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

1355replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • I'm back for 2021, and I've claimed Line 35! Continuing to pay down the same debt balances I was last year, and starting off with a total of $50,805 in non-mortgage debt. I'm aiming to pay off at least $6,000 of that this year, with a stretch goal of $8,000. Let's do this! 馃槑

    Like 5
      • Violet Rain
      • ElectroNecroMancer
      • Violet_Rain.3
      • 6 mths ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      January Check-in!

      Total of $444.03 paid towards debt this month. Looks like my federal student loan payments have been suspended due to economic relief from the pandemic, so I only paid on my private loan. I only have one, so the entire payment went to that instead of being split up across several different federal loans. I only have about $3000 outstanding on my private loan, so hopefully I can knock out most or all of it this year and then snowball that into the other loan payments!

      Also, thanks to reading something that farfromtheusual posted I have decided to increase my monthly car loan payment from the minimum due of $213.27 up to a round $250. This extra amount should cover interest plus a little extra to the principal each month, allowing me to pay off that loan just a little sooner. 

      All in all, a strong start to the year. Here's to many more months of progress in 2021! 馃槑

      Like 6
    • Violet Rain Woot!! That's awesome! Way to go!

      Like 1
      • Violet Rain
      • ElectroNecroMancer
      • Violet_Rain.3
      • 5 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      February Check-in!

      Total amount paid to debt this month = $442.08. Continuing to only pay towards the private student loan while the others are in forbearance. $250 going towards the car loan payment. Things are moving along nicely with debt payoff, despite it being a short month. According to the spreadsheet, I have paid off nearly 15% of my overall goal so far. Onward! 馃榿

      Like 4
    • Violet Rain wahoo!

      Like 1
      • Violet Rain
      • ElectroNecroMancer
      • Violet_Rain.3
      • 3 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      March Check-in!

      Another $442.08 towards debt payoff in the past month! I like that I'm paying extra towards the principal for my car loan and laser-focusing on paying off my one remaining private student loan. Right now my main financial focus is on putting as much as possible into my moving fund because our lease will be up at the end of June. After the move, I can begin to shift my focus more towards debt payoff and make up for lost time. Still aiming to pay off my private loan ASAP and snowball that payment into the car loan. Right now the spreadsheet shows me at 22% of total goal payoff. Onward!

      Like 2
      • Violet Rain
      • ElectroNecroMancer
      • Violet_Rain.3
      • 2 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      April Check-in!

      Bumping the private student loan payment up to $165 (amount due $118/mo) gave me a total debt payoff of $488.54 for the month. That puts at right around 30% of my overall payoff goal! My plan is to maintain this level throughout the year and come within 90% of my goal (not counting any extra cheddar I may throw at it throughout the year). Once we get settled into our new place I plan on taking any unused money (after moving fees, rent, deposit, utilities setup, etc) in the moving fund and applying that towards debt payoff to get a little closer to that goal. Overall, it looks like I'm right on track and hopefully I can stay there. Let's get it done! 馃榿

      Like 4
    • Violet Rain wahoo!!

      Like 1
      • Violet Rain
      • ElectroNecroMancer
      • Violet_Rain.3
      • 1 mth ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      BIG CHANGES for the month of May! 

      I now qualify for a loan that will pay off the remainder of the existing car loan that is in my ex's name! Besides being a lower APR (9.79 vs 12.99) my monthly payment will be about $150 less than my current payment! So my plan is to put the difference towards my private student loan and pay that off as quickly as possible. Once that is paid off I can take the amount I was paying for my private loan and snowball it back into the new car loan to pay that off more quickly. 

      Since my car loan has been the largest debt payment amount for me each month, this is a HUGE deal for me. My cc payoff is 0% APR, so once my car is completely paid off then my only interest-bearing loan will be my federal student loans. I can snowball everything I was paying into the car loan by that point back into those, and hopefully have those paid off in the next 5 years. Then my life will REALLY change for the better! 馃槑

      Total amount paid towards debt in May was $488.54, which puts me at around 38.5% of my overall goal. Things are looking good, and that snowball is about to gain some massive momentum! Let's do this! 馃榿

      Like 5
    • Violet Rain Amazing!! I love your motivation here鈥撯搚ou've got this. 馃帀

      Like 1
      • SewPurple
      • PHP Dev with a fabric habit
      • Salmon_Screwdiver.14
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Violet Rain how wonderful! YAY!

      Like 1
    • Violet Rain wahoo!!! That's awesome news! Congrats!

