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 Check-in. I paid 1040.28 toward debt. just trying to keep paying the min and avoiding adding more debt. I think that has been the issue in the past because it's so easy to do without really realizing it. Even new phones that you pay overtime are basically debt with no interest. #progressNotPerfection
August check in! I was able to squeeze $1,983.63 out of my budget to put towards my debt last month. I had $554.24 leftover after budgeting through September, and at the end of the month I had an extra $629.37 to pay towards my smallest loan in addition to the minimum payments on all of my other debts.
I'm only $2,900 away from eliminating my next smallest loan, and only $3,640.86 away from meeting my debt payoff goal for 2021 and having paid off $15,000 of debt in my first year of working full time!
Hello from Australia! @themagenpies here, newbie to the forum, and newbie to home owning. As of 2 days ago, I officially owe the bank to the tune of $363k. Dipping my feet in, wanting to get stuck into paying this off, but taking it slower than I would normally attack it until the end of the year when I'll have a clear idea of budget lines for house maintenance etc.
I'm 225 on the spreadsheet. Goal of $6500 towards the mortgage before the end of the year, ($150 above minimum repayment per week).
I'm really excited to tell you I've just made my final credit card payment. That's £12,770 paid off since January.
There is simply no way I could have done it without YNAB. I am so grateful and thankful that I found the app. I'm smiling to myself right now because I really went back and forth about spending that $84 last November. But I'm so glad I did.
Hang in there, everyone. No matter how far you still have to go, you're headed in the right direction.
September check - in
Paid off $383.25 off my student loans. I scheduled the last payment for one of them for October 1st! Down to 5 loans on October 1st! I'm also only about $810 dollars short for the year with 3 months to go.
I'm not sure I'll get all three of the loans I set out to entirely eliminate this year, but I will get awfully close. Whatever is left of those loans will be 2022's goal!
September Check-In (line 73)
I did it! And I did it within a year of starting YNAB! ! I’m consumer debt free and I’m definitely doing a happy dance! Going into my student loan to see the balance was a sublime feeling of satisfaction… let me share 😉
The story really began in January 2020 when I put my foot down and said debt you are no longer welcome here… and while I was putting $$ into an emergency fund - I was in aggressive debt pay down mode because it was over $36k of debt I was talking to! By September, I paid down $12k and started freaking out that I was going to mess it up and went looking for a help. That’s when I found a humble little tool called YNAB. YNAB was my enabler… I managed to beat my original goal of debt freehoodness by December 2021 and sent my last payment on September 3, 2021. And I am joyous!!!
Now the rest of the year is devoted to a couple of other goals that have been put on hold. But next year I’ll see to it that my Roth is maxed out and my 401k is increased. After that, it I’ll work to pay off my mortgage and be truly debt free… in fact that will push me into financial freedom… however, not at the lifestyle I desire… so I I’ll continue to work - only with the knowledge that I could stop at any point and still have a nice (if a bit less exciting 😉) life.
Total as of:
Jan 1: $15,925.65
Sept 3: $0
Loan # 1: 0.00 (paid off in February)
Loan# 2: 0.00 (paid off in August)
Loan#3: 0.00 (paid off in September )
It is kind of surprising that there are more than $4.2 million in debt payoff with only 500 participants. I personally think that it is too much. Anyway, it is great that something like this exists to help those in need as well. However, how do you guys make sure that all of the members are complying with your rules and regulations?
I've missed two months, so am writing to catch up! Here is my summer progress report, for July and August, on my battle against the student loan beast:
As of June 30, 2021: $173,537.53
As of July 31, 2021: $169,150.08
As of August 31, 2021: $167,792.52
Notes: Regular monthly payments resulted in principal reduction of $2,703.01. Was able to make an extra payment of $3,042.00. Total reduction of principal in July and August together: $5,745.01.
Year-end goal is to get the balance down $41,000.00 (from $190,958.60 starting place on January 1, 2021) to just below $150,000.00. With a $23,166.08 reduction so far this year, I'm now about 56.5% there.
Here's the September update on my debt smackdown:
Loan Balance: $3000.75
September Loan Payment: $325.00
Current Loan Balance: $2690.76
Goal: $2889.29/$3600 -> $710.71
80.34% of my goal is met!
