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
Line 92. I have one credit card and one car loan that I'm trying to pay off. 2021 is the year to finish off the last 12K!
Credit Card: 8802.29
I will hit my savings goal in July, and that will roll into my credit card, and then my car will be paid off in October, which will allow me to roll that into the credit card as well. Current math stands that I will have 3.59 left in December, which I'm pretty sure I'll be able to squeeze out of other categories then!
We are claiming Line #93. We participated last year but got lost toward the end of the year and stopped updating. I'm hoping to set a more realistic goal this year but also a stretch goal. I am in the process of starting a business that will be part-time (for the moment) but could become full-time in July. If necessary, I will continue with part-time and use the extra income to pay off more debt.
Realistic Goal for Debt Payoff: $14,759.61
- Window Loan: $2,002.41
- Credit Card: $4722.64
- Student Loan: $8,034.20
Our other debts are larger which includes a consolidation loan of all of our other debt, car loan, and mortgage.
Stretch goal for Debt Payoff: $29-36k
- Pay >2 full extra mortgage payments: $3k
- New HVAC system or roof: $11k /$18k
Hi, I've claimed line 95 and my goal of €17,843.16:
- Overdraft: balance €800 - PIF in 2021
- Bank Loan: balance €4,593.20 -> goal of €4,900 including estimated interest (I'll update the goal when I know the actual interest) - €260.33 monthly minimum so I'll need to make extra payments to meet my goal of having it PIF by the end of 2021
- Private Loan: balance €24,000: €500 monthly for a 2021 goal of €6,000
- Mortgage: balance €133,436.50: €511.93 monthly for a 2021 goal of €6,143.16
My credit cards (2) also remain paid in full and off the float so this also has to be maintained. I will probably cancel the 2nd card sometime this year as it has a monthly fee and I've had a credit increase on my main card.
My main goal this year is to pay off my overdraft and bank loan while still providing for true expenses. For the bank loan I'm considering calling the bank to ask them to restructure the loan for a December 2021 pay off date - this would mean I'd have to find the funds each month and any extra I set aside couldn't be WAM'ed elsewhere instead. Has anyone else done this and found it a helpful strategy? Or really regretted it?
Good luck to everyone for 2021!🌞
Claiming line 96 (woohoo birth year!)
The following are my current debts:
Car Lease (ends March 15th): $455.28
Family Loan: $23,013.95
Federal Loans: $21,964.48
Total = $45,433.71
For 2021 my goal is to pay off my entire car lease ($455.28), $600 towards my family loan, and $2,850 of my federal loans. Not a lot this year, but my main focus is some savings goals I have in order to avoid accruing even more debt.
Good luck everyone!
Happy 2021 Everyone!
I've been so excited to start this for 2021! I've been using YNAB for a few years now, but just to help with budgeting (staying afloat). It's only been the past year that I've been actually working to improve my financial situation.
Last year I was able to pay off $16,780.91, so my goal this year is to pay off more than I did last year. If I do, I will hopefully get rid of my credit cards and car loan!
Total Debt - $98,433.81
- Chase Credit Card - $751.65
- CitiBank Credit Card - $1,714.90
- Car Loan - $13,328.09
- Private Student Loan - $51,478.01
- Federal Student Loan - $31,160.16
All debt I owe :
Personal Loan #1 : 17,348.11
Personal Loan #2 : 19,529.81
Car Loan : 39,031.07
Student Loan : 41,767.19
And technically have $1200 on CC but I will have that paid off this week so I'm not considering it in this debt breakdown. Unless I start floating the balance....
I'd like to pay off personal loan #1 - so goal is $17348.11 (which is a stretch goal - ideally I at least get it down to under 10k) while paying the minimum on the rest.
Minimum payments across the 4 loans is ~$2266. I feel like I'm drowning a little already on minimums from bad life choices but I'm going to do what I can to squirrel away anything remotely extra to the personal loan #1 payment.