      Like 1
      • Violet Rain
      • ElectroNecroMancer
      • Violet_Rain.3
      • 1 mth ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      June Check-in!

      LOTS of big changes this past month! Only $238.54 applied towards debt BUT I just scheduled an extra $150 payment to my private loan to make up the difference. We are moving next week, so things are rather chaotic right now - hence the "late" payment (not really late because it's an extra payment, but I had originally planned to take care of it in June and forgot to schedule it - whoops). But hey - better late than never, right? 馃槄

      To help keep my eye on the prize, I got back on track with Undebt.it (I had registered there a few years ago, but hadn't really kept up with entering any payments or other info). Since there have been so many changes to my accounts, I basically did a "fresh start" on there by deleting all the previous payment info and transactions, and entered the current balances as of that day. Looks like I can have my private loan paid off in less than a year, and both my car loan and cc balance paid off in less than 3 years, leaving my federal student loans as my only non-mortgage debt. Having it all laid out like that really puts things in perspective!

      More big news - later this month, I will be on a temporary training assignment out of state for my job. They are paying for all of the travel/lodging expenses, and I will be paid a per diem allowance for meals. I already know that my meal expenses are not going to exceed the per diem allowance, so I will have a significant amount left over after I return. I'm planning on using some of that as debt snowflakes and adding it to the snowball as well. I know that some of it will probably also get allocated to stuff for the new place, but I'm aiming for at least roughly half of it to go towards debt payoff. So that will go a long way towards reaching my smackdown goals too! 

      All in all, I'm very excited about the upcoming move, the work trip, and the extra income. July is gonna be one heck of a rollercoaster ride, and hopefully I'll be able to sail into August in a much better shape than now. Fasten your seatbelts, because Here. We. GO!!! 馃榿

      Like 4
    • Violet Rain all good stuff!!!!!

      Like 1
  • Hoppin' on Line 33.  Let's get this challenge started! 馃帀

    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. 馃槑 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!

    Like 8
    • January 15: Check in - line 33! 馃尶

      We're doing a version of the 34 day reset - it's basically a no-spend January, to see just how much we can save to put towards our debt.  I have been really surprised by just how much we can do when we choose not to eat out or make spontaneous, unnecessary purchases. (though semi-budgeted for, thx Stuff I Forgot To Budget For category 馃槈) Some of this extra push came from a windfall too, of about $300.  While I've enjoyed seeing how much we can save without extra spending, I do miss some of those simple pleasures like not having to cook eating out... so no-spend January will definitely be ending with January. 馃槀

      Progress so far:

      Payments made: $1000

      Balance remaining: $6000

      ---

      Payoff Goal:$7000 

      Paid so far: $1000

      14.29% of goal met!

      Like 10
    • Lauren WooHoo! Go you good thing 馃帀馃敟

      Like 2
    • February 25: Check in - line 33! 馃尶

      February was just not our month. 馃槄 Between my husband's work moving offices and very cold weather, we were not having the best time...then, Murphy stumbled into the picture. A fender bender with our 2006 Pontiac G6. 馃槶So, this month's debt payment was WAMed for a shiny new bumper. 

      Alas, not our finest hour, but we'll be back on the horse in March! We're hopeful for a decent tax return this year, so fingers crossed for an extra push next month!

      No new progress, still sitting at $6000 remaining balance and 14.29% of our goal met. 

      Like 4
      • Violet Yeti
      • Violet_Yeti.13
      • 5 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Lauren hang in there, Buckaroo 馃 You鈥檙e doing great!!

      Like 2
    • Lauren not back sliding counts for a lot!

      Like 2
    • March 25: Check in - line 33! 馃尶

      Turns out, we had a big priority shift this last month! We live in an area filled with trucks and large vehicles, plus a longer winter...our little 2 door Pontiac just wasn't cutting it anymore. We started feeling quite unsafe driving it, so we made a big change and purchased a larger vehicle for winter/general safety and more space, should we decide to expand our family! It's made such a huge difference for us and it's going to be a good car for many years (knock on wood), so I feel good about the purchase. That said, we did end up further in the debt zone, but with a solid payoff plan thanks to a flexible budget! 

      Update:

      Payments made so far in 2021: $1000

      New Goal balance remaining: $14,000

      ---

      鉂楋笍New Payoff Goal:$15,000 

      鉁匬aid so far: $1000

      6.67% of goal met!

