The Official 2021 Debt Smackdown

Welcome to YNAB's 2021 Debt Smackdown!

Happy New Year! 2021 is going to be a good one, I can just tell - or we can will it to happen 馃槈

With over 500 participants and more than $4.2 million in debt payoff, 2020 was absolutely incredible for the debt smackdown group! I know some of us are still left with debt to knock out in the new year or you're joining in for the very first time. Either way, you've come to the right place. We'll use this group for accountability and support as we crush some (or all!) of our debt in 2021!

First, a quick shoutout to BritishMuseum - they have hosted our debt smackdown for the last few years and became DEBT FREE at the beginning of 2020! What an impact their work has made on this community!

If you want to pay off some debt this year, here's how it works:

1. List the amount of total debt that you owe. 
This step is to give you an awareness of your current debt situation. Feel free to share, this forum is a safe and nonjudgmental place. You can also decide to keep this information private, you don't have to post your total here if you are not comfortable doing so. 

2. Post in this thread the total amount of debt you would like to pay off during the 2021 calendar year. (This part is required.) 
Feel free to break down the amounts by credit card/type of debt. Also, if you have a specific plan or some ideas on how you plan to pay down the debt, you can post that too. Maybe your plan will spark some ideas for others on how to tackle their own debts!

3. Post monthly on the 2021 Debt Smackdown Sheet to track your progress. (required)
Claim a line on the spreadsheet, and post your total debt to be paid off, and the monthly amount that you send off towards it. Some people track their total payments and don't account for interest, some people account for principal only. The method you choose is up to you!

4. Check in monthly in this thread and report on how your debt smackdown is going. (required)
We'll be testing out some reminders this year when the month rolls over because we want to hear everyone's progress! Bookmark this thread and sheet so you can find it quickly at the beginning of the month!


If you come across this challenge later in the year, no worries, you can always jump right in. Just put zeroes in the months where you had not joined the challenge yet, and start in the month you join in.

Pro-tip: You can use ctrl+F (or command+F on a Mac) to search the spreadsheet for your name when the sheet gets filled up.

Last year, we paid off over $4million! Let's make 2021 even stronger!

In the event you have any issues with the sheet - please tag or DM Veronica

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  • Hi all! Line 142 here - a couple weeks late signing up, but eager to get going. 

    My debt consists of a credit card with $6865.56, and a line of credit with $11374.84 but I will be focusing on paying off my credit card, this year. My loan is low interest, and I鈥檓 already on a plan to pay it off within 4 years, and will only be paying the monthly premium, no extra. All my extra $s will go towards the credit card.

    Like 3
  • I'm not always good about checking in here (I usually write each month's update in my journal), but since it's the new year, here goes! I've kept up my same payment and put $1,050 towards my student loans as budgeted. I had a bit extra to work with this month, but used that to get a new standing desk. While not the most economical purchase, two things also really helped: it went on sale 5 days after I made the purchase, and the company kindly met the price when I emailed/called them to ask if they could, and I also had a nice chunk of credit card reward points saved up which I used for cash back (aka a statement credit) to help pay for it. I got the desk last Friday and while it took me all morning to wrangle it together, it's already been a welcome change, and a healthy one since I can move a bit more during the day now. Next month probably won't have that and it'll be back to my regularly scheduled budgeting programming.

    Like 4
  • JANUARY 2021 SETUP! Let's gooooooo!

    Total debt: 拢19,942 - finally under 拢20k! Just credit card debt left.

    Target for 2021: 拢11,000

    This forum helped to keep me accountable last year, feeling confident we can blast through the goal for 2021. Going to keep focussing on how good it's going to feel to get that debt below 拢10k.

    Like 5
      • Blue Sander
      • Tech professional
      • Blue_Sander.7
      • 8 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Oh darn it - my Undebt.it was out of sync, just found another debt 馃槀So...

      Total debt: 拢21,472

      Bumping up the goal to 拢11,500 to get under 拢10k by the end of the year. We got this!

      Like 4
    • Blue Sander Oops, hate it when that happens!! You've still got this!!

      Like 2
  • Hey everyone! I joined the Smackdown last year but wasn鈥檛 very active in the forum. This year I鈥檓 back for another go around and will make the effort to cheer you all on!

    You can find me on line 151 as  This_Little_Piggy 馃惤

    My partner and I live with our perfectly spoiled 2 year old Shar-Pei and 18 year old rescue cat in a small country town about an hour from Newcastle - the Australian one, not the UK! 

    Last year we were able to pay off a $3100 credit card, around $2600 in lines of credit and an collections bill that appeared out of nowhere from 2 years ago for $1800! This is while dealing with some very variable income from my partner due to the whole Covid situation.

