The Official 2020 Debt Smackdown
Welcome to the Official* 2020 Debt Smackdown!
Happy new year everyone!
That's right, we're back for 2020. Last year we saw about 310 of us brutally destroy about $3 million in debt. Wow. Right. Massive achievement. Can anyone say 'YNAB blog post'?
But there are plenty of us with still some debt to go. And as much as I hate debt, I do love a good spreadsheet, so here we go. A few of us have come into 2020 with some debt remaining. Maybe over spent at Christmas. Either way, this challenge is open to anyone who wants to eradicate that debt from your life.
So what's this about? If you are holding onto some debt as you enter 2020 - and would like to get rid of it - this challenge is for you.
To the participants from last year, welcome back! For some of us, our total debts are too large to smack down completely in one calendar year, so if you're here from last year, congratulations on your progress and let's keep on doing this! In 2019, we collectively paid down over $2,800,000 in debt! An increase of OVER $1,300,000 than in 2018!
For all new participants, we are happy to have you join in this year! New blood is always welcome. Let's all motivate each other to pay off those debts and continue moving forward to financial freedom.
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 2020 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. Check in monthly in this thread and report on how your debt smackdown is going. (This part is required.)
4. Post monthly on the 2020 Google Sheet to track your progress. (This part is 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!
If you come across this challenge later in the year, no worries, you can still 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.
Last year, we collectively paid off $2,800,000. Let's smash that number again in 2020!
Please let me know any issues with the sheet - sometimes things are a bit wonky when making new ones!
*Official in the sense that there's a spreadsheet. Not official in the sense that it's made by YNAB. I'm just following naming conventions here :)
I have printed out visual charts. going to get this snowball rolling and get out of debt.
Great job! This will help you stay motivated. The problem with consolidating debt, is that it gives you a false sense of security. ...Oh great that MSCD is paid off and I only have X to pay on my HELOC, so then spending happens again...talking from experience. And not embracing your true expenses (debt insurance) gives you many big bills/expenses throughout the year. Being debt-free is the goal! :)
Glad to be joining this year! I have been a YNAB user for about 2 years but fell off the wagon last year. I would like to be more aware of my budget (checking it *before* shopping rather than after), and be more aggressive with reducing my debt by trimming down overspending. I am happy that I have 1.5 months of expenses as an emergency fund and am slowly contributing to my True Expenses as well.
Total Debt - $48 041.77 (student loan, auto loan, 3 credit cards).
My goal for the year is to pay off my remaining student loan balance - $9920, (part of the reduction will come from a loan forgiveness program because I work in a smaller city)
I'm new to the party and a brand new YNABer. I joined to help control my spending, actually put money towards what I want it to be doing and get out of the consumer debt cycle.
Opening debt Jan 1/20 - $3,610.86
Debt payments so far - $1000.00
Remaining debt - $2,610.86
My goal is to get this paid off by April so I can put more money towards a vacation in the fall and my car replacement fund!
Finally, had the time to sit and look at all CC balances and minimum payments... 😑 I knew the overall... site would not be pretty but I have to take responsibility for my actions. So as of today, I have paid 717.34 towards these debts I hope to increase the debt payments in February. I want to fund my true expenses while I currently have some extra income coming and then increase the debt payments.
End of January update:
Credit card consolidation loan
- Starting balance: $6927.58
- Current balance: $5712.51
Used auto loan
- Starting balance: $18,625.42
- Current balance: $18,248.26
We are snowballing our debt payments, so once the consolidation loan is paid off, that payment will go toward the auto loan. And then once that is paid off (next year), we will start applying that payment to my sizeable student loan debt. I did the calculations, and if we keep at this pace, it will all be paid off in 5 years. I'm hoping that with some lifestyle tweaks and pay raises in the meantime, we can come in at 4 years. Great work everyone, keep at it!
January update: paid down $2115 in debt (counting principle only). That included minimum payments for mortgage, car loan and 401K loan; slightly higher payments for all credit cards, and triple payment on my student loan. (I am 47 years old and still paying off my graduate degree...I need that loan DONE for my own sanity and self-esteem, especially since I shouldn't even HAVE a loan since I got tuition reimbursement.)
I've also started truly budgeting in terms of dividing all expenses throughout the year (i.e. quarterly local income taxes, car insurance) rather than panicking when those bills come due. It makes the month to month look scarier but paints a more realistic and even picture of our financial situation.
And, my husband has agreed to regular budget meetings so we can make sure we're on the same page. I manage all our household expenses, and that's the way we both like it, but it's important for him to truly understand the financial picture. In the past, I've tried to sugar-coat it for him so he doesn't get stressed (or feel guilty for not making more money) but that doesn't do our relationship any good.
In January I paid $2105.74 towards my debt ($1010 - credit cards, $654.50 -the car, $441.24- student loan)
Given the debt snowball I will put focus on the student loan debt, I will divert the extra car payment this month towards my student loan and True Expenses. I would also like to find an extra $200 to pay down the student loan this month. My goal February is to pay down at least $641.24 on my student loan.
Remaining Student Loan - $9 478.76
Remaining Credit Cards - 16 004.77
Remaining Car Loan - $20 452.50
Remaining Total Debt - $45 936.03
January check-in for me: I just made my regular cc payment at the end of the month; I'd accidentally paid off $1600 in the end of Dec which was more than I could really afford and put me in a weird position. Did great sticking to my budget in January, but didn't really move the needle much on my debt total. I think that was the right choice.
February Monthly Check In
Early check in again. But I already paid my debt for the month. Also I had my baby! We are doing well!
- Credit Card: Paid $400 - Balance $2,300
- Construction Loan: Paid $400 - Balance $3,150
- Medical Loan: Paid $100 - Balance $1,700
Total paid this month $900. $1,800 / $8,950 - 20% complete for the year!
