about $300 less then what I was paying in rent....

      Like 3
    • Ivory Wildebeest that's awesome!
      I know logically that rent should be a bit higher than a mortgage since it includes the maintenance costs and things like that, but dang, rents are often so much higher than a mortgage that you couldn't get ahead while renting in order to buy a house. It's a tough spot, awesome that you were able to do it!

      Like 1
  • Wow, this party got started quickly! From last year, I have $20,098.16 left over four credit cards that I that I want to drop $12,000 of it. I've grabbed line 61.

    Like 6
  • This is our first go at the Debt Smackdown -- I've claimed line 38 with my medical debt of $2,610.63. Pretty excited! I've been reading all y'all's experiences for a while now, and have always been inspired by them.

    Like 8
    • Tomato Tamale January check in:

      My medical debt was transferred to CarePayment, which is a 0% interest payment plan. They set my repayment to 36 months, but I鈥檓 still going to try to make it all this year, because new year means new medical charges and I don鈥檛 want it to get away from me 馃ザ

      First payment of $150 made.

      Like 5
    • Tomato Tamale Thrown for a bit of a loop in February. Our HELOC payment went up by a lot more than I expected, which means I need to refigure what I can send where and when. I had made February's payment in January, so I was technically ahead. I didn't pay anything in Feb, but will get on schedule in March.

      Like 1
    • Tomato Tamale March check in:

      Back on schedule with CarePayment. Paid another 150, which I will do until I can't. We had an unexpected Federal refund which filled some gaps. Once we get past the Summer (which is our expensive season with the property taxes and house insurance and car insurance all due in the same month), I'll revisit sending more than 150.

      We're at 4.76% of the goal, which is behind my plan, but ahead of the debt so I'm not too sad about it.

      Like 5
    • Tomato Tamale Sometimes just staying ahead of the debt is the accomplishment!

      Like 1
  • New to YNAB, but ready to knock out some debt. In order from smallest to largest, have $571 in medical bills, $1,459.41 in CC, $11,194.74 in an auto loan, and owe $238,546.01 on the house. Plan to pay off all of the medical, cc, and auto loan, plus my monthly payments on the house for a total of $26,737.1

    Spreadsheet ID 62.

    Like 8
      • hiimrif
      • Spring_Green_Camera.9
      • 7 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      January Check-In: So far so good! Excited about the progress we have made, we have paid off nearly $3,000 dollars in the first month, and knocked off our first debt, buh-bye CC debt! We are also about halfway through our 34-day reset and will be using the extra money towards paying down debt. I would say it has been helpful to detox extra spending at the very beginning of the journey, by making it a game it doesn't quite hurt so bad. I am expecting February to be a good month for another big chunk! Stay frugal and carry on!

      Like 2
    • hiimrif Awesome, way to go!

      Like 2
      • hiimrif
      • Spring_Green_Camera.9
      • 6 mths ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      hiimrif Not much to report yet, just the normal mortgage payment which took $1,132 off of the total. As we are facing a uncertain few months, figured rather then pay down our debt I would set it aside in case of emergency, once we are past this season I will chunk it all towards the van. So with our 34 day challenge savings plus some leftover categories from January the Van destruction fund now sits at $2,160 with some room to grow for the month.

      Like 6
    • hiimrif Sometimes that is the wisest thing! Updating here with the total will probably help you keep it safely in that category, too, until you know that you have some breathing room again.

      Like 2
      • hiimrif
      • Spring_Green_Camera.9
      • 5 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      March Check-in: Another month of minimum payments so knocked another $1482.90 off the house and van, set aside most of the recent stimulus check so now have $9,160 set aside for the van once we clear the next few months, which leaves another $1,000 to save towards the van loan destruction/uncertainty fund.

      Like 4
  • Here for another year of Debt Smackdown!  Line #68

    My debts remaining are all Federal Student Loans...Goals are to pay these off this year if and when interest resumes...I plan to wait to see any possible legislation in January/February regarding Federal Loans before resuming payments.  Total loans $27,873.80:

    #1 Loan #1     9368.80 (7.6% interest) but 0% at present thanks to CARES ACT

    #2 Loan #2    8897.90 (7.0% interest) also 0% at present

    #3 Loan #3    9707.10 (5.3% interest) 0% at present

    Best of luck to everyone, and CHEERS to 2021!!  