    We鈥檝e launched into 2021 with a strong start and we鈥檝e managed to set aside an extra $760 payment towards our credit card and half of an extra payment towards the car loan. Our car loan will be paid off in September and that鈥檚 if we don鈥檛 make any extra repayments (ideally we鈥檇 like to pay it off sooner) and I鈥檇 personally like to knock out the entire credit card but will still be happy to get it under $4K. All these wonderful plans will be super dependent upon my partner鈥檚 variable income but I鈥檓 feeling very hopeful! 馃寛

    Even though we鈥檙e super focused on debt reduction, we鈥檙e also hoping to keep going with building our house deposit. We never thought it could remotely be an option for us to own a home yet here we are on our way - YAY FOR YNAB!

    I鈥檓 really glad to be a part of this community, YNAB has absolutely changed our lives for the better and I can鈥檛 wait to see what progress we can make in 2021! 

    Like 7
    • This_Little_Piggy welcome to the party! Looking forward to seeing your progress!

      Like 1
  • I just joined the challenge! I have $27,000 to pay off. Because of YNAB, I finally was able to pay down $2,000 this month without feeling uncomfortable, because I knew where my money was going and went. I think I can actually pay it off THIS YEAR! Good luck to everyone!

    Like 5
    • Wheel of fortune awesome!!!! Looking forward to watching you progress!

      Like 1
  • ID# 148 I'm aiming to pay off at least $15,000.00 out of my $41,842 debt on my line of credit! Looking forward to this challenge!

    Like 5
    • Budget McSaverson 

      January Update: $1487

      Looking forward to making a dent in my line of credit debt this year!

      Like 4
    • Budget McSaverson 

      February Update: $1981.29

      Chip Chip Chippin' Away!...

      Like 2
    • Budget McSaverson I've changed my goal to pay $24000 in my line of credit this year, and I'm now 36% towards meeting this goal. I'm hoping to apply my tax refund towards this goal as well. Thanks to YNAB I am able to easily plan and prioritize my debt repayment.

      Like 4
    • Budget McSaverson Amazing! Keep up the great work!

      Like 2
    • Budget McSaverson April Update: $6489.11 towards my debt this month! Now I'm at 53% towards reaching my goal!... I'm working on surpassing my goal :) 

      Like 7
    • Budget McSaverson Wow! That's awesome! Half way there 2 months early!

      Like 2
    • Budget McSaverson 

      May Update - Progress so far:

      Paid this month: $3,040.00

      Balance remaining: $8,302

      ---

      Payoff Goal:$24,000 in 2020

      Paid so far: $15,697

      65% of goal met

      Like 4
    • Budget McSaverson Awesome!!!!

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

      Budget McSaverson dayyyyyyyuuuuuum!

      Like
    • Budget McSaverson Wow, HUGE progress! 馃帀

      Like
    • August Update - Progress so far:

      Paid this month: $3,580.68

      Balance remaining: $24,658.53

      ---

      Payoff Goal:$47,000.00 in 2021

      Paid so far: $22,341.47

      47.5% of goal met

      Like 4
    • Budget McSaverson Woo! Huuuge payments. 

      Like
      • pinkml87
      • Project Manager
      • Orange_Piranha.8
      • 12 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Budget McSaverson Wow!!! 馃憦馃徎

      Like
  • Line 139 January Update: $3100 paid toward goal. I held a little back as a buffer. My thoughts about money have changed so much in a year. Last year I probably would have drained the checking account to pay something off. This year I dread seeing the checking account balance drop. 

    Like 8
    • Farmgirls I know what you mean!  I have some things in a savings account that I will.not.touch.  I'll be selling things out of my attic before I spend that money!!  Ha ha!  Change of mindset is the biggest part of TRULY making progress that sticks!  Wishing you continued progress!

      Like 3
    • Farmgirls I'm with you. We ended up with a lot more cash on hand than we've EVER had. And now we're going to start doing a few projects, and I'm sort of not excited to see the account balance go down... I'm proud we've got the cash on hand, but still, it's  bit of a bummer to see the totals drop!

      Like 2
  • Exciting new! I'm almost debt free. Most likely will be at the end of this month! woot woot! Well for a month or so! But we got a windfall and I was able to clear my student loc and now I currently only have 6333.43 left to clear. I just need to play around with some money and see if I'm comfy depositing everything now to clear that account!

    Sadly, though the excitement will be very short lived, as I'll be having medical stuff and it's going to cost me 20k. So I'll be back in debt. But the few months that I won't be in debt will be glorious.

    Like 6
    • ISuckatMaths 

      That's fantastic, wonderful, stupendous!! Congratulations!!

      Like 2
    • ISuckatMaths Wow! That's awesome!! But you are aware that the medical stuff is coming, and that helps to make it easier to manage, and you'll have a few months where you won't be paying out to other debts to work up a buffer and keep things moving in the right direction. That's the good news!

      Like 3
  • ID 149 - Goal Post.

    I'm in my final year of credit card debt payoff - began the new year with $12,120, gunning for $0.

    So far, I've made my minimum payments ($417), and will make a snowball payment on the 31st. I started the habit of waiting until the last day of the month to make the snowball payment, as part of a budget routine I developed in June 2020 to reduce money stress while increasing my debt payments.  So far, so good!

