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
Hoppin' on Line 33. Let's get this challenge started! 🎉
My husband and I have a stretch goal to pay off a personal loan of $7000 this year - our debt paydown timeline puts us well over a year to pay it off, but I've got my eye on the prize. 😎 So, we're doing some extra savings challenges (Like the 34 Day Reset!) to put a little extra cash toward the loan! Can't wait to track with everyone else's progress and see how much debt this awesome community can kick this year!
I'm back for 2021 and on line 36. Last year was my first year of the Debt Smackdown and I was able to knock out almost $14k in principal (in addition to ~$4.5k in interest...OW!). My goal last year was $20k in principal and I'm going to shoot for that again this year. 2020 certainly taught me that things can go sideways fast, despite my goals and intentions. Happy 2021 and best of luck to you all!!
Car Loan - $9,655.51
Personal Loan - $27,433.00
Student Loan - $36,846.61
Happy New Year! I claim Line #37. Last year we tackled $75ish-K of debt (PTL)
Brief history: Hubby has been a truck driver for 40+ years. I spent 26 years in the classroom. During my last year teaching, we were focused on cutting spending in order to attack debt.
...Me: The problem is the deep hole (debt).
...Him: This would be easier if you had a bigger shovel. ($$$)
Fast forward to 2020. We were in month 6 of team driving when Covid-19 burst into the scene. Our company pivoted from delivering retail goods (malls closed) to "freight of all kinds." Our grandkids were kept home to protect the old people, so we had too much time on our hands.
In the end, my 2020 income averaged $2200/month more than my 2019 income. His 2020 income averaged $1175/month more. That boost, coupled with our original snowball, made a huge difference.
The goal for 2021 is to tackle both vehicles. Current total for both: $69,591.05. Car= $38,625; Truck= $30,966.05
Once those are paid, we must invest for retirement & pay off the mortgage.
Checking in for 2021! Line 40. Very excited for Year 2 of our Debt-Free plan!
Total Debt remaining $35,547. Car loan + Student Debt.
Plan to pay off this year: $13,368. My husband's last student loan should go in just a few months, after which we will attack the car loan.
January update: Paid $1313.67 towards debt.
Happy New Year, y'all! Wishing all a kinder year full of hope.
Working on paying off student loan debt this year. It's all we have left besides the mortgage.
The highest point of this debt was Oct 2019: ~$70,900
It's been tremendous progress when I look at those numbers, and yet it feels like soooooo far to go!
This year we're aiming to pay $20,468.04 toward the debt. It's an aggressive amount for us, but, I think, do-able.
I've claimed line ID 24.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Last year I was line 18, this year I'm line 41. Super excited to see folks excited to get after it this year. Last year I did not make great progress. Overall, despite making some solid dents in a few months, I ended up down less than $1,000 overall in principle balances. This year, I'm looking to change that. I come into the year with slightly over $56,000 in consumer debt, not including my mortgage. The goal for the year is to pay off at least $16,500 of that. The main key is to NOT take on new debt. Not for vacations. Not for trips. Not to pay off any bills.
Wishing each of you the best journey possible!!
Hi! I claimed Line 39, with a total debt of $21,209.09. I just did my budget this morning and already allocated $2,633.63 towards paying this down.
I discovered YNAB in 2016 and have found that it has really helped reshape my relationship with money. However, this past year my discretionary spending was very high and I justified it in the beginning knowing that I have a secure job and savings to pull from. Now I'm not so sure about the future and I want to have a clean as slate as possible should things change. My goal is to pay down my debt in the next year or two.
My debt is split between two cards - my primary credit card and one linked to my Amazon account. Most of the debt is on the primary, almost $18k, which I was expecting when I checked a few minutes ago but still made me cringe to see. I can reliably pay $1,500 minimum a month and tend to pay around $2,000 a month. My plan is to pay $500 a month on the Amazon card and $1k+ on my primary credit card.
I'm joining to make myself more accountable and to hopefully find encouragement and inspiration in everyone else's journeys.
Let's go, team! I just claimed line #42. My partner and I made our first-ever Fresh Start and set some goals yesterday to crush our pesky car loans this year. 🎉
His Car: $3000
My Car: $8,000
We're planning to tackle this with an even split over each month of the year. We'll also use any windfalls to tackle it faster, then adjust the monthly amount accordingly! Let's get it!
