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 :)
My update from a few weeks ago (added to my personal journal instead of here)
Mid-April Update (Smackdown)
I've finished my payments for the month, which gives me the following totals:
Paid: £2,068.17 (this month) £5,203.34 (so far this year)
Sometimes it feels as though I am only making a little progress, but then when I consider that I have now paid down 24.68% of my debt this year, I am quite happy. This month was also the final instalment of my university fees for the year. Between that and the increase in my transfer to my UK account, I will be able to pay off larger amounts over the next few months.
I've had a stressful week at work (some tool having a go because he doesn't understand systems - trying to turn it into my team's fault). However, there are a lot of positive vibes from most people, so that helps!
It also helps to look at what I have achieved so far in all things, but especially in paying down debt. The plan is to push through on a very careful budget for another four months or so in order to pay down one of my cards (I have two - the other card has a smaller balance with a very low interest rate). With not going away this summer, it is achievable. Then I can relax a little, hopefully while maintaining good budgeting habits.
After being paid not just on time but also a little early, I paid another £2500 off of my card this month. Again, I have saved enough to ensure that my minimum payment is available for the day after my statement is released, but it has taken my total card debt in the UK to just under £13,400. I still have a few other payments to go out (e.g. student lan and my other card), but no university fees this month. I love looking at the different stats and seeing my 'net worth' improve by over £9000 in since the start of Feb. The overall number is still negative, but the improvement is nice. To also go from over £21,000 of debt (excluding student loans) to this figure helps me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It spurs me on to see the achievement, and know that I can keep going. Hopefully I'll get just as much of a kick out of seeing the savings pile up once the cards are paid. I'll do my proper update for May after my statements etc. mid month.
Hope you're all keeping well.
Good morning Ynab's, My first of May check in. I have added $1800 towards the equity, dental and Best Buy. My plan is to pay the dental in the next two months, while putting away as much of unemployment for the long months ahead of no income. The aom is still over 40. I am so thankful for Ynab to not have the stress of money during this time. :-)
Updating my Debts - I have currently down to 6, 989.24 remaining to pay off my CC debts... I cannot believe that I have paid down approximately 3000 of my 10,000 dollar goal! It helps that I had additional income coming in. I did not update my March payments which totaled 1221.05. I made 403.00 in payments for April.
My current dilemma is I have a full credit card payment to complete the pay off one card. Do I hold onto that money or do I just get rid of the card payment totally? What are your thoughts?
April Check in:
Thanks to the Canadian governments covid support payments I was able to pay just over $1800 towards my debt in April. My debt has gone from $10,533 in January to $4904 currently, meaning I have paid off 50%!! Canada is also awarding health care workers $4 more per hour for the next 4 months plus an additional $250 a month - every penny I net from this will go towards my debt. My new goal is to have my debt paid off by September instead of December! Hope you're all making progress as well...I know I'm benefitting financially from the pandemic while so many others are not.
The original plan was to have the 2nd mortgage paid off by this month. A knee replacement and worldwide virus later, here we are. But the good news is that we reached a milestone on each debt - 1st under $60k and 2nd under $12k. Still holding on to funds until the world gets back to normal.......
Final numbers for May 2020
Starting balance end of April Ending balance after May pymts
$60,145.73 1st Mortgage $59,616.02
$12,016.16 2nd Mortgage $11,796.49
Total debt paid down in April $749.38, total for 2020 $3,691.45 (19.33% of goal).
Okay, here is my check in for February, March, and April. I ended up having surgery in February so I haven't been able to pay as much as I'd like. Hoping by May or June I can be back on track to keep paying down!!!!
beginning / paid this month
Medical bill $116 / $0 Victoria Secret $120 / $70
Torrid $1836 / $200
Credit Card $7919 / $734
PAID $1004 / February/March/April
Beginning Balance: $9991.00
Total paid: $1510
May progress report on my battle against the student loan beast.
As of April 9, 2020: $210,940.23
As of May 6, 2020: $208,917.90
Notes: Regular monthly payment resulted in principal reduction of $1,222.33. Made extra principal payment of $800.00. Total reduction of principal in May: $2,022.33.
Year-end goal is to get the balance down $44,934.56 (from $224,934.56 starting place on January 1, 2020) to $180,000.00. With a $16,016.66 reduction so far this year, I'm now about 35.64% there.
I see everyone in the debt challenge paying their debt, and all I do is to take money from my emergency fund... 😞 ... but I received more money this month and should have less money that need to go away. So I hope that I can refund the emergency fund, even if I don't pay my debt this month again. It's less exciting, but more careful.
May is here and time for some good news! I did some math and it ended up being more beneficial for me to take what I had in my downpayment fund and just pay off the car loan. This also gets rid of a bill in case COVID-19 takes my job (though I don't think this is likely *knocks on wood*). The downpayment fund will recover pretty fast as long as I keep up with my budgeting.