    Like 9
    • Designated Victim best of luck with your goal! I do something similar with my debt payment money. I hold the money in my transaction account for a while and then make a lump sum debt payment. It definitely reduces the anxiety around increasing debt payments.

       

      Do you find that your thoughts have changed around how much you like sitting in your bank account? I've found that I used to have a benchmark of $0-50 left by the time my next pay rolled around yet now if the account balance drops below 2k I start stressing. 

      Like 4
      • Designated Victim
      • CEO of Our House (in the middle of our street)
      • designatedvictim
      • 7 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      This_Little_Piggy  Having bare cash sitting in bank accounts is so comforting now, compared to trying not to overdraft my checking account before each payday. I like having at least two months of expected expenses sitting in cash on the first day of each month, and don't typically dip below 6 weeks of expenses.

      I don't earn much interest on the amount I keep in cash, so I started using  the equivalent of the second month of expenses to go after bank/credit card bonuses. It's fun, and I don't stress out, since that second month of cash  can be accessed at any time (I might lose out on a bonus, but that's okay). Since August 2020, I've put that second month of cash to work collecting $1,225 in bonuses, and am waiting on another $600 in bonuses which should be paid this quarter. Pretty tidy sum, to put idle cash to work!

      Once I'm done with paying off my credit card debt, I might switch back to living on last month's money (instead of the month before last's money) and sending the remainder to off-budget investments (where my emergency fund lives). At that point, I would only maintain the equivalent of one month of expenses in cash at any given time. We shall see what the future holds in store.

      Like 3
      • pinkml87
      • Project Manager
      • Orange_Piranha.8
      • 12 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Designated Victim 馃憦馃徎馃憦馃徎 can you tell me more about this budget habit you developed for end of month payments? 

      Like
      • Designated Victim
      • CEO of Our House (in the middle of our street)
      • designatedvictim
      • 11 days ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      pinkml87 I performed a burndown (Google YNAB January Burndown if you haven鈥檛 listened to that podcast) in June 2020, because I wasn鈥檛 satisfied with my rate of debt repayment.

      After doing the burndown, I realized that I needed to fund my expenses two months ahead; I needed to pare down certain True Expenses; and the debt snowball needed to be the last payment of the month, so I could use every spare penny to pay debt.

      Funding two months ahead was hard - I ended up emptying several True Expense categories to do it, and decided that those categories would be covered by my emergency fund if I could not fully cash flow an expense.

      My budget routine would look like this:

      • Fund Immediate Obligations
      • Fund minimum credit card payments
      • Fund True Expenses
      • Store remaining dollars in Stuff I Forgot to Budget For
      • Let life happen, Rule Three
      • At the end of the month, anything left in SIFTBF was used to make a debt snowball payment
      Like 2
      • pinkml87
      • Project Manager
      • Orange_Piranha.8
      • 11 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Designated Victim thank you!

      Like 1
  • January progress report on my battle against the student loan beast:

    As of January 1, 2021: $190,958.60

    As ofJanuary 24, 2021: $185,367.70

    Notes: Regular monthly payment resulted in principal reduction of $1,277.90. Made extra principal payments of $4,313.00. Total reduction of principal in January: $5,590.90.

    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 $5,590.90 reduction so far this year, I'm now about 13.64% there.

    Like 4
    • Slate Blue Pilot 

      I think having a high percentage toward my debt paydown goal during the first of the year is the best feeling. Coming out of the gate at 13.64% paid must feel great! Way to go!!

      Like 3
    • Orchid Guitar Thanks! It does feel good to throw some money at the debt early on.

      Like 2
  • Claimed line 150. 

    This is our first debt smack down.  I have a hard time writing the numbers down, so I usually avoid these types of forums.  But it鈥檚 time.  I have finally started using YNAB the way I should be, after several years of fits and starts.  This month we are doing the January 34 day reset, and it has helped me develop better habits- daily checking of accounts takes so much less time than catching up, and keeps my eye on the ball.

    Total debt as of 1/1/21 was $389,633.92 including mortgage, HELOC used for major renovation a few years ago, student loan for oldest child, car loan (almost done) and 3 credit cards.  Goal this year is to age our money, be better about budgeting for those more predictable periodic expenses, and reduce debt by $50,000.  This may be a stretch with youngest starting college in the fall and having no idea what that cost will be yet- but we are hoping that with YNAB and a little more attention we can do it,

    Like 6
    • MovingForward 

      I was aware of the individual amounts I owed, but when I listed them all together & totaled them, ouch!! The pain lessened, though with the knowledge of exactly what was owed & a plan (I am doing the snowball method). It sounds like you have a strategy in place & are "moving forward" :) (you know I had to do that!) Congratulations!!

      Like 4
    • Orchid Guitar  Thanks for that - glad I'm not the only one who hates to look at the total!  I did just sign up for a trial run of Undebtit, and that made me feel a little better.  If I can just stick to the plan, there is an end in sight!