I'm using Qoins to automate some extra money to it each month. I have it set up to take out money on a regular interval as well as try and take 10% of any incoming money over $100. I've been cancelling the 10% one lately so I'm trying to stick to allowing that + the smaller regular deductions for Qoins to help move this forward. It will really help if I can do the 10% extra payments but the smaller intervals are usually about $100 extra a month.
My personal loans are with SoFi and in my path to try and get debt free, I opened a SoFi CC recently because they have a rewards program which you can use to put extra payments to loans. So all my bills have been moved to that card and I'm logging into the app every day for free reward points to try and accumulate as much extra/free money to the payment as possible. It's nice because you get like a point per dollar spent (and 10 points whenever you log into the app after a 4 day streak) - each point translates to a cent and it's doubled when you use it to pay off debt (so like 1300 points = $26 free dollars).
I've also been using Undebt.It for tracking potential payofff dates. It's been motivating and un-motivating at the same time. It's nice to see an end in sight but it's difficult to see how much extra one needs to pay to really get ahead of it all.
Depending on what my tax refund might be, I'm hoping to have a bigger waterfall of money to direct to the loan. My company cancelled the bonus program during 2020 so I cannot relay on those like I used to. I also got a pay cut middle of last year so I'm hoping I get a raise next month during reviews and whatever extra between current paycheck and new paycheck I want to immediately regulate to the loan.
I claimed line 105 - I'm only going to be tracking the principal amount of personal loan #1 and the progress I make on that specific debt during this challenge. I'm trying to keep in mind just how much better my finances will be if I have $2600 extra to do with what I want instead of immediately being obligated to my past life choices.
I tried to be a part of this last year and fizzled out halfway through when I moved + got a paycut, and incurred a major amount of debt because of it. I felt too ashamed to come back since I added debt instead of tackling it in the end. I hope sincerely this year I do nothing but take it down.
Line 99: I knocked out over $15k in debt last year between April and December. This year, I have a second job and the divorce settlement refi payment on my house ($48k!) is going to come through within the next couple weeks. Some of that payment will go into retirement accounts and buffing up to a 6 month emergency fund, but the bulk of it will knock out a huge portion of my debt. I have no doubts I will clear the full $77k in 2021.
I am starting with $77,796.73:
- Credit cards: $10, 492.42
- RV loan: $33,118.63 @ 4.3%
- Truck loan: $34,184.68 @ 3.6%
The bulk of that CC debt is on an interest deferred balance transfer card that doesn't come ripe until May, so I am not paying any interest on that as long as I get it paid down in the next four months. I live in my RV traveling around to national parks so when the loans are cleared, I will own my home outright and have zero debts to my name.
I track my debt progress at https://www.instagram.com/92to0/
Excited to be here with you all!
Fizzled out last year with paying off debt...maybe a bit of COVID depression? Anyway, I am excited to be part of this group this year and am confident we can pay off our consumer debt! We were able to refinance our mortgage in 2020 and save $600 or so a month in mortgage payments just by reducing the interest and extending the payoff period a bit!
Three credits cards ($14,825, $4,097, $2,356) and one store card ($1,913) will bite the dust this year.
Hi! I've claimed line 108. I'm not new to YNAB, but have never participated in the Debt Smackdown so far.
2020 has been desastrous for my finances, so I'm happy to be able to pay back some of my debt this year. :) The amount I want to pay back during the year is:
- student loan: €1,440
- money borrowed from family: €1,270
--> Total debt payoff target: €2,710
That doesn't seem to be much, but for me it is a huge step forward. 😅 My remaining student loan is higher than €1,440 (in total €8,740 left to pay off), but this is the amount that I'll have to pay back this year. [My kind of student loan (I'm from Germany) luckily is interest free up to a certain amount and for a certain repayment period.]
Concerning the money I borrowed from my family, €1,270 is the total I owe them, so I want to pay back everything this year.