    Like 5
      • Buckeye
      • Buckeye
      • 8 mths ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      I鈥檓 also interested to see if student loan forgiveness becomes a real thing ... due to that uncertainty, I plan on paying quite slowly at the first half of the year (I鈥檓 under $13k) jusssstttt in case that $10k forgiveness thing comes to fruition. Cheers to 2021!

      Like 5
    • Buckeye I'm throwing my student loan payments into a high (ok, not so high right now) yield savings account, and going to wait out the possibility of loan forgiveness (or at least until interest resumes)!  Wouldn't it be something if even a small amount got forgiven??  Not counting on it, but still fun to think about!  I do feel the 0% interest time frame will be extended again ;) 

      Like 5
      • Buckeye
      • Buckeye
      • 7 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Sweet Tangerine certainly would be appreciated if it happens! I pinky promise to spend some back into the economy :) 

      Like 2
  • Last year was my first year of YNAB and my first year of the challenge - was thrilled to be able to pay off nearly $15,700 and exceed my 2020 goal. I have $6,000 left and my goal is to have it paid off by June. Then I'll be debt free other than my house! I started the year with $4,000 on a 0% CC from moving/buying a home and $2,000 for my Peloton, also 0%. Here we go!

    Like 7
    • YNAB Cam Congrats on exceeding your goals for 2020!! I hope you do the same for 2021.

      Like 1
    • YNAB Cam The Peloton has been my favorite purchase 馃槏Hope you're loving it too!

      Like 1
      • YNAB Cam
      • YNAB_CAM
      • 8 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Veronica It's life changing - seriously! the programming and bike payment were less than my gym membership - I've bumped my payment up to equal that - looking forward to getting the bike payed off early!

      Like 3
      • YNAB Cam
      • YNAB_CAM
      • 6 mths ago
      • 9
      • Reported - view

      March Check In - Happy to report I finished paying off my debt (other than my house) and completed my challenge goal! Thanks to the debt smackdown, I was able to knock out most of my debt last year. Was able to kill the last $6,000  by mid-March. I was able to hit my goal 5 months early and that's with an added $2500 debt that happened last summer. THANK YOU YNAB! Now I'm building up my 3-6mths emergency fund and saving for grad school. Once I hit those goals, I'll turn my sights to accelerating paying off my mortgage - 

      Like 9
    • YNAB Cam  Congratulations - that must feel great! 

      Like 1
    • YNAB Cam Congratulations!!

      Like 1
    • YNAB Cam WOW! This is incredible! Congrats, and best of luck on your next set of goals. You're gonna crush 'em!

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

      YNAB Cam  congratulations!馃帀馃嵕馃帄 

      Like 1
    • YNAB Cam WAHOO! Congrats!!!

      Like 1
  • Line 68! I did the smackdown last year, but started late and didn't accomplish as much as I wanted to (hello unemployment for 6 months). This year I'm starting with smaller goals that can be more easily achieved as I can always go above and beyond! 

    This year I'm focusing on only my CC debt. I have two cards broken down below: 

    Discover: $6,895.15 

    Chase: $398.31

    Total: $7,292.46 for 2021

    I, of course, have other debts like student loans, a consolidation loan, and a family loan (Total: $27,671.08) that I will continue to pay minimums on for now. I will not be including these in the spreadsheet for now to avoid confusion. I'm excited to get started! I'll be starting on my small card as it's only a few hundred and can easily be accomplished. I know getting that to zero will give me a lot of motivation to then tackle the larger card! 

    Excited to see how everyone else tackles their debt this year! 

    Like 6
    • Green Song I was you the best of luck on you goals you have set this year. I'm sure you will crush the Chase Cc in no time. :)

      Like
  • Here is to another year of renewing some old goals and working on becoming debt free. The end of October last year I ended up getting derailed by a very unexpected opps on my part. And because of that I was not able to meet 2 goals I had set for last year and I am finding myself a little more worse off than what I was last year. But it was a lesson learned and here is to a new year.

    Maybe it was for the best as I鈥檓 starting out this year by paying of a credit card that is just a little over $100鈥檚. Here is to a small win already. Next, it will be a couple of bills that are a little over $200 than the real work is going to kick in to get my smallest school loan paid off and the line of credit. That has been carried over from last year. I wish everyone the best for 2021 and lets see how much debt we can get rid of this year!!

    I'll also be doing the 34-Day Reset challenge (https://www.youneedabudget.com/34dayreset/) I've included the link if anyone else would like to do it or just to check it out.

    Like 6
      • Green Song
      • Green_Song.5
      • 8 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Corruptress I'm also doing the reset challenge! 