      Like 5
    • MovingForward Rough start to February.  Day 1 snow blower died in the middle of a snowstorm to the tune of $65 in repairs.  Day 3 driving down the street and ice flew off of a car coming the other way and caused over $700 in damages (to headlights - can't drive without those)!  I can pull from some sinking funds to keep from using cards, but now I need to build those back up again. Hopefully the rest of February will be better.

      Like 5
    • MovingForward yikes! That's frustrating to have an expense like that crop up totally out of your control - and, also... terrifying?!?  Having funds available to pay for it without adding to debt is a huge win though. 

      Like 2
    • MovingForward Oh man!!! That's NOT cool!!! I hate it when I see people who don't clear the snow off their roof. It's often little dinky cars, too! Of course trucks are guilty, but they have a harder time clearing it in the first place. SO glad you were able to manage, even if it means less $$ to debt this month.

      Like 2
      • pinkml87
      • Project Manager
      • Orange_Piranha.8
      • 12 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      MovingForward I have never heard of UnDebtIt before. I just looked it up. What a cool resource!!! I think that's the hardest part of trying to get out of debt - not "seeing" your proges. This tool will be great for that!!!!! 

      Like 1
  • January Update:

    Starting Debt - $98,433.81

    January Paid - $1,255.51

    Current Debt - $97,178.30

    • Chase Credit Card - $751.65 - $274.10 =$501.10
    • CitiBank Credit Card - $1,714.90 - $367.28 = $1,371.92
    • Car Loan - $13,328.09 - $223.41 = $13,153.76
    • Private Student Loan - $51,478.01 - $438.57 = $51,323.80
    • Federal Student Loan - $31,160.16 (not paying due to moratorium and PSLF)

    馃檪

    Like 6
  • My husband and I started using YNAB in June of 2020 (I think I downloaded it a year earlier but didn't bother to figure it out). We got some very serious news that was going to mean a mountain of bills to come within the next year/two years. Naturally I also lost my job at this time due to expected turnover (I work in politics, it was a special election, don't worry about it) however I did not expect my job loss amid a pandemic and finding new work that pays at the same level has been a challenge. 

    However! While this year has been the least amount of income I have brought in since 2012 I have more money in savings and have paid off 1 of my student loans, a credit card, and my 2nd credit card should be paid off next month. This is all thanks to YNAB. It is truly the silver lining of 2020 for me and as a lifelong spendaholic YNAB has legit changed my life. 

    So our numbers look sucky, and I actually expect us to take on more debt this year, but we have changed our lifestyles drastically and are spending less than 50% of household income, and I'm hoping to even get it down to 25% (if you haven't read Mr. Money Mustache I suggest you do, *also something I heard about through YNAB). We are not paying some of these loans as aggressively as we could because as I mentioned, I expect us to take on more debt this year, so to save our credit scores as long as possible we are in save mode + debt pay down. 

    Lastly, we live in Los Angeles which is a pretty expensive city, but with changing up our lifestyles I actually think it's still possible to live here - just maybe never afford a home here. However, that's now a thought for many years down the line. 

    Also fingers crossed for some student loan forgiveness! (Unlikely, but it makes me feel better to think about it) 

    Existing Debt:

    $8,222.08 - 0% APR CC

    $46,850 - Family loan

    $14,731 - Taxes (owning your own business is no joke... I'll be better prepped in years to come)

    $11,666.65 - Student Loan

    $599.85 - Main CC

    Total =$82,069.58

    2021 Debt Pay Plan: 

    10,200 towards family loan, $8,222.08 towards 0% CC, $9,731 towards taxes, $5,600 towards SL, $599.85 towards main CC

    Total =$34,352.93 

    I'm on line 153 and I'll keep you up to date. Happy to talk budget here since I'm pretty sure all my friends are very sick of me talking about how things do or do not fit in my budget ha!

    Like 3
    • Hachi bean Slay that debt! Also very much keeping my fingers crossed for student debt cancellation :D

      Like 1
      • xgirlmama
      • Purple_Griffin
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Hachi bean you got this! and hello from also in LA :)

      Like
      • Hachi bean
      • hachi_bean
      • 8 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      mandiferous Ha right! That would be a really big bonus in the debt pay down plans of 2021. I do know that it was recently approved to extend the CARES policy that employers can now count paying an employee's (federal) student debt as tax free "qualified education expense", it's also non taxable on the employee's part during this time. So if you're employed but don't feel like you're ready to ask for a raise maybe asking for them maxing out at $5,250 contribution amount could be a good idea. 

      Like 3
      • Hachi bean
      • hachi_bean
      • 8 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      xgirlmama Thank you! 鉂わ笍 Yeah when I saw you talking about your mortgage I thought ... mmm this has to be LA or Bay Area. It's a wild time, but you're doing such an amazing job with your debt as well. Good luck! 