I am excited to be on board again. The impact YNAB has had on my family since we began using the product in November of 2018 is hard to measure. After years of barely being able to keep up, my wife and I were forced to make a change to our spending habits when we sent our second child off to college in August of 2019. We were going in the wrong direction, and the stress was beginning to negatively effect our lives.
For 2021, my goal is to pay off the last of our consumer debt. We began 2019 with just under $20K on the last credit card after paying off two other smaller accounts. We now have $8100 left to pay. My goal is to pay off this remaining amount during the first half of the year. With a little luck, we should be able to make that happen.
Good luck to everyone!
Hi, I'm claiming line #112. This year I have just the mortgage and the Home Depot credit card (0%) interest left.
Payoff target $28,200 (hoping to get the mortgage below $100,000!)
What do people think? The credit card is 0% and I'll have that paid off in June but I'm tired of paying it. I was thinking of putting my $600 stimulus into my debt but should I just put it all towards the mortgage or kill the CC and put the balance towards the mortgage? I'd snowball the CC payment in Feb ($46).
Line 113 claimed!!
My big goal this year is to pay off half my student loan debt and continue to make regular payments to my Mortgage.
I used the debt smackdown challenge to paydown $17,000 in debt between my mortgage, student loans and my car (which I paid off 3 years early!!) last year! My goal this year is $18,000!
Hey all, I'm Nate. I will be making my monthly Debt Smackdown reports part of my journal. I am on row 71 of the sheet.
This year, I'm targeting my credit cards and a small personal loan. The combined total of these accounts as of December 31, 2020, was $18,331.
- Card 1: $4,112, on the float with $2962 of budgeted spending and $1,150 of old debt. The smackdown total includes the card total.
- Card 2: $9412, all of which is on various 0% offers that expire at various times through this year.
- Personal Loan: $4,806, really a stretch goal, but I think it may be feasible to pull off.
Hi! I'm line 118. I have a truck loan and 2 credit cards I'd like to wipe out this year. Then I can be debt free. I did the smackdown last year and more than met my goal but i had a windfall. Here's hoping I can continue to knock debts out (no windfall on the horizon)? Happy New Year and GOOD LUCK!!!
Last year was a raging success with the mortgage - we paid off more than $50k. So I'm thrilled to join in again at Line #122. This year we want to knock $50,000 off our mortgage, bringing it to -$90,000. That will feel incredible in this uncertain climate! Our current default expenditure on the mortgage is $39,598 a year, not including interest ($1523 a fortnight) so we want to save another $11,000 onto it, as well as cover approx $4k-$5k in interest.
I'm a new YNABer as of December 2020. I'm glad to enter this year educated and motivated to use YNAB to break the paycheck to paycheck cycle, get out of debt and save more money!
I'm starting this challenge with $16k worth of debt I hope to be done with by the end of year. If I can't make it all go away, I'm hoping to reduce it all down to my student loan which is currently $6.6k and would probably be very close to 0 by the end of this year if it's not entirely paid off. 🤞
I have some smaller loan balances (impulsive purchases of the like I won't be making going forward): a vacuum, kitchenware, 2 credit cards and 1 loan from my brother (thankfully the smallest).
This challenge, the software and methodology all give me the extra confidence and accountability I need to get this done once and for all!
So my first month's pay check is in for 2021, All items budgeted and January's Debt payments made
£1,235.85 of the total smashed! 🎉
But the sad realisation of what I could be doing with that money had I not racked up the debts! 😥
So very much looking forward to 2022 already. With this lot gone, I can't wait for those monthly payments to turn into monthly savings. 🤔
CC1 - £362.34 / £362.34 PAID 🎉
CC2 - £350 / £7015.20
Catalogue - £170 / £1168.17
Loan - £353.51 / £11461.70
Grand Total: £20007.41
Total Paid off so far in 2021: £1,235.85