- Car Loan:$7,313.03/$7,313.03 🎉
- Mortgage: $3,846.17/$7,200.00
- Total: $11,159.20/$14,513.03
May check in... I paid off the bank loan! Paid $2431 as the final payment. This means I have paid off the bank loan and the credit card debt-- the only payments left are my monthly on the car loan. This forum was EXTREMELY helpful. Been trying to do this for years and I finally zero'd out those debts. I'm going to join the savings smackdown group now. Thanks!!
Postponed our Family trip to Europe, for obvious reasons. I just hope when everything lines up and we do get to go, the airlines haven't jacked the prices sky-high to make up for their current losses. It'll feel like the trip credit we received for this is moot.
Making steady payments on our debt. Debt thermometer is showing 54.66% paid off. Should be on track to pay it all off before the end of the year.
April update: paid off my credit card that was incurring interest, reduced my payment down to the minimum on my credit card (0% interest until Nov 2021) to create a savings buffer after salary was reduced to 80% due to Covid-19.
May update: paid £800 off credit card, £250 off student loan.
Overall… reduced debt by 14% YTD:
- Credit Card 1 (01/01/20 balance: -£114.29): Paid off in April 😊
- Credit Card 2 (01/01/20: -£5647.55): now -£3,145.35
- Student Loan: (01/01/20: -£15,000.29): now -£14,800.29
A total of $9,331.95 in debt (credit cards, went a little....interesting last year), which I hope to pay off by 12/31/2020.
I have some insurance reimbursements that I'd been delaying submitting, which I hope will help knock it down some, and a windfall in terms of a significantly larger than expected tax return (I double-checked, I think I just overwithheld.) Other than that, finally getting serious about YNAB! And sitting at home will help with gas and transportation costs......
May Check-in: Paid $800 total to debt this month. $600 and $100 to 0% interest cards (balances now $1100 and $2500) and $100 toward Parent Plus Loan (also currently at 0% interest) with $10,225 to go this year. I do plan to go pretty hard at the Parent Plus Loan last quarter of the year, but I have changed course a little, opting to now put $6000 towards an IRA (for 2019) since the filing deadline was extended to July 15th and I'm trying to catch up some with my retirement accounts. I feel good about the balance of debt payment, retirement and emergency savings. Spreadsheet says I'm 57% of the way to goal!!
I have added 1 new category to YNAB this year...and I'm sorry (not sorry) to say it's "Wine" because you know, Coronavirus. Happy debt-smashing everyone! Cheers ;)
Hey there. I was part of this back in 2018. Since then, we sold the house in Colorado, moved to Florida and are currently renting while we get debt out of our lives.
I opted to show our entire journey since we did a fresh start on landing in Florida. From a Net Worth of -42k to today (and not done with this month yet!) of -21k. 50% of the way there!
Credit Card back to PIF status 12/2020
Car #1 paid off 2/2021
Car #2 paid off 5/2021 (or sooner)
I am not sure what I am supposed to share when I do my check ins as this is my first one. So, I am going to use it as a time to reflect on last month, what I was able to complete this month and the game plan for next month.
In April I was able to pay off a line of credit. Along with a total of $953 towards all my other debt.
This month I found myself second guessing this adventure that I am on. But I stilled rolled over my extra money into my next lowest bill. I am hoping to be able to pay this bill off by July.
The game plan for next month is to complete my double payment for my car insurance. So, when July comes that bill will be on every 6 months. This should take care of my future debt prevention. By doing this I should be able to meet my other goal of paying off my next lowest bill by July. If all goes as planned I will have another bill paid off and my car insurance will be on every 6 months.
Toolkit for YNAB has a very interesting new report. The first month is the start of a budget, entering in all debts and money on hand. 2nd month - no job yet (3rd full month in Florida). May 2019 - landlord passes away, we start putting rent in a separate account until we can figure out who to pay it to. July 2019 - 3 months rent paid to the Estate for rent. November 2019 - no job. All in all, we've kept our head above water, barely. Finally starting to see some progress in the padding of our budget. Age of Money is now 8 days and this is an extra pay month!
Car payment #1 made and CC paid down a little extra so far. In 10 days the 2nd car payment will be made. Staying on track!
May Monthly Check In
- Construction Loan: Balance $0!
- Medical Loan: Paid $100 - Balance $1,400
- #2 Medical Loan: Paid $320 - Balance $6,400
Minimums only this month unfortunately. Husband's overtime dried up because of COVID. He has worked 6 or 7 days a week for the past year and a half. So it's nice for him to be home weekends right now but we certainly miss the money! He was basically doubling his paycheck every week with overtime so it's weird and hard for our income to be cut by 50%. Thankfully we can pay minimums with no overtime.
We also started the process of refinancing our house. Interest will go down from 4.75% to 2.87%ish. Saving us $100 a month in payments and $46,000 over the life of the loan.
Total paid this month $420. $8,070 / $15,870 - 51% complete for the year!