      Like 1
    • Hachi bean OHHHH that's interesting. Thank you!! I have two jobs, one of which is my own business, so I may want to talk to my business partners about that. The other job is for a nonprofit and I'm not sure if there would be wiggle room there but it's worth asking.

      Like 2
      • Hachi bean
      • hachi_bean
      • 6 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Hachi bean February check in! 

      $850 - to Family Loan

      $1,038.14 - to 0% CC

      $875.37 - to taxes

      $486.12 - to SL

      $184.19 - to Main CC **PAID OFF!!**  I managed to pay a chunk in January so this was all I had leftover to take care of for February. 

      TOTAL: $3,433.82 paid off in February - I'm happy I was able to stay on track with my SL and taxes pay back because that tends to be my biggest financial hurdle each month. I'm hoping I work enough and can do the same this month. 

      Like 3
    • Hachi bean Congrats!!

      Like 1
      • Hachi bean
      • hachi_bean
      • 5 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Hachi bean March and April update because I was lallygagging last month. 

      March:

      Family Loan: $850

      0% APR card: $1,038.14

      Taxes: $769.49

      SL: $486.11

      Total for March = $3,143.74 

      April is actually the exact same minus $1 on the 0% card, I don't even know why that happened but it's fine. April total = $3,142.74

      We are still saving very aggressively at this time because I expect more bills to show up randomly. I'm VERY annoyed because I got a surprise bill for something medical from June, apparently my insurance was like oh, we had agreed to pay this but actually you were transferring insurances and jk we aren't paying it. It was a bummer because I thought I already had reconciled and cleared that medical bill. I had the $173 in my budget, but it was a category I was building in, so I'm just a bit bummed/annoyed by the whole thing. 

       

      But on a positive note I resisted the Soul Cycle clothing sale, so you know... you win some, you lose some!

      Like 4
  • January Update:

    Got my monthly salary on the 20th. I used to budget on a "monthly" basis reflected upon my paycheck so YNAB was a bit of a learning curve, mostly a mindset shift. 


    This month I paid the following debt:
    Personal Loan: $1,735 (used $475 out of $600 from stimulus check to increase amount)
    Car Loan: $390 (paying the minimum until I pay off my personal loan)
    *Totaling 51.87% of my monthly income

    I was able to save: 
    ER Fund: $200
    Wedding: $100
    Persi Save: $70
    Sinking funds: $358 (Or rather the 34 day reset challenge)
    *Totaling 17.77% of my income

    Like 3
  • January 2021 (first of five 5-week months!)

    Week 1:  Blessed with our stimulus check & the next-to-last portion of my sign-on bonus (final one arrives in June).  Used it toward February鈥檚 underfunded.

    Week 2:  2020鈥檚 PTO was added to Hubby鈥檚 check.  February is almost (three weeks of Groceries to go) fully funded!

    Week 3:  February is funded, so the remainder of both checks are applied to Debt Snowball.

    Week 4:  Both checks are applied to Debt Snowball.

    Week 5:  $205 to Debt Snowball, then remainder of both checks will be applied to March goals. If the camping trip in February doesn鈥檛 affect ability to fund March, we鈥檒l dump the end of February鈥檚 checks onto the Debt Snowball.

    Total paid in January: Minimums plus $5,873.33

    Like 3
      • Coral Mare
      • Rolling Along on this Debt-Free Journey
      • Coral_Mare.6
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Coral Mare Total miles for January: 25,808

      Like 1
  • January Check In 

    Small and modest start to the year, but that's okay! I had some lingering medical debt (~$400) that I was able to pay off in full this month so feeling good about that. Moving forward I now have an FSA to use for any upcoming medical bills, so no longer having to budget for them outside of my emergency fund!

    Chase CC: Paid $260 + $13.02 in cash back applied to bill 

    Discover CC: Paid minimum plus some extra change at $140.87

    Total: 413.89 = 5.68% of my total goal

    Also, some big, exciting news! I was given a 10k raise at work 2 weeks ago during my first 6 month review! My coming paycheck this Friday will be the first check to reflect the raise, so I'm excited to see what my new income will be per pay period. Looking forward to maybe a couple extra hundred towards my debt! 

    Like 7
    • Green Song  Wow! That's a sweet raise! Congratulations :)

      Like
    • Green Song Wahoo! Congrats!! That's HUGE!!!

      Like 1
    • Green Song Congratulations! It's awesome when something happens that can have such an exciting and positive impact on our lives. Make sure you have your True Expenses covered so you don't add to the debt when something comes up. Otherwise - slay that debt! 馃捀

      Like 1
  • So line 155 it is,

    I've started using YNAB in October last year.

    Before that I sort of tried to budget, keep track of my expenses. That didn't really work out. So in July 2019 I decided to open up a separate savings account, that went alright, but still I felt like I had to budget.