      Like 8
    • April 21: Check in - line 33! 馃尶

      We had a nice tax return helper to make some progress on our loan this month, which is exciting! We also have a pending sale on our old car, so fingers crossed that it goes through so we can make some extra progress on this loan. 馃馃徎

      Progress so far:

      Paid this month: $2000

      Balance remaining: $12,000

      ---

      Payoff Goal:$15,000 

      Paid so far: $3000

      20% of goal met!

      Like 7
      • Violet Yeti
      • Violet_Yeti.13
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Lauren Woot!

      Like 1
    • May 5: Check in - line 33! 馃尶

      Betty White, our beautiful, old Pontiac G6 convertible, has sold and gone to a good home. This was real good news for us, as we got a solid chunk of change for her and got to take her off the ole insurance plan, so we get a little extra savings each month as well! Because of this, we got to make a decent dent in our goal! This will probably (never say never? 馃槄) be the biggest payment of the year, but it feels so good to make some progress.

      Progress so far:

      Paid this month: $4,500

      Balance remaining: $7,500

      ---

      Payoff Goal:$15,000 

      Paid so far: $7,500

      50% of goal met!! 馃帀

      Like 5
    • Lauren woo!! That's huge!

      Like 1
    • June 2: Check in - line 33! 馃尶

      Another solid month! Got a nice little windfall that allowed us to put a bit extra toward the loan, which is always nice. I'm feeling really good about our progress to date. I'm hopeful that we may even be able to stretch our stretch goal!

      Progress so far:

      Paid this month: $1,000

      Balance remaining: $6,500

      ---

      Payoff Goal:$15,000 

      Paid so far: $8,500

      57% of goal met!! 馃帀

      Like 3
    • July 19: Check in - line 33! 馃尶

      A pretty standard month for us, debt payment wise! Busy with life and work and family, but made our normal payment, which is still good progress.

      Progress so far:

      Paid this month: $600

      Balance remaining: $5,900

      ---

      Payoff Goal:$15,000 

      Paid so far: $9,100

      60.6% of goal met! 馃帀

      Like 3
  • 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!!

    Starting balances:

    Car Loan - $9,655.51
    Personal Loan - $27,433.00
    Student Loan - $36,846.61

    Like 7
      • Gfamily46
      • Forest_Green_Python.5
      • 5 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      A little late on the February check-in, but it's been busy!  2020 was full of financial drama for us, so thankfully there was not much of note in January.  Since the 0% interest on student loans was extended, we're only paying on the car loan and personal loan right now.  We're technically still making our regular student loan payment, but just keeping it in our account until the interest-free period ends.  The plan is to pay whatever we have saved right before interest kicks in and that will knock out a nice little chunk of principal.

      Car Loan - $9,655.51/$9,461.37
      Personal Loan - $27,433.00/$26,899.29
      Student Loan - $36,846.61/$36,846.61

      Like 3
      • Gfamily46
      • Forest_Green_Python.5
      • 4 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Hey all!

      I haven't been doing a great job of keeping up on the updates this year, but I'll be better moving forward.  I delved into graduate school in January, which is what was eating up all my time, and quickly came to the realization that it was not the right path for me.  Between school and my job (which I love), I had zero time for my family and that wasn't acceptable.  So I dropped that weight off my shoulders and I'm back!  Good news on the financial front, though.  We'll soon have about $8k to put towards principal on the personal loan and that's a huge win!  We're still saving our school loan payments up and will pay a lump sum before interest starts again.  And now that we're a full month ahead, we can start throwing any extra at debt.  We might just hit our $20k principal goal for this year after all. 馃槑

      Car Loan - $9,655.51/$9,068.63
      Personal Loan - $27,433.00/$25,806.72
      Student Loan - $36,846.61/$36,846.61

      Like 4
      • Gfamily46
      • Forest_Green_Python.5
      • 2 mths ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      I'm late again, but happy May everyone!  Plugging right along and we did put a big dent in the personal loan principal last month.  Not 8k, but my husband and I decided to funnel some of that to our deck rebuild.  Our old deck was in serious disrepair (i.e. the people who flipped our house slathered on that thick deck paint over a bunch of water damage and it was rotting out).  We're rebuilding it ourselves and it's a ton of work, but that's saving some serious cash.  Plus that deck rebuild category is fully funded. 馃槈  Now we're finally in a spot where we'll probably have an extra 1k per month to put towards that personal loan, so that has us on track to meet our yearly principal payoff goal of $20k!  We've always wanted to pay this debt off as quickly as possible and it felt very stifling and stagnant for a long time.  We've hit a spot now where we're really making strides and seeing progress.  I looked at where we started in Jan 2020 and our total debt was $84k and now it's down to $64k.  And that was with several months of a seriously reduced income with my husband doing gig work after quitting his job and us not paying on student loans since April 2020 since interest has been 0%.  But it's back to normal now and we're saving up those student loan payments to make a big principal payment before the government reinstates interest.  Stick with it everyone, we're killing it!