I saw there was a blank spot for #43, so I claimed it. Last year I participated and was able to pay off about $9k out of $72k-ish. So this year I actually have a benchmark. Most of that payoff was from a large tax refund; I won't be getting that much this year, so I'll have to be more creative. My grand total debt right now is $64,601 across 3 credit cards, auto loan, student loan, and daycare bill. My goal this year is to pay off credit cards, about $6,300. If I reach that goal, then will focus on the auto loan. I am using Undebt.it to make a payoff plan, which is a combination of avalanche and snowball. I'm paying off Capital One first with $383, then Discover card with the bulk of the balance @ $5519, then lastly Chase with $324 (this balance is a 0% interest purchase). I used the IRS Tax Withholding Calculator to see how I can change my W4 to allow for less taxes taken out per paycheck, so I hopefully that will get me a couple hundred more per paycheck. I'm also going to reduce the Employee Stock Purchase Plan contribution from 2% to 1% to give me an extra $20ish as well, per check, though I think I missed this quarter's window to make the change, so I'll do that for next quarter (I have previously used this account to pay for expenses I didn't have covered, like my car brakes 1.5 years ago [$1.4k] and some will remember my Lizard Spending 6 months ago [$1k], but I'd like to stop touching this and let it build with a goal of using it for purchasing a house in the future, I can change the contribution every quarter). I'll also be getting a merit increase for normal wages, I'm hoping for around 3%. I'm looking forward to see how we do this year!!
Hello all! This is my second year here, it's good to see everyone again. I have claimed line 45 for my debt, which includes one credit card and 16 (!) federal student loans which are the bane of my existence.
Chase Sapphire Preferred: $1,490.93
Student loans: $108,584.69 principal + $9,080.93 interest = $117,665.62
Total debt as of January 1st: $119,156.55
The Chase card will be paid off this month between payments and the sign-up bonus. Student loans are frozen for now due to COVID relief but will start back up again on February 1st. They range in size from $698.97 to $23,523.24. Since there are so many discrete loans I won't list them individually here, but I will be using the snowball method since I'm a sucker for positive reinforcement.
My payoff goal for 2021 is $10,000.
I've put all my current debt up there, even if I expect to pay some this month. The goal is to clear it all this year. I hope to because there is some family money expected to come. However, I'm also expecting to get another 20k debt this year for medical. The goal is to make sure that I'm keeping that debt in check and making sure I pay it off.
Good luck everyone!
Hello, YNAB Debt Smackdown peeps!
Claimed line #53 for this year. Tentatively set the same goal for this year as 2020, to pay down $12,000 in student loan debt. I've been keeping track in my journal over here, and for 2020 was able to put a bit more towards my loans with a total of $12,700 towards them. My stretch goal was to get my balances below $20,000, but didn't quite make it (but I came within just under $500 of making it, so I'm thrilled!).
This year if I can keep up the momentum, I'll get well below $10,000, and I'm so excited to see that happen. A few years ago when I finally decided to see where I was truly at, I discovered I was maybe 10k below the original borrowed amount, which set me on a path to pay them down. That plus a colleague of mine retired last year but is *still* paying off student loan debt, and their story helped spur me to push even harder to get out from under them.
Cheers to all of you in this awesome community for being steady fellow debt-crushes, and I'm excited to see what we rock in 2021!
I have claimed line 54 this year. It is my second year of the challenge and we did a great job last year in slightly exceeding our goal (103%). We are aiming for a similar repayment amount and plan as last year. I have a spreadsheet with all of the payments forecasted on it as we are using a snowball approach. We budget for interest separately and I found it was an interesting statistic to look at over the course of the challenge at the end so will be tracking it from the beginning this year.
Goal - $35,687.66
Good luck to all on getting through the year!
Hello I’m line 55. I have one credit card and a personal loan for 2021. The current balance in $22,209.27. The credit card is currently the focus debt. I hope to complete both of them this year.
You can follow my journal
Good luck to everyone!!!!!!
Hi, I joined YNAB in November! I am thoroughly enjoying the webinars, podcasts, YouTube videos, and the fb community. I am embarrassed to say that my husband and I have 173k in CC, 2 vehicles, personal, and student loans. We are not young, retirement is not far off and we have little saved. It looks like it will take 4.5 years to payoff everything except for house. I am hoping this debt smack down will keep motivated and would love to have it all paid off sooner than 4.5 years!