      Like 1
    • Green Song That is so awesome. I hope you meet your goal. :D

      Like 1
  • I claimed line #69...

     

    My goal this 3rd, and final year, is to be 100% debt free by October!

    Car #1:  $2,376

    Car #2: $5,910

    Dental Loan: $1,300

    IRS Taxes (Covid & Back Taxes): $3,070

    Credit Card: $3,000

     

    Where we are so far:

    Like 9
    • Keith & Kittery Barrows Welcome to the challenge! Love the way that line is trending!!

      Like
  • Line 49, first time going for this! I have $47,440.78 total in debt (mostly student loans), this year I would love to pay off my credit card debt of $15,270.61, and maybe get some crazy progress on my student loans too if I'm lucky.

    Like 6
  • Started Ynab in mid-April of 2020 and really admired everyone paying off debt. I am glad to be joining the thread so early this year. I have a total of $72,082.08 in debt between two student loans and a car loan.

    • Student loan #1: $37,990.80
    • Student loan #2: $22,823.35
    • Car loan: $11,267.93

    My wife and I just moved to a new city and are stabilizing ourselves so we aren't putting a debt repayment plan to go into effect until March. We hope that by 01/01/2025 that we have all of our debts slain. We have other goals to accomplish while paying our debt off but paying off debt is a priority. Good luck to everyone in 2021. We got this

    Like 6
      • Coral Sound
      • Coral_Sound.7
      • 7 mths ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      Coral Sound Claimed line 70 and have a mid-month update. Had to purchase a new bed and did it on a 0% credit card which adds $3,265.08 to my overall debt. My wife and I have agreed to make this the last debt we ever take (besides a mortgage).  The stretch goal (and we definitely mean stretch!) to pay this year is $14,533.01. This will kill off both the new bed and car loan.

      Like 5
      • Coral Sound
      • Coral_Sound.7
      • 6 mths ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      Coral Sound Forgot to update but I'm here now. We have paid $1,382.08 (9.51%) out of our $13,150.93 goal which shows we are behind (should be approaching 25%). Good news is that now we have dual incomes coming into our account which will stabilize us and allow for more debt payment. Our debt should be reduced by an additional $1,200 this month which is great. The job market is rough and as everyone knows the pandemic doesn't make it any easier. Couple this with both mental and physical health setbacks and it becomes clear that making an extra payment will do wonders for my confidence.

       

      Happy budgeting everyone!

      Like 5
    • Coral Sound Kudos to you for hanging in there. It's NOT easy right now! Any progress and hanging on is worth celebrating.

      Like 2
      • Coral Sound
      • Coral_Sound.7
      • 6 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Coral Sound Mid-month update. Paid off an extra $1,090 which is the surplus we have after paying our taxes. Never had to pay taxes before and we had to this year because I didn't withhold enough on my paychecks (Won't be making that mistake again). Anyway, we have paid $2,712.07 (18.66%) out of our $14,533.01 goal (not sure why I put $13,150.93 last time but that number is wrong). March is one of those amazing months with an extra paycheck so my wife and I will have an extra $2,000 at beginning of April (being a month ahead is amazing). This combined with the stimulus checks that should be sent out this month will allow us to make a $4,000 extra payment in April. Fingers crossed everyone!!!!

      Like 3
    • Coral Sound wahoo!! It's amazing when all the extra good stuff lines up!

      Like 1
      • Coral Sound
      • Coral_Sound.7
      • 5 mths ago
      • 10
      • Reported - view

      Coral Sound Update time! The end of March is fast approaching and we made the final payment on our bed with the stimulus check that we received. That is an extra $1,438.46 towards our debt which brings out $14,533.01 goal down to $10,382.48 (28.56% paid off). At this point, I'd say we have a better chance of paying off the rest of our debt but we had a bomb dropped on us. A baby is on the way! I am so excited, my wife is so excited, our budget is less excited. Our goal of paying off the car is going to pivot towards income replacement at the end of the year when my wife is recovering from birth. Honestly, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited to add a bunch of categories to the budget. The only thing I need to focus on right now is boosting our income. It'll be rough so give me strength everyone. Hope everyone is healthy and happy

      Like 10
      • Krys
      • I like bacon and sarcasm
      • Krys
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Coral Sound Hooray! It's a spendy time coming up, but in the most amazing and fulfilling way! Congratulations!

      Like 1
    • Coral Sound Congratulations! Good thing you've got a budget to work with and know where your money is going.

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

      Coral Sound congratulations!! Happy tidings for a budget adjustment!