      Car Loan - $9,655.51/$8666.32
      Personal Loan - $27,433.00/$19,083.72
      Student Loan - $36,846.61/$36,846.61

      Like 6
    • Gfamily46 That's some awesome progress!! Way to go!!

      Like
    • Gfamily46 Wow, amazing progress! I love hearing this! Also, please post photos of your deck when it's done. 馃挭

      Like
      • Gfamily46
      • Forest_Green_Python.5
      • 4 wk ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

       Hello all!  Another check-in and I can't believe we're already halfway through the year.  The deck rebuild continues, but we are almost done.  I never thought we'd be able to cash flow an entire deck, but here we are!  We've gone over budget quite a bit, but that was mostly because we decided to add a 6' x 16' extension.  It's taking us a long time, but that's mostly because it's been stupid hot around here and we can only put in a few hours on the weekends before we risk heat exhaustion.  And Lauren, I haven't forgotten about you!  I will post pictures once we're done. 馃榾  Even though we're over budget for the deck, we're still throwing a little extra at debt.  But now that we've pretty much bought everything we need, we'll be able to start earmarking the extra that has been going to the deck back to the personal loan.  We're 54% of the way to our yearly goal.   Stay cool!

      Car Loan - $9,655.51/$8,496.64
      Personal Loan - $27,433.00/$17,601.59
      Student Loan - $36,846.61/$36,846.61

      Like 5
    • Gfamily46 Isn't it amazing that through the support of YNAB we can do something like pay for a big thing like a deck up front AND still put "extra" funds towards debt? Congrats on your wins!!!

      Like 1
      • Gfamily46
      • Forest_Green_Python.5
      • 4 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual Yes it is and thank you!! 馃

      Like 1
  • 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. 

    Like 8
      • Coral Mare
      • Rolling Along on this Debt-Free Journey
      • Coral_Mare.6
      • 6 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Coral Mare Mortgage balance between 1/1/20 & 1/1/21 decreased by $3,872.42.  This includes rolling the refinancing costs back into the loan.  Let's see if bi-weekly payments help the balance drop, even when the house isn't the focus debt.

      Like 2
    • Coral Mare So awesome that yall are team driving. My BF has suggested that before, though I don't know that I could get my CDL. He's an amazing driver, though, but he only does local stuff. My mom had friends that got deep into debt, and decided to sell their house and get a rig and their licenses and they paid off their mortgage and debt within a few years, and then stopped driving to settle down. It's a really powerful tool if you choose to leverage it! Kudos to yall!

      Like 1
  • 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.

    TTR

    Like 8
  • 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

    Current: ~$38,170

    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.

    Like 9
    • Orchid Guitar 

      January Check-In: $1,855.67

      Like 4
    • Orchid Guitar 

      I forgot to make one point for clarity and for others who are in this complex time of student loan debt payoff... We have been holding back the cash for our student loan debt payoff until the interest begins again. It's safely stored in its own bucket. The amount I will list in the debt smackdown is the amount placed in the bucket each month.

      Our Thinking

      We decided with the uncertain times that we would keep the cash as long as possible. We both are disciplined and know that it would be a true emergency for us to spend the money. It allows us options, though. We're a one income family, and while that job seems secure, we'd rather have the options as long as we can.

      Like 4
    • Orchid Guitar that sounds really wise. And it will be fun when you can make one giant payment when the time comes!

      Like 2
    • farfromtheusual 

      So, so true! I am very excited to see the drop right before interest starts up again! I think that's part of the difficulty of waiting is I don't get the satisfaction each month of seeing the principal go down. But, when it does, it will be fun!

      Like 3
    • Orchid Guitar you're right, but just think of how big of a drop it will be when you make that huge payment!! THAT is going to be awesome!!!

      Like 2
    • farfromtheusual 

      Yes, I have dreams of that day :)

      Like 2
  • 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!!

    Like 8
  • 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.

    Like 6
  • 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. 馃帀

    His Car: $3000
    My Car: $8,000    
    Total: $11,000    

    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!

    Like 9
    • Rachel January check-in: $917 down!

      January always feels easier to fund than other months. My partner typically gets some kind of end of year bonus and we also have Christmas gift money to work with! 