    And last year, it hit me, in January 2022 I have to start paying off my government student loan. 鈧39,227.89, I have 35 years (40 if you count the 5 years I can take a break) to do so. Which means I will be student loan free at the age of 59... Not something I'm looking forward. Everything I pay extra will mean I can get a higher mortgage and I won't be 59 years old when finished paying. So here we are.

    I started with 鈧38,857.89 this year. And with my January payment we are down to 鈧38,597.89.

    The total goal will be: 鈧2,500.-

    Like 5
  • Hi ,

    I was able to pay off 13k last  year in debt , I have total debt of 44K in student l as of Jan 1, 2020 and would like to pay off 15K this year . i am  claiming line 157

    Like 4
  • Alrighty, here we go! January check-in:

    I'm aiming to pay off at least $2500 of my roughly $16k debt this year. I've been making a serious effort to curb my online spending (amazon!! *shakes fist*) and work on my grocery bills and sticking to actual budgets. I had a bit of a boost this first month from a small Christmas bonus and the last stimulus check, though I used most of that to budget ahead to start on the work of getting out of my paycheck to paycheck cycle. Which means I am even more blown away by how much progress I made. I've been trying to fill in pieces on my Debtris chart for months and months but any payments I'd make were always canceled out by interest, purchases, or over-indulging on a different card. Never able to fill in one single Debtris piece. So obnoxious. But look!! I am feeling super motivated to keep this ball rolling. Woot!

    Starting debt: $15,950.06
    Jan balance: $15,242.63
    Jan difference: -$707.43

    $707.43/$2500 = 28.3%

    Like 5
  • January update: Line 99

    Paid (only) $1000 towards my credit cards, truck loan, and RV loan.  

    I really try to aim for at least $1500-2000, but this month I had to make a bunch of reservations for my next six months of RV sites. I have been staying in a free site since August and that has been very kind on the budget, I'll miss it, but I am excited to hit the road and see new places. I also bought a new couch and had my incredibly hungry niece come for a visit - so my housewares and grocery budget were blown out of the water but it was totally worth it!

    Like 4
    • 92to0 OOoo! Where are you headed??? Sounds like fun!

      Like 1
      • 92to0
      • 92to0
      • 7 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual I'm going to finish hitting every National Park west of the Mississippi and then do a route across the northern states and southern Canada!

      Like 3
    • 92to0 Ahhh! I'm so jealous of your travels! That's SO awesome!!

      Like 1
  • Hi all, PennRach here.  I have claimed line 161.

    Joining YNAB in August of 2020 has been life-changing already, and we are pushing even harder in 2021.  As of August of 2020 our consumer debt (credit cards only) was nearly $45,000.  We were able to pay off over $8,000.00 in 2020 and the total for the start of 2021 was $36,752.47.

    Our debt payoff goal for 2021 is $25,000.00.  This would get us down to only one credit card (from five).

    In January we paid off $2,504.28 of principal.

    Like 7
    • PennRach Welcome to the party!!

      Like 2
      • PennRach
      • Salmon_Boa.11
      • 7 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual Thank you, I'm excited to be here!

      Like 2
      • PennRach
      • Salmon_Boa.11
      • 7 mths ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      PennRach 

      February check-in!  This was a little bit of a strange month for us, debt-payoff wise.  We are looking to receive a bit of a windfall from our tax refunds next month (a combination of a small refund but also additional stimulus funds that my husband is entitled to retroactively because he earned less in 2020 than 2019 and the original stimulus calculation was based on his 2019 income) but we paid for our tax preparation this month (but we had the money in planned true expenses so while it went on a credit card to get a cashback bonus it was paid off right away.)

      In any case, we were still able to put $1,455.36 to debt principal this month, so I'm still calling it a win.

      2021 Debt Payoff Goal - $25,000.00

      Total Remaining  - $21,040.36

      Overall, the biggest change to how I manage our money since starting YNAB is how I treat our credit cards.  I have gotten over the guilt about how high they were and moved forward to paying them off as soon as possible.  That means we are still using them, but we pay our interest in full on each card each month, plus the minimum balance, plus whatever we have charged on them (usually only for cashback benefits (i.e. 10% back from TurboTax on Chase this month), plus whatever the "debt avalanche" payment is for that month.  It has truly completely changed the way I look at our monthly budget - and has allowed us to pay off over $12,000.00 in principal on our credit cards in the last seven months , without adding to our debt at all.

      Like 5
    • PennRach WOW! that's HUGE!!! Congrats!

      Like 1
      • PennRach
      • Salmon_Boa.11
      • 7 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual Thank you!  I cannot begin to explain how much of a change in mindset YNAB has been for me/us.  Tackling this debt didn't feel like something we could achieve before because "there is never any money at the end of the month".  YNAB has shown us that not only is it doable, we can achieve it in a much shorter timeframe than we ever thought possible.

      Like 3
    • PennRach Yes!!!!!! That's awesome!!

      Like 1
      • PennRach
      • Salmon_Boa.11
      • 6 mths ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      PennRach 

      Ok, March check-in!