      Like 1
  • Claiming line 71.

    Congratulations to everyone who took part in the smackdown last year. Especially those who managed to pay off the last of their debt.

    I have $3,831.81 left on my car loan to pay off. This is less than half of what I thought I would have left at this time last year. YNAB and the 2020 debt smackdown managed to help me get rid of over 75% of my consumer debt. I started YNAB at the end of February and thought I might be able to knock out 50% of my debt last year.

    I have a HECS student loan but that is indexed to inflation instead of having interest and won't need to be paid off until I earn over a certain amount. Seeing as I have at least another 5 years until then I am ignoring it for now. At least it isn't being added to anymore after last year.

    The car loan is due to be paid off by December and I am ahead so going as I am will have it paid off in October. However, in order to put a little bit of a challenge to this smackdown, I want it gone by the end of July.

    Good luck to everyone taking part in this year's smackdown. I look forward to seeing all of you hit your goals.

    Like 8
      • Cinged
      • Cinged
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Trainee Researcher Congrats on getting 75% paid down, that is large accomplishment!! Good luck on your goals this year!

      Like
    • January Check In

      I played around with my budget and found that I could pay an extra $50 per fortnight. This will reduce interest and the pay off date by a couple of months. Looking forward to having this paid off and owning the car outright. 

      January payment

      $418.57 / $3,831.81 = 10.92% to goal

      Like 5
    •  February Check In

      Debt payment was on auto pilot last month. Slowly getting there. I now owe less than $3000.

      This month there are 3 payments so I will knock over $700 off and will owe just over $2000.

      February payment

      $472.43 / $3831.81 = $2940.81 remaining and 23.25% to goal

      Like 5
    • Trainee Researcher amazing! so close!

      Like
    • Trainee Researcher awesome!!!

      Like
    • March Check In

      Debt payment is still on auto pilot. This month was a 3 payment month which made the budget a little tighter. Especially because I'm paying an extra $60+ each payment to get this debt gone. Covering this extra payment meant that I didn't get to really add to my savings goals this month. Basically just the interest (about $1.20) and I added $1 to my eFund as my bank added a requirement for the balance to grow every month to get the highest interest rate.

      My ADHD has been playing up something fierce these last two months which has been accompanied by an increase in impulse buying. This meant that I ate into my NMM category. The good news is I still had enough to cover my immediate obligations and general spending for next month. The bad news is I don't have enough for my True Expenses and Savings goals. I will still be able to grow the balance of my savings account  so I continue getting the maximum interest. Luckily none of my True Expenses are due for a couple of months so I will be able to make them up starting next month.

      I will hopefully be getting the third scholarship for my degree starting next month. It is very frustrating that the uni has not told us at any point whether we got the scholarships. We were told that we may qualify and they asked for payment details in case we did qualify after our marks were finalised. Then nothing until the payments hit our bank account with no warning. I'm finding it frustrating to not be able to plan - I know, I know don't budget money you don't have, but that's not what I'm doing it's more working out what my priorities are if I get the money so I don't go on an ADHD fuelled spendathon without considering all my options, the struggle is real. If I do get the scholarship it'll be extra money every month this time. At the moment I am trying to decide what I should do first as I can either work on my savings goals or I can pay off the remaining balance on my car loan, which would then free up the money from that payment to go to savings every month.

      March Payment

      $727.67  / $3,831.81 = 42.24% to goal

      Like 3
    • Trainee Researcher Good for you for you the scholarship, boo they don't communicate well. I would be frustrated with that situation, too!
      And I hear ya on the spending... we've been doing a wee bit too much of that lately, too.

      Like 1
    • April Check In

      Debt repayment remains on autopilot. 

      I got the scholarship, including back pay to the start of the year. 

      I've decided not to use the lump sum payment to pay off the car loan as there is a penalty if I pay it off too early. Going as I am it will be done in July, mid August by the latest.

      I got a new bed, including mattress, bedding and a weighted blanket to see if that will help with my ADHD/fibromyalgia. It's been 2 days, and I'm still saw from setting it all up, but so far so good. I also got myself a new handbag to celebrate. My old one was a little small for the stuff I need to take to uni when I'm not taking my laptop bag. I also wanted one that wasn't black. I got a pretty new green leather bag and my mum bought me a new purse as well.

      April payment

      $479.4 / $3,831.81 = 54.75% to goal!!!

      Even better there is less than $2000 dollars until I am debt free.