      We've got a privacy fence project in the works for February or March, so we're toying with the idea of a no-spend Feb to make sure we can keep meeting all of our goals in addition to paying down these cars. 

      We're also toying with the idea of becoming a one-car family - would love to hear from folks who've done this. Was it an easy change? Were there unexpected downsides? 

      Like 3
    • February check-in: another $917 down! Slow and steady and boring 馃槅

      Like 5
    • Rachel Slow, steady, and boring is good, right!?

      Like 1
    • farfromtheusual 100% absolutely!

      Like 2
    • Rachel March check-in: another $917 down! I'm SO motivated by the idea of getting this monthly amount back to work for us in other areas. A more official update: 

      Starting Balance: $11,000
      Paid off in 2021: $2751
      Remaining: $8249

      Like 7
    • Rachel April update! We used part of our stimulus to up our car payment to $1500 this month - woo woo!

      Starting Balance: $11000
      Paid off in 2021: $4,251
      Remaining: $6,749

      Like 4
    • Rachel wahoo!!

      Like 2
    • Rachel May update! A small but unexpected tax refund and a three paycheck month meant a boost in our payoff category this month. 

      Starting Balance: $11,000
      Paid off in 2021: $6,251 
      Remaining: $4749

      Like 3
    • Rachel Great job! You're over halfway there!

      Like 1
    • Rachel Love those unexpected boosts!

      Like 1
    • Rachel Steady goes it. Another $917 down for June! 

      Like 3
  • Claimed line 44 with a total of $17,000 total debt all in student loans spread over 3 servicers  of which my target this year is $6000 and take down two servicers.

    Like 4
  • 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!!

    Like 5
    • Cinged aww, I do remember your lizard purchase :) How is the lizard doing??

      Like 1
      • Cinged
      • Cinged
      • 6 mths ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual Combo Panda is doing great! We watched Wonder Woman 1984 last night after his bath and just chilled out for half the night. I've let him run around my son's room, and likes to find the smallest spaces to fall asleep in where it's difficult for me to reach or even find him, lol. He's shed around 3 times in the last 6 months and getting big! He doesn't pancake as much when I pet him, and even ran to me this morning when I went to feed him; usually he waits on his hammock until the bugs are in, but today ran up and waited for them. He really is an awesome little guy. 

      On a side note, I totally just realized I can add pictures on here. 

      Like 5
      • Cinged
      • Cinged
      • 6 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      I also just learned about the Community Journals, so I started one

      Like 2
    • Cinged OOOoO!!! SO cool! That's awesome that you are finally developing a relationship and some trust! That has to feel so good!!

      Like 1
      • Cinged
      • Cinged
      • 4 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Cinged Merit increase hit this month, and I got a 2.5% increase, so pretty close to what I was hoping for. I also forgot to check in last month, so this is two months in one. 
      Capital One started with $383 in January, is now at $280.98 = $102.02 pd off
      Chase started with $324, is now at $157.47 = $166.53 pd off
      Discover started with $5519, is now at $4924.34 = $594.66 "pd off" (I just made a payment to cover spending on this card, so most of that "payoff" is current usage and interest).
      Grand total of pay off: $863.21

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

      Happy to report Capitol One is now paid off: $280.98 pd off!
      Chase is paid off again: $166.53 pd off!
      Discover was at 4924.34, now at 4539.43 = $384.91 pd off!

      That makes $832.42 pd off, so I'll add that to last check in since they're both in March. 

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

      Cinged Checking in for April's Finances. 

      This month I opened a new credit card with Citi and did a balance transfer to move most of the balance transfer from Discover to Citi to reduce interest charges. Once that clears, I'll have $642.40 on Discover and $4017.00 on Citi; this did add $117 transfer fee, but I think it'll be worth the change. 

      And I did over kind of spend a little extra on an investment just before the round closed, which I did choose to float with, so I'll be up a little bit this month. 馃槵  But I think the future-me can handle it. Especially since I'm in the process of starting an online course to allow a big career change and hopefully double my income by this time next year!!

      My last months CC debt was $4539.43. This month it is at $4659.40 = $119.97 debt added since last month, though I do have $130 sitting idly by waiting for Citi to finalize the transfer so I can pay it, so that will be added to May's payments. 

      Like 3
      • Cinged
      • Cinged
      • 3 wk ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Cinged Wow, I completely missed a few months. I felt like I was doing great, and even received a $4 raise with a career progression I just made at work, but I also feel like I crashed and burned a bit with overspending last month. I got myself a new piercing that I didn't plan for and all the groceries and activities for camping went on a credit card without the cash to back it up, ugh. Camping was a blast though, and we went kayaking for the first time ever, so I love the experiences!