Ok, first Forum Post here we go. Bought YNAB back in 2013. Then followed to the nYNAB switch. The thing is, I had never done it for more than 6 months at a time. Then I would rebound and end up worse than I started. Not this time. Already 3 months in and picking up steam. Started a debt payment plan on undebt.it in Jan. Here is my 2020 plan. All number are for starting Jan 1st.
Total Debt :$51215 Payoff Goal $21025.89 this year.
The worst part: Credit cards:$27,573 (How did I get here?)
It stops today (well, a month ago). The plan is to start with 2 low balance debts ($654 old car loan from parents and $3288 10% interest credit card). Use the momentum of those two as "wins" to roll the payments onto the remaining credit card debts. By the end of the year I will have paid off 2 of the 3 credit cards, the debt to my parents from forever ago and start the 3rd credit card.
Feb 1 update.
Total paid/Goal: $1414/$21026 =6.7% just a little behind but I knew that was coming.
Feb: so bad news, I lost $100 a month, that's $1200 gone. Also, my car insurance has gone up by 200$. Super sucks, so, I'm going to have to re-jig everything, plus need to find more income this year. Going to do the one thing I avoided, I'm going to have to get a part time job. With my health this is def not a good thing :(
I've been on YNAB since 2015. I've made tremendous progress, but still miles to go...trying to lose that debt once and for all! Not tackling mortgage this year, focusing on credit cards and whittling away a Parent Plus Loan to set it up for final payment next year. Also funding my emergency fund and building up a (small but present) buffer fund. One thing I am proud of is that last year I decreased spending by $35,000 from previous year and $48,000 from 2015, my first year tracked in YNAB. Going for less spending again this year....I'm ready!
Goal is to pay off all the following, and $11,000 of the Parent Plus Loan.
Total Debt to pay: $32,556.79
1) Overages 2019 (Buffer unfunded) $4324.79 ;/
2) Credit Card #1 $5800.00 (0% interest-pay off before accrues)
3) Credit Card #2 $900.00 (0% interest-pay off before accrues) plus $1800.00 that has 22.24% interest-yikes that's high!)
4) Credit Card #3 $3900.00 (0% interest-pay off before accrues)
5) Loan for work on home $4342.00 (0% interest 6 months)
6) Care Credit (Vet) $490.00 (0% interest)
7) Parent Plus Loan $19,300 owed (7% interest), pay $11,000 2020 -I've always paid the interest on this loan since taking it out, trying to knock out more principle now
*Total Debt Smacked DOWN in January $3275.00
My hubby had a total knee replacement last week. This week will be our first without his regular pay check. I received a raise and bonus from my job in January so we have beefed up our emergency fund. We are in full blown BUDGET LOCK DOWN mode so debt pay off progress is only our typical amortization. Fortunately hubby is doing good so far and thanks to YNAB we are not only a month ahead, but fully funded to meet our true expenses and ready to weather this storm!
Final numbers for February 2020
Starting balance end of January Ending balance after Feb pymts
$61,712.47 1st Mortgage $61,193.94
$12,663.91 2nd Mortgage $12,449.95
Total debt paid down in February $732.49, total for 2020 $1,460.07 (7.64% of goal).
So I guess this is technically my January check-in. I thought I was going to wait until mid-February to see all of my January statements (my way of determining my debt reduction is to plug all of the numbers into a spreadsheet and seeing how the month falls out). But I guess I'll use the December payments/January statements as my starting point.
So, my overall debt fell $351.29 in January. My credit card debt went down $380.33. The reason the overall didn't go down by more is that an annual interest charge came due on one of my insurance loans. And no snowball payment this month, as we did a budget reset and are still getting back on track budget-wise, getting a month ahead funded. But I will be able to make a snowball payment this month, so it should start going down now. No word yet on the potential child support windfall...
January check in - started the challenge late January and did my starting amounts as of the day I started instead of beginning of January so I only used $400 as my paydown in January. Updated my total debt paydown to include the normal payments as well as extra I will be putting on my debts for the next 11 months. Planning on just over $25,000 this year which will pay off my husband's tax bill and two credit cards plus almost another credit card. Using a self-made snowball spreadsheet - quite eye opening to see how much you can really kill if you can put a bit extra each month on something and then roll it forward. Should be debt free (not incl mortgage) in about 2 years! Pretty exciting.
I'm new to YNAB and trying to use all the features and support possible. Between my partner and I we have racked up $32,000 CAD. Mainly on our line of credit but about $5000 on a credit card. There are various reasons that we've racked up this debt, medical leave from work, career changes and training blah blah blah. Whatever. I'm here to whack this debt out of our lives while also saving a robust emergency fund for future catastrophes. The only snag that is holding us up from focussing entirely on our debt is that before we really started getting serious about debt repayment we commited to getting married in the fall (people coming from all over the world - the whole bit). BUT we are commited to have this wedding without adding to the debt we already have. So all that to say that the plan for this year is to get rid of the credit card debt, pay for the wedding upfront (my parents are helping) and then start working on the line of credit next year. I've claimed line 353 on the sheet and I'm looking forward to being a part of this community!
Gah! does anyone else get frustrated waiting for the CC statement? (Never thought I'd be saying that)...
Debt payoff money is allocated in YNAB, Statement date is today but because their system hasn't refreshed I can't actually pay it. If I paid it now, I'd have to pay it again as it wouldn't register against February's statement.
February goals: planning to put $750 to debt this month and $100 into savings as I have no emergency fund currently. I will restart my freezer/pantry challenge as I failed miserably last month and spent over $900 on groceries, I plan to keep groceries to $400 this month. In other news, I checked my credit score through my bank and it's up to 852!