      Like 3
    • Trainee Researcher So good!!! Over half way, my friend. 馃帀

      Like
    • Trainee Researcher wahooo! Congrats!!

      Like
    • Trainee Researcher 

      August Check In

      I have been really bad about checking in. My car repayments have been on autopilot and so there hasn't been anything to update with. Until today.

      2 days ago I made the final payment on my car loan and today I received confirmation that the loan has been closed and I now own my car free and clear. The loan wasn't due to be finalised until late November so YNAB has again saved me a few hundred dollars in interest payments.

      I am now consumer debt free.

      May payment

      $483.41

      June payment

      $486.81

      July payment

      $490.55

      August payment

      $272.97 / $3831.81 = 100% to goal!!!

      Good luck to everyone that is still slaying the debt beast. I can testify that you can get there eventually.

      See you all in 4-5 years when I've finished my PhD, start earning more money and have to finally start paying my HECS debt.

      Like 6
    • Trainee Researcher Congrats! Well done :)

      Like
    • Trainee Researcher Congrats!!!! Way to go!!!

      Like
  • Thanks to YNAB I managed to exceed my already aggressive 2020 debt paydown goals (while also building true expenses and a mini emergency fund).

    This year I have $15,925.65 of non-mortgage debt remaining.  My pre-ynab goal was to be consumer debt free my January/February 2022.  My stretch goal was by the end of 2021.  But now... I want to smash it by October 2021.  After achieving what I did in 2020 - I believe this is a realistic goal and I'm motivated to slay my debt by 馃巸!!!

    Loan # 1: $2,624.22 (by February) 

    Loan# 2: $9,285.06 (by August)

    Loan#3: $4,016.37 (by October) 

    Best wishes to all my fellow debt destroyers... let's get the slaying started!

    Like 12
      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 8 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Violet Yeti Good for you!! Nothing like a pandemic lockdown to put your attention from going out & spending to good use. You've got this!! :)

      Like 2
      • Ivory Tiger
      • Ivory_tiger.1
      • 8 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Violet Yeti I don't know if the keywords "aggressive," "smash," or "smackdown" led to this reaction, but at first I read your name as Violent Yeti. 馃槀 Go after those debts!

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

      Ivory Tiger re-reading my post... I see how you made that jump! I certainly seem to be rather ferocious when it comes to my debt! 馃槀 

      Like 2
  • Happy New Year Ynab!

    This year will be a challenge to figure out how much I can pay off so I am going to enter all of the debt on line #77 so it is all on the table.  Depending on when travel comes back, will depend on how much I can pay towards the debt. As of now, I have budgeted in YNAB, a minimum of $800.00 per month for the following.

    Home Equity $67511.00
    2 CC at 0% $5346.30

    Total $72857.00  

    This is not my total debt since I received a SBA loan for my business due to the pandemic, but the payment on that does not start until Aug 2021.  I have been working on applying for grants to try to eliminate most of that debt. Once the pandemic is over, the business will be very strong and I can strive towards a more aggressive payoff.  Thanks for making the bill payment so much easier and less stressful than ever before.  

    Good luck to all of us!

    Like 5
  • This is my 3rd year in YNAB, but my first doing this challenge. I've claimed line 78!

    I have a total of $64,561.50

    CC: 1059.44

    Student Loans: 63,492.06

    Payoff Goal:

    My goal is to pay off the CC early in 2021. I'll pay $3,466.21 in Student Loan minimum payments this year, and have a goal to pay an additional $3,000 (with a $6,000 stretch goal).

    Total Goal: $7,525.65

    Stretch Goal: $10,525.65

    Additionally, my job is currently processing a $10K Pretax (~7-8K after tax) for a student loan payment. This is separate from my goals above, but will hopefully bring my 2021 Debt paydown to $17-18K. 

    Any thoughts on if I should log this payment into the tracker, or limit it to payments I make personally?

    -Josh (Spring Green Piano)

    Like 5
    • Spring Green Piano Welcome to the challenge! I'd say it's up to you if you want to log that into the tracker or not. I always love more numbers, and big jumps are always super fun. But if you want to really keep it to what you've accomplished, then leave it out. Either way will be good!

      Like 1
    • Spring Green Piano

       January Update!

      Now that I've had my two paychecks and don't anticipate any more income this month, I can update!

      January: 1059.44 paid!

      Thanks to some side gig income from working November's Election and Rover, and doing a somewhat 馃槓 No Spend January, I was able to pay of my last CC. I took some of what I'd usually put towards getting a full month ahead in my budget to make the last little bit happen this month, but it feels great! 