      I also had some issues with the car, unfortunately. I had some money set aside for auto maintenance, but the $100 that was built up barely touched the $650 repair bill. So while I had Discover down to about $350, it's, um, not anymore. 

      Last check in I had $4659.40 in CC debt, I'm now at $6214.85 馃う鈥嶁檧锔
      $1,555.45 increase in CC debt added to the June column in the tracker. 

      Like 3
    • Glad you're back, Cinged ! Way to hold yourself accountable. 

      Like 1
    • Cinged you're here, though, and that's what matters. It's interesting to me that whenever we have an expansion in available finances it often comes with over spending. It's this odd psychological thing where we can't handle the increased money, so we blow it all, and then some. But knowing that is the first step to getting out of that pattern. And you're here, so that's what counts!

      Like
      • Cinged
      • Cinged
      • 2 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual Yes! The thought is always "well, my next paycheck will be bigger, so I can handle it, no problem!" And sure, if it was just my awesome new piercing it would have been fine. But life will always throw extra expenses at you at the same time you get more pay, without fail. I was not expecting to have to replace my alternator, I had just replaced it myself last year! At least at the shop there's warranty for parts and labor, which is good, but man, the part was double the cost of what I could have bought it myself at the parts store!
      Actually, this kind of makes me wonder what the heck is going get thrown at me when I switch careers for double the money, holy moly. 馃馃槵

      Like 1
    • Cinged ugh, was there a warranty on the alternator that you bought originally? I think we've had a warranty on parts that we purchased ourselves before, but I don't totally remember. The BF is the one that keeps up with a lot of that stuff, and then I use YNAB to figure out when it happened (yay for memos!)

      Ehh, you'll eventually settle in, but yeah, income expansions often cause bumps in the road 100%!

      Like
    • Cinged I use to work in spare parts for a car dealership (In Australia). All parts sold came with a 12 month parts warranty, you had to return the faulty part along with the original receipt (or if we could look up the receipt and reprint it). 
      If the dealership didn't completed the repair then labour was not covered by the parts warranty. 

      Like
  •  Veronica , Faness , I claimed line 43, then realized that cell I (eye) 48 has a reference error. 

    Like 1
    • Cinged Thanks for the heads up! That's all set now!

      Like 2
      • Cinged
      • Cinged
      • 6 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Veronica Thank you so much!

      Like 2
  • Line 46 for me.    Not a very aggressive goal this year, but it needs to happen so I can start snowballing bigger loans.     $3326.00 in personal loans, care credit cards, and one regular credit card.

    Like 5
    • mander82 I always feel like I have tiny goals compared to so many - but debt is debt, and what is a lot for some may not be for others, and that's ok. I haven't posted my numbers yet, but I'm only going to be paying about $3600 toward my debt this year, and it will actually be a bit less than that due to the interest. You can only work with what you've got, and every little bit is important! You're in good company!

      Like 5
    • mander82 any intentional goal is a good goal! I accrued CC debt quickly around 2016/2017 due to a variety of life circumstances, and it was only until about midway last year that I could pay more than the minimum payments (I usually tried to at least throw a hundred extra dollars or something to make a dent in interest). Last time I went (non-mortgage) debt-free I also did the snowball method; getting that first card paid off felt painfully slow but once each debt disappeared it was so freeing to see progress accelerate.

      Like 4
  • 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.

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

      Gold Projector Are your student loans a mix of subsidized and unsubsidized? Mine is a mix, so some of interest and some don't. I have each one added individually in a tool called Undebt.it, and it shows all the different payoff types so you can see how much you'd be paying off overall and how much paid in interest. If you have some that are non-interest, maybe doing snowball with the interest loans first would help cut down on the interest you have to pay?

      Congrats on your progress thus far, and good luck on your goals this year!! 

      Like 1
    • Cinged I also have a mix! You're right, I should prioritize those. I'm applying for an income driven repayment plan so I'm thinking FedLoan will take that minimum payment and allocate it as they see fit. Past that any additional snowball money would be best used to knock out the unsubsidized loans. Great idea, thank you!!