      While I was really hoping that we would have our tax refund this month (we are expecting approximately $2500 in refund additional stimulus) that didn't happed yet!  We did get my stimulus (my husband didn't qualify this time and he claims the kids) and I was responsible and spread it out across a bunch of true expenses to prepare for future costs.  It feels strange but freeing to see all of those little green categories fully funded through March.  I will do the same whenever the refund/stimulus actually hits to get a couple of months ahead on sinking funds.

      In addition to that we were still able to put $1,413.52 towards debt principal.  That brings us to over $13,600 in debt paid off since August. I have to keep reminding myself of that number because it almost doesn't feel real that we have made such an impact on credit card debt that has basically stayed the same for more than a decade.

      As an added bonus, my credit score as reported by Chase just went up over 60 points馃槺 in the last two months!  I know it might not be a true reflection of my actual credit score, but I was still shocked to see such a drastic change!

      Like 5
    • PennRach AWESOME!! Seeing that score jump feels SO good! Way to go! And I agree - I LOVE green categories!

      Like 1
      • PennRach
      • Salmon_Boa.11
      • 2 mths ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      PennRach 

      Ok, May and June check-in because apparently I was so excited to get to June that I missed my May check-in entirely!

      May debt principal payoff amount was pretty normal, $1,662.10.  Brought our total debt down to $27,695.25 - and brought our total  payoff amount up to $8,892.58.

      June was the month I have been waiting for.  Because of the way my husband's income works, we have 
      "extra" money coming in this month and the next, and we have decided to use most, if not all, of the extra toward our debt avalanche.

      June's principal debt payment was $6,575.92 and resulted in TWO more credit cards getting paid down to ZERO.  We have only two remaining credit cards (down from five initially) and are 61.87% ($15,468.45) towards our goal of paying off $25,000 in debt this year. 

      It is also looking like we should be able to make a similar payment in July, which would eliminate yet another card.  To say that I am thrilled with what YNAB has allowed us to accomplish would be the understatement of the millennium.  Good job everyone, let's keep it up for the next half of 2021!

      Like 6
    • PennRach Awesome!!!!

      Like
      • PennRach
      • Salmon_Boa.11
      • 1 mth ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      PennRach 

      Ok - July check-in and it's another biggie!

      Debt principal paid off this month = $6,543.04.

      Total paid off so far in 2021 = $22,011.49 which puts us at just over 88% of the way towards our goal of $25,000.00 by the end of the year.  Barring any unforeseen significant issues that even our emergency fund could not handle, we should easily clear our goal.

      The bigger news, however, is that we are officially at $30,000 in consumer debt paid off over the last twelve months.  It feels unbelievable to be even typing that sentence.  We have been talking about "paying off our credit cards" for YEARS with out actually doing it.  We are so close to positive net worth I can taste it.

      Like 6
      • tekgy
      • Neuroscience & Technology
      • tekgy
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      PennRach CONGRATULATIONS! I'm so excited for you!! That *IS* a biggie!

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

      PennRach that's amazing! 

      Like 1
    • PennRach Whoa! That is incredible progress!!! How exciting that you've made such huge progress on something you've been looking at for so long. 馃Good for you!!

      Like 1
      • PennRach
      • Salmon_Boa.11
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      tekgy Thank you!

      Like
      • PennRach
      • Salmon_Boa.11
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Marisa Thank you, and we truly have YNAB to thank!  I always knew it was possible, but YNAB gave us the tools to make it happen.  

      Like
  • January Check-in:

    Paid off in January: 拢1889.56
    Paid off YTD: 拢1889.56 (16.43%)
    Remaining: 拢9610.44 (for this year's goal) / 拢19,942 (total left to go)

    Woop, under 拢20k total debt, just!! Ahead of the goal for this month, paid off the smallest debt, just 4 cards left to go (though all with big balances). 
    From now on, we could pay off the next two smallest balances by the end of the year. Or we could focus on the biggest balance (which we're being charged interest on). Undebt.it says there's only a month difference in debt-free date.

    Like 8
    • Blue Sander Interesting that there's only 1 month difference. Does it tell you the difference in the total amount you would pay, including interest?

      Like 1
  • Hello Everyone,

    I claimed line # 167 - ID # 162

    I have been lurking on the forums and help files for awhile and decided to go all in on YNAB. I thought joining a debt pay down challenge would be a great way to get started. It says in the explanation at the top  that no judgment will be passed etc so I hope posting the debt here in all of it鈥檚 entirety will help me in the beginning of my journey and if anyone has any advice or answers I would REALLY appreciate the help.

    My wife and I were in the Millitary for a bunch of years (almost 40 together) and everything was going well. Savings for everything, paid toys (boat, Seadoo, Cottage.)  Then everything fell apart. My wife suddenly took a turn for the worst (anxiety, depression and the list goes on) and finally after a few years she was diagnosed with severe PTSD (myself as well).