      Starting Debt: $64,551.50  (-$10 from initial post because math 馃槀)

      Total Debt to go: 63,492.06 ( 1059.44 Paid)

      2021 Goal remaining: $6,466.21 

       

      -Josh (Spring Green Piano)

      Like 4
    • Spring Green Piano awesome! Congrats (and yeah, because math... ugh!)

      Like 1
    • Spring Green Piano 

      Second January Update:

      I am lucky to have my work pay off some of my student loans and a payment just went through! I'm not counting it towards my Debt Challenge total, but it's lowered my total owed.

      Starting Debt: $64,551.50  

      Total Debt to go: $57,053.06 ($7,498.44 total paid; 1059.44 Paid personally, $6,439 paid by company )

      2021 Goal remaining: $6,466.21 

      Like 4
    • Spring Green Piano WOOT! That's awesome! Congrats!!

      Like 1
    • Spring Green Piano 

      February Update:

      Had a semi-eventful month budget wise, but was able to put $622 towards student loans which is my monthly goal. I had a mini windfall come unexpectedly, so I think I'm going to cross off some wish farm stuff. Planning to put my tax return and any stimulus towards debt and getting a month ahead. 

      I also got an additional $1,800 paid by my company. I think the IRS got confused with my taxes based on the way higher January amount in my paycheck. This brought me to the brink of $10k paid off total! 

      Starting Debt: $64,551

      Total Debt to go: $54,555.21 ($9,895.85 total: $1,689.22 Paid personally, $8,206.63 paid by company)

      2021 Goal Remaining: $5,836.43

      My math still doesn't add up perfectly, but oh well. I did a reconciliation in January that's kinda messedu p y math here. The goal and debt to go is correct, just not the total paid off. 馃槀馃

      Like 4
  • Wahoo! Here we go!! I'm working on my car loan this year, I need to do some math to figure out what I'm able to do with my current budget the way it is. This is way more complicated than the debt I've worked on in the past since there is interest involved, so I'm going to have to figure out the easiest way to manage the numbers so that I can actually compute it. I got into trouble in the past when I had to deal with the interest adding to the debt while I making payments.
    I'll update this once I have my numbers sorted out! I claimed line 80!

    Like 4
    • farfromtheusual this is something I'm confused about as well for this challenge! I think I'll just be subtracting the interest accrued from the payment I enter into the spreadsheet (e.g. I have $13k debt, if I pay $1000 in February and accrue $100 interest, I will enter $900 as my debt paydown that month). If others have better suggestions I'm all ears.

      Like 2
    • mandiferous That's probably the easiest way to do it.

      Like 1
    •  I think there are two ways you can approach this:

      1. Calculate the total principal you want to pay off. Last year I knew that I needed to pay off the entirety of one loan as it was ending. In addition, I knew I would be be paying around 45% off the car loan as there were 2 years left on it, as I was paying slightly above the minimum requirement I set my goal to 50%. My credit card was the hard one but I wanted to drop at least 40% as that was a number that seemed doable. I totalled these numbers and that was my goal for the year. Then when I updated the smack down spreadsheet I would total the amounts I paid and then subtract the interest paid. 
      2. Alternatively you could calculate how much interest was accrued last month and subtract that from your monthly payments. Multiply that amount by 12 and you will have the absolute minimum that you will pay off this year. You will pay off more than this though so you may want to round it up to the nearest 100/500/1000, whatever feels right.

      Like 3
  • Line 79 claimed! Back at this for 2021 and excited to get my student loan debt down even further. 

    Starting the year off at $190,958.60 of student loan debt. My goal is to bring the balance down to below $150,000.00, so I am setting a goal of $41,000.00 in reduction for 2021!

    For comparison, in 2020 I reduced the debt by $33,975.96. 

    With so much uncertainty this year due to the pandemic, I realize my goal is a stretch - and depends on my salary getting back to its "normal" amount instead of being affected by the current cut - but I want to think optimistically.

    Following along on these pay-down challenges has really kept me motivated, and it's amazing how much our group accomplished last year. Here's to an even better 2021!

    Like 10
  • One thing I enjoy seeing are the visual bar charts where some of you plot your progress. I don't track my student loan debt in YNAB, so unfortunately I can't take screenshots of my net worth for purposes of the debt pay-down challenge. Is there another good option (outside of the YNAB app) to create bar charts that I can share as images on this forum?