      Like 1
    • Gold Projector January check-in:

      Chase CC: paid $1,490.93 (PIF)

      Student loans: paid $100 to the smallest loan

      Total paid in January: $1,590.93

      Beginning 2021 debt: $119,156.55

      Current debt: $117,565.62

      Like 3
    • Gold Projector Belated February check-in:

      An unimpressive month. Paid 305.29 to my smallest loan. Trying to remind myself that progress is progress even when I can't throw a bunch of cash at my debt.

      Total paid in February: $305.29

      Beginning 2021 debt: $119,156.55

      Current debt: $117,260.33

      Like 4
    • Gold Projector March check-in:

      Well I definitely managed to make up for last month! I knocked out my smallest two loans out of 16, which is an amazing feeling. I'm paying for the rest of my master's as I go, which slows down my repayment of older debt. My employer offers tuition reimbursement though so hopefully that will be an extra few thousand later in the year.

      Total paid in March: $1,258.33

      Beginning 2021 debt: $119,156.55

      Current debt: $116,307.29

      Like 5
    • Gold Projector Correction, because basic math is apparently beyond me: current debt is actually $116,002. Even better!

      Like 1
    • Gold Projector WOOT!!

      Like 1
    • Gold Projector April check-in: Nothing exciting, but still a decent little chunk! I'm planning to knock out the rest of my smallest current loan ($800) in May. This will be the first year I actually owe taxes so I'll need to balance that along with loan payoff. I've had 16 loans hanging around my neck for so long it's actually a weird feeling having less, like someone made an administrative mistake? But it's not! I'm just finally paying them off!!

      Total paid in April: $572.45

      Beginning 2021 debt: $119,156.55

      Current debt: $115,433.55

      Like 4
    • Gold Projector WOW, congrats!!!

      Like 1
    • Gold Projector Great progress!! What a good feeling to knock those loans out, one by one! 馃帀

      Like 1
  • Claimed line #47. This challenge was a great motivator last year. I paid off my student loan! My only non-mortgage debt remaining is a car loan with about 14K. My goal is to half that debt this year. Good luck to everyone!

    Like 7
  • I always want to join, but forget until the middle of the year. I think this year is my year. I have about $30,000 left and I鈥檓 ready to kick butt.

    Like 10
    • AmandaCham Welcome to the party!

      Like
      • AmandaCham
      • I love budgeting!
      • Amandacham
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual thank you. It does seem lovely here.  

      Like 1
  • Managed to pay off a good chunk last year. Looking to pay off one credit card in full.

    Card D -- $11,158.09
    Card B -- $10,825.19
    Auto -- $16,436.92

    -------------------------------------
    Total Goal for this year: $19,329.97

    Like 6
  • Line #51: Haven't paid any last year, however, if I can get at least $5K , I'll be happy! Rebuilding everything over here

    Like 4
      • Cinged
      • Cinged
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Opal Freshness Gotta start somewhere! Welcome, and good luck on your goal!

      Like 1
  • 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.

    LOC: 16,178.09
    CC: 993.10
    BTC: 6,409.04

    = 23580.23

    Good luck everyone!

    Like 8
  • 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!

    Like 12
      • Cinged
      • Cinged
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Spider Plant Still paying off student loans after retirement?? Oh man, that is a wake up call, isn't it??  Congrats on your progress last year, and Good luck this year!!

      Like
    • Cinged Right? I was already putting extra towards them by the time I learned that, but it gave me even more drive and helped me shuffle my budget for even more ways to push for these to be done. I just started year 11 of paying mine (they were 25 year loans) and I should finish at a little less than the halfway mark, hopefully. Thanks for the luck and cheers for your goals this year too!

      Like 1
  • Hello all,

    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!

    Like 9
      • MadDog
      • Navy_Blue_Pegasus.2
      • 6 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Navy Blue Pegasus 

      First month we have successfully made the planned repayments. I am quite happy as the balance is under $3k on that particular card. We are hopeful that next month we will be able to pay it off if we can scrape together an extra $588 (psychological for me to pay off the card, not a big change in the grand scheme)

      Start $35,687.66

      Current $33,380.28

      Interest Paid $201.77/$201.77

      Like 4
    • Navy Blue Pegasus I did the same thing with my CC this month. I had to reprioritize some funds I would've used to getting a full month ahead, but paying off the CC felt better and a bigger accomplishment.

      Like 2
      • MadDog
      • Navy_Blue_Pegasus.2
      • 5 mths ago
      • 8
      • Reported - view

      Navy Blue Pegasus I am very excited to announce that our credit card is paid off!! Woohoo! 馃槃馃帀馃帀 There may be a small amount of interest next month but it is out of here! Now we are onto our final credit card for payment. Based on our current plan, we will have it paid off in Feb 2022.