    This started a downward spiral of issues that are to numerous to mention here but the main one was a gambling addiction. (This killed everything.) Of course we lost everything. If it wasn鈥檛 for the help of family and friends we would not be in a house right now. 

    So....after all of that......stuck it out.....thick and thin.....better or worse......now it is TIME to move beyond the 鈥渟hittyness鈥 of it all and start living and rebuilding. 

    We are a couple been together for 20 years.  I like to think of us as 2 people that came together in there late to mid to late 40鈥檚 with issues and debt and decided to make a go of it and help each other out. 
    Jan 2021 is the Start and we just have to work our way through everything the right way, the way that makes sense. 
    I can not just save for savings sake, I am to old. I need my money to work harder for me now to catch up.

    And that is where I am lost.

    I have approx 200k CAD in debt and that is without filling taxes yet this year and that is without mortgage, car, etc. I have it all.

    High interest 
    Low interest 
    No interest 

    AND GO!!!!!!! LOLOLOL......I am at my wits end.

    Like 10
      • MadDog
      • Navy_Blue_Pegasus.2
      • 7 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Debt2XCss  Former military here (Canadian, finance). I was lucky enough to not have any medical or other issues as a result of service. You can do it. Yes, it will take awhile and it may seem like it isn't getting better but being here is a start. Absolutely no judgement in this place. Just be open to people giving you advice on different ways to look at the debt or ways to resolve it. You don't have to take the advice if it doesn't work for you but be open to the conversation.

      Just like creating any plan, military or financial, you need to do an evaluation of your situation. As part of that, my first recommendation is to write down all of the debt in an orderly structure. It is difficult to figure out the best way out if you don't know where you are starting from. The info you should include is:

      Name of debt (credit card, financial institution)

      Type of debt (credit card, mortgage, loan)

      Amount of debt -the actual amount owing as of the date you write the list

      Interest rate - extremely important as it may impact the order of paying down the debt

      Term - if any of the loans are ones that have s et date for repayment, write it down

      Payment amount - is there a minimum payment (credit cards) or set amount (car loan, mortgage)

      Once you have all of that, you can move to the next step of evaluating the debt. But get that step done and then we can move on to the next. Feel free to message me anytime!

      Like 4
      • xgirlmama
      • Purple_Griffin
      • 7 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Debt2XCss first, hugs. I'm sorry it's been so hard. Second - have you tried playing around at undebt.it? It's a free online tool that allows you to input all your debt and create a pay-off plan, either with the snowball or avalanche method. I know a lot of YNABers swear by it.

      Like 1
    • Debt2XCss Welcome to the party. You are NOT alone and your struggle is very real, and very normal - there are SO many people in your shoes, too. Life happens, and you can only begin from where ever you are right now.
      You're here, and that's the first step.  You'll get a lot of awesome advice from people here who are a few steps ahead of you and have been through the fire, too.
      Looking forward to watching your journey!

      Like 2
  • Hey all! I am line 151 on the spreadsheet (Fiona Orange).

    I have a ton of debt in a line of credit from professional school, as well as a credit card that I've been riding the float on for some time. My goal this year is to pay off the credit card (hopefully not too tricky as it's only $1195.38), and then make a big dent in the LOC so it ends up at a nice round number (this ends up being $15,292.22 to meet that goal). This is pretty ambitious for me but I'm aiming high and we'll see where I end up.

    It may take a little longer at the start, as I am trying to fund immediate/true expenses and get off the float... ideally I'd like to budget a whole month ahead but my income is pretty steady so I'm going to try and pay off this damn credit card first. For the first three months of the year, I'm going to do a spending fast, and mostly avoid buying non-essentials during that time. 

    This month (Jan) I've been able to set aside $373.25... it's not much but I'm motivated and hopefully will be able to build some momentum and challenge myself!

    Like 9
    • fiona_orange Part of why my goal is so lofty is because I should be getting a bit of a windfall this year... I just need to tell myself not to spend it on stupid things I don't need and instead attack the debt!

      Like 2
    • fiona_orange Welcome to the party!!

      Like 2
  • Checking in for January! 

    Paid this month: $4,888.62
    Paid this year: $4,888.62 (14.52%)
    Remaining goal: $28,771.38 (three credit cards -- immediate goal is the high-interest card, clocking in at $10,592.57)

    Participating in this group helped me to use windfallish money to service debt this month and -- maybe more importantly -- not to anticipate funds that we know are coming our way in the next few months. As a freelancer, I invoice for a big chunk of money well in advance of actually getting it. Working really hard to stick to our budget in the present, even when I know payday is soon, so that I don't undermine Future Harriet. Somehow, it's always easier to spend that anticipated money than it is to spend real money (if that makes sense) so I'm working hard to live in my checkbook, not in my anticipated income! 

    Like 6
    • Harriet OMG I know about spending anticipated money. I'm BAD about that. I'll have it spent six ways til Sunday before it actually hits my account, which doesn't do me any good in the long run. Good for your for recognizing the habit!

      Like
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