    Like 3
    • Slate Blue Pilot It's possible to do it in excel (and probably google sheets, but I haven't messed around with that), and I'm sure there are some tutorials on youtube. If you can't figure it out, let me know and I can see about figuring it out with you. I was playing around with that the other day with some of our numbers and it's not too difficult.

      Like 3
      • Cinged
      • Cinged
      • 8 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual , Slate Blue Pilot I use Undebt.it to track all my debts and determine which should be paid off first, they have Payoff Snapshots and a Payoff Journey visuals as well as graphs, and it syncs with YNAB, too, if you want it to.

      Like 3
    • Slate Blue Pilot I made a Google Sheets version of one I use to track my student loans, you can copy it and use it for your own if you feel so inclined:  Spider Plant's student loan breakdown sheet of greatness.

      Like 3
    • Thanks for the bar chart suggestions, everyone! Will look into the options.

      Like 1
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 7 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Cinged he added a printable debt thermometer recently. Looks like it鈥檚 only available on paid user account. 

      Like 1
      • Cinged
      • Cinged
      • 7 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      MXMOM I just saw that! Nice little addition. 

      Like 1
  • Line 81 here!  Working on paying down the suburban loan :)

    Like 4
  • Hi!

    I'm line 82. I started last year and have made so many changes in my spending habits since then. So far I have not added to debt since June which is huge since I was inadvertently riding the credit card float, poorly. I hope to keep that up through 2021 although I have some large mandatory expenses coming up this month and next and am not fully funded. I've joined the 34-day reset to close the gap. 

    My debts as of Dec 31 2020 are:

        Mortgage $136,506.40

        Car Loan $6,763.76

        Line of Credit $28,776.51

        Balance Transfer CC $2,325.21

    For a grand total of $174,371.88. Last year I paid down about $13.5k so I'm going to be a bit ambitious and set my target for 2021 as $18,000. 

    Good luck everyone!

    Vercingetorix

    Like 2
  • Hi all, 

    I snagged line 84 on the sheet, with my goal being to pay off 15k this year! I'll first aim to get to 15k paid off total, and seeing how things go, maybe aim for paying off 15k in principal alone by the end of the year. 

    Here's how my debts stack up right now.

    Auto Loan - $2,287.36

    Public Student Loans - $45,487.49

    Private Student Loans - $23,189.44

    My first goal is to get my car paid off, then I can see how things are sitting with student loans and figure out which one to tackle next. 

    Good luck to everyone here!

    Like 6
    • Here's my January check-in

      Payments - $463.68
      Paid to interest - $86.08
      Paid to principal - $377.60

      Added to snowball - $295.32 ($570.17 total) 

      Goal remaining for 2021 - $14,536.32

      3.09% paid off

      Like 4
    • Happy end of February all! Here's my totals for this month.

      Payments - $699.15
      Paid to interest - $85.21 ($171.29 year to date)
      Paid to principal - $613.94 ($991.54 year to date)

      Added to snowball - $749.99 ($1320.16 total)

      Goal remaining for 2021 - $13,837.17

      7.75% paid off

      Like 4
    • It's an early check in for March for me. And I'm doing to do the thing where I present the "sad" news first and then a twist and how it's actually good news.

      Added to snowball - -$802.84 ($517.32 total, this is the sad part)

      Payments - $2,105.08 (the twist!)
      Paid to interest - $72.04 ($243.33 year to date)
      Paid to principal - $2,033.04 ($3024.58 year to date)

      Goal remaining for 2021 - $11,732.09

      I paid off my car this month, which is why the snowball went down and the payment this month is so large. With it paid off I'm now down to just student loans. These are big ones too. The federal loans are currently at forbearance and sit at $18,823.95 and $26,663.54 respectively and won't change much while I just save the payments for these until things are resolved about what's going to happen with them. The private student loan sits at $22,372.76 and will be chipped away slowly. 
      I won't have another month like this for a while, but it feels good to get this one out of the way! 

      Like 5
    • Coral Network Where is the sad part? Isn't the snowball meant to allow you to pay things off then fold the payment into paying more off? Therefore, this month you used the snowball to get rid of one payment which means next month you will have a bigger snowball. Congratulations on smacking down one of your debts.

      Like 3
    • Trainee Researcher I guess it is more bittersweet than sad. I just liked seeing the amount in the snowball sitting there.  馃槃

      Like 1
    • Only paying on one of my student loans for the moment, so just a little movement on the debt front. Good movement on the preparing for payment front though. 