      Start $35,687.66

      Current $30,484.22

      Interest Paid $166.47/$368.24

      Like 8
    • Navy Blue Pegasus WAHOOO!! Congrats!!!!!

      Like 2
      • MadDog
      • Navy_Blue_Pegasus.2
      • 4 mths ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      Navy Blue Pegasus So, it was an interesting Saturday budget exercise for us. I had broached the topic of looking at delaying some of our debt repayment in order to get a month ahead because I have heard really great things about it (thanks dakinemaui WordTenor Move Light Sound Life MXMOM for various tips in posts). And part of the reason it became easier to have the conversation is my LOC sent me an offer of 1.9% for six months on any balance transfer. Strange how that happens when you pay it off......like in February and the offer came March 1. 馃槀馃槻

      Wow! I did not expect it to A) take so long to do or B) be as successful as it was. While we will be delaying the debt repayment slightly, we should be a month ahead by August at the latest and it is a game changer. It took a lot of math, a lot of discussion on reasonableness and a lot of making sure we were on the same page. The math part was because we had to do conversions from biweekly to monthly and vice versa for various expenses and income to make sure we were on a level playing field. Because we are both paid bi-weekly, we figured out our average monthly income and then how much of a buffer we had to build that we could draw down until we got to the three paycheque month to build it back up and repeat the cycle. It became like variable income in a way. We decided that any reimbursements from medical and children would all go to debt because it makes sense to us. I

      I will be updating our new numbers on the spreadsheet for our debt repayment after our next paycheque. I may have some math issues and we may be further ahead already than I thought. 

      Thanks to everyone for sharing their successes and challenges! It helped us have this tough conversation.

      Like 6
      • MadDog
      • Navy_Blue_Pegasus.2
      • 4 mths ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      MadDog So with the end of the month i am happy to report that other than one payment to our debt that we had intended to hold to help build up our buffer, we are on track. I just budgeted almost a half month's pay all at once! I can see the game changing coming. We are confident because this is a three pay month to help boost the next month income.

      Like 5
    • MadDog wahoo!!

      Like 3
      • MadDog
      • Navy_Blue_Pegasus.2
      • 2 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      MadDog 

      So, we only made the interest payment on our debt this month (which is the minimum - nice way to keep you in debt for forever). But, it is part of our new master plan of getting one month ahead and then restarting the loan payments which we believe will be June. In addition, we had a great bonus in that my line of credit gave us a promotion of 1.9% on any balance transfers for six months. So, we transferred the debt from the higher % LOC to mine. Onwards and upwards.

      Like 4
      • MadDog
      • Navy_Blue_Pegasus.2
      • 2 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      MadDog 

      We only made the minimum payment on our Line of Credit now while we continue to get a month ahead. I think that we are there but nervous that my calculations are incorrect. lol. Great to see the progress that all people are making on their debts which makes it feel great to keep going.

      Like 4
  • Hello I鈥檓 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!!!!!!

    Like 5

  • How do I find the spreadsheet to sign up?  I want to join  I'm only 6 months into using YNAB but its been a life changing move for me!

    Like 2
    • Slate Blue Cartridge You can head to the spreadsheet here and add your numbers! Update us in this thread when you're ready!

      Like
  • Claiming Line 61#  Excited to be on a mission to pay down debt this year!

    Like 2
    • Slate Blue Cartridge I am actually line #56  

      Like
    • Slate Blue Cartridge   My goal this year is to start attacking our (almost maxed out) LOC.  It is at 96,696 with a $100 K cap.  This is obvi not great for credit utilization data that feeds our credit scores.  I have been paying only the minimum payments(interest only) for years... and it is time to get serious and pay this off before the end of my draw period in 2025.  If I can pay $2000 a month for the next 54 months it will be paid off in full by 6/2025! Let's go !!!

      Like 4
  • 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! 

    Like 6
    • Maroon Sloth We'll help you stay motivated so you can meet your goals. This is my second year doing this and having to be accountable each month for what I've done even if it was just the min that month I was excited to see my goals balance dropping each month. And the rush you will get when you get that first thing paid off will also help. Best of luck to you. :)

      Like 3
      • Maroon Sloth
      • Nurse
      • Maroon_Sloth.14
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Maroon Sloth My goal is to reduce debt by 36k this year! 

      Like 1
Like46 Follow
  • 46 Likes|like
  • 2 hrs agoLast active
  • 1355Replies
  • 4849Views
  • 177 Following