Still debating whether I should talk to a dealership about trading this in on something else. I'm not sure what the value is right now, and if it is high enough to give me some trade in towards something newer, and if something newer will be valued at a reasonable place so that I can swap it out and not take too much of a hit in terms of my budget. That would not be helpful. I don't know that I can afford something new, and the used cars might just be priced too high at the moment. It would be nice to get a lower interest rate, but of course the though of also being almost DONE with this loan is SO nice. That extra $325 in my budget would be lovely to have. Of course, if I am smart I'd keep setting it aside towards a replacement... It feels like I wouldn't be able to get far enough ahead quickly enough to make it worth it. Who knows. I guess there's not right answer in this situation, and if I'm going to find out anything I'm going to have to make some phone calls and see what I can find out.
September 2021, Line #37
Weeks 1-4: Tithe, then a Weekly Chunk to October. The rest goes to debt snowball (truck).
We did a thing. Again. Next year’s project will be to pay off the FINAL camper. Meanwhile, the truck should be paid off by Valentine’s Day, even though we’ve set up additional investments to begin in October, 2021.
The company gave the drivers in our division a raise effective with the next paycheck. This should help our progress.
Hubby’s mom’s leukemia treatment is still going well, & she has no lingering effects from Covid. :)
Total paid in September: Minimums plus $1345
Miles driven for work: 18,135 = (took off a week!)
September check in
August balance: $15246.77
Sept balance: $14750.25
$1199.81/$2500 = 47.99%
OMG for the first time in *months* I actually made progress on my debt. It has been a terrible summer for one reason or another, but I am so proud of myself this month for being better about my spending. I actually got to fill in pieces on my Debtris this month! Something I haven't been able to do in AGES! 😁
Now to keep that momentum going! I really just have to remember how GOOD this feeling is compared to the temporary high of buying something new followed by the low of knowing I'm further from my overall goal. I can do this. 😎
September check-in: $1,895.12 paid towards debt (includes P&I)
This month I took the jump and refinanced my federal student loans. It's something I've low key considered for some time, but never acted on. I know I'm taking a risk with losing the federal loan protections/benefits and possible student loan cancellation, but the rate decrease from 6% to 3.28% was worth it to me. I shortened the remaining term by just a bit and reduced the monthly payment from $387 to $328.
Other than that, I've been trying new easy to make at home meals for when I don't want to cook, don't want convenience food, and don't want to spend $$ on take out. Instant pot chicken and potatoes is going to be a new go to for me.
- CC#1 $4,260.00
- CC#2 $7,478.00
- 401k Loan $25,495.37
- Student Loan $46,295.00
September check-in. Paid $201.06 to credit cards. Next month should have the last cc I wanted to be gone paid off and then I'm down to one high interest one and one low interest one. I am getting a different car which will cut my monthly payment by over $350 plus some other payments are falling off in the next couple months. And I got a raise at work! I will be dividing the extra between the high interest cc and saving for some home repairs (we need a new furnace!) I am looking forward to smacking debt a little harder in the coming months!
September check in:
I beat my 2021 debt smackdown goal! I've paid off $15,000 in debt so far this year, my first year working full-time after college. I'm increasing my goal to $20,000, it's a stretch but hopefully I'll be able to reach it!
September was a great month for my debt payoff journey: I sold some things and cut wayy back on spending, and was able to pay off $2,537.86 of debt this month, including eliminating my smallest student loan!
Have a great month everyone 😁
I made a payment of $1,124.03 instead of my usual $500 because I finally knocked out my auto loan payment! I now own my vehicle as a result. Decided I only had that much left, so might as well get it over and done with by the end of 2021.
My only real debt remaining is my student loans, which will begin again in January. My payments on that are just under $250 per month by default, but I have enough income free to throw $500 or more at it each month to pay it off much sooner.
October early check-in
Technically the last debt payment of the month goes out Monday on auto pay. But I know that all of that payment goes to principal.
Paid off another of my student loans leaving only 5 left and made a bigger payment on the smallest of the remaining ones.
Total October payment is $561.90. Only about 260 dollars of the original goal left. Plan is to have it be dust in November with time to work on reducing the carry over in December.
Hello! I have officially paid off all my debts as of this morning! A small question remains, I've assigned money to those categories all the way to June 2021, the goals have been deleted, but I want to removed assigned money to these categories from today till june. How do I go about that, other than going to each month and removing them?