      Payments - $350.00
      Paid to interest - $271.26
      Paid to principal - $78.74

      Added to snowball (now called The Crushinator) - $1,324.20 ($1,687.37 total. Gotta love those three paycheck months!)

      Goal remaining for 2021 - $11,382.09

      24.12% paid off

      Like 3
    • Coral Network I love the name "The Crushinator!" I've been hoarding my student loan payments until they actually come due. I need to find an inspiring name for the bucket :) Right now it's just "SL Paydown," though that in itself is pretty inspiring!

      Like 3
    • Wow, how has time gotten away from me so much? Guess this'll be a May/June update.

      May

      Payments - $350.00
      Paid to interest - $75.27
      Paid to principal - $274.73

      Added to the Crushinator - $252.01 ($1,939.38 saved total)

      Goal remaining for 2021 - $11,032.09

      June

      Payments - $350.00
      Paid to interest - $76.82
      Paid to principal - $273.18

      Added to the Crushinator - $0 ($1,939.38 saved total)
      Okay I'm estimating a bit as June isn't quite over. But I was invited to join some friends on a trip to Palm Springs in July. Seeing as I haven't been on a vacation in a few years, I decided to jump on it. That means this month any extra money I have is going to go fund that. Unless I happen to stumble upon a stash of pirate treasure, I don't think I'll have more to put towards saving for debt. I'm pretty okay with this though, I'll be even more okay with it when I'm sunning myself by a pool. 

      Goal remaining for 2021 - $10,682.09

      Like 4
    • Orchid Guitar I even found an emoji that's bright pink and if I don't look at it too closely I can imagine it's a robot.  :)馃彥

      You've got this! I daydream about the day when I no longer have to pay money towards my student loans so much. It's going to be amazing. 

      Like 2
    • Coral Network Sometimes mental well being is more important than keeping the belt tight. Good for you for taking a break, I hope you enjoy it!

      Like 1
    • I totally feel like I'm forcing myself to embrace the spirit of the tortoise. No big pay-offs happening but a slow and steady chunking away at things is how I'll get through this. 

      Payments - $350
      Paid to interest - $73.40
      Paid to principal - 276.60

      Added to snowball - $141.29 ($2080.67 available. Woo!)

      31.12% paid off

      Like 2
    • My debt payoff goal appears to have morphed into a debt savings goal somehow. I did not expect that, although maybe I should have as student loans are still on forbearance through the rest of the year now. 

      I didn't get to set too much aside for my snowball payment as I had to get new tires for my car recently and I didn't have *quite* enough set aside. Plus I found that my car will need some work done next month, so with any luck I'll be able to fund that and not have to steal from the Crushinator. 

      Payments - $350

      Paid to interest - $74.88

      Paid to principal - $275.12

      Added to the Crushinator - $25.00 ($2105.67 saved currently)

      Like 2
  • Hi All,

    Back again for another year - great to see so many familiar names on the sheet smashing that debt down.

    Last year I managed to smash down over 拢6k of debt before having to consolidate the remaining 拢14k of my debt into a new mortgage arrangement. I didn't want to do it, but I was having real problems with cashflow as a change of circumstances meant that I was overpaying my tax. The tax office adjusted my tax code twice (downward) and it all became too much. It happened that the Mortgage was coming up for review and we got a great fixed rate for 10 years and were able to free up the cashflow.

    My goal this year is to pay down that Mortgage debt by 拢12k (including interest). I've set myself a goal I feel is achievable for now, with the intention to review it in the middle of the year and see if I can stretch myself a little further.

    Good luck all! 馃ぉ

    Like 7
  • Hi! I claimed Line 87. I am very new to YNAB and still trying to figure out how to use it. I've been trying to pay down debt for far too many years by always entering what I spend after it's spent. Obviously my previous system is broke and it's time to fix it. I've had it! We want to work for something besides paying debt back.

    I'm self employed with 100% of my income being commission in a business that's somewhat seasonal, so I have a very irregular income. That makes it difficult to set a specific amount to pay back every month. We have gotten our budget set to primarily use my husband's income for living on for the entire year of 2021 and our goal is to use all of my income, after business expenses, to pay directly to our debt. Our goal is to pay off $46,300 of consumer debt this year. So I have set my goal for my business to net enough income after business expenses and taxes, etc. to cover that $46,300, as well as some extra for working on getting one month ahead on our regular bills. Which of course as we go through this, our regular monthly bills will be declining as we pay off each individual account. I'm super excited for what our budget will look like at the end of the year! 

    Like 7
    • MomOf_Five How's it going? :)

      Like 1
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