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 :)
Line claimed - it even came with fun font
The debt and the thought of it is beating me down. I see some of your numbers and think "mine's not that bad" but I know I need a cheerleader.
I have about $16,000 left on my student loans. That's my only debt. Right now I'm paying $250 on it every month at 5.5%. With a raise at work, I'm going to bump it up to $300 which is $3600 over the next year. With these payments my budget is maxed. I have been working at my age of money for a few years and have fought my way up to 23 days and $250 in an emergency fund. This is not okay and way too stressful. On top of that, my car is getting old, very old, 2002 old, and it's going to need to be replaced at some point in the not too distant future. I don't want to be in a position where I can't replace it without taking on debt that I can't afford.
$5000 against the principal (plus the associated interest - $5970 in total) while saving up enough to replace the car with another beater when needed and bumping my emergency fund up to $1000.
Continue payments off of my current job at $300/month
Pick up a part time job (skip the dishes or similarly flexible) and make as much as I can. Put $220 towards the debt and the rest towards my savings goals. To make them all my extra income would need to be over $600/month but we'll know in a while what is more realistic.
I'm scared that I'm being too ambitious. Yikes. How much can I reasonably work. There's nothing left to cut. What do people think? Save up the car and then bust down the debt? Or debt and then put my hope in my car? Or is there a more balanced approach and more reasonable number?
Hi everyone! New to YNAB here. I have a lot of debt but I'm hoping this is the first step to eradicating it.
Government student loans (OSAP): $31,000
Student line of credit: $27,087.71
Total: $68, 487
I'm hoping to knock down at least $15,000. Going to tackle the credit card debts and just continue making minimum payments on student loans for now.
Been using YNAB religiously since January 2018 and I'm excited to get in on the 2020 Debt Smackdown! My goal for 2020 is to pay off the remaining balance of my student loans, which started the year at right about $18,000. It's going to be quite a squeeze since my monthly payments will have to be around 40% of each paycheck!
- January Payment: $1,900.00
- January Loans Remaining: $16,100.00
Attention: The Google Sheet isn't working. Many many lines are missing and don't see mine.
HELOC Payments: $495/$6436
HELOC Snowball: 0/$7500
I had increased my mortgage payment to save interest and just reduced it after listening to a podcast to get rid of debt before attacking your mortgage. So now I've "found" $200/month which I am parking until my job situation is past the union strike.
I also finished reading "Meet the Frugalwoods" and signed up for the 31 Uber Frugal Challenge to not spend money. I want my buffer built to be a month ahead.
Hi all! I'm excited to jump in with you all on our debt paydown journeys! It's so motivational to read about your plans and progress! We are determined to pay down our debts by $12,000 this year. Our focus this year is paying off our car loan and a chunk of credit card debt. We owe about $3,900 on our car, and we have about $30,000 in credit card debt (yikes!). I'll post the list of accounts when I post my first update (I'll start posting in February). Cheering everyone on!
Hey Everyone! Veronica and others who tagged me - thanks for the flag the sheet is broken.
I've gone in and restored the last good version - which was January 27 at 6:50 PM, (GMT). Not sure what happened, but it looks like most of the rows got deleted.
In any case, if you made an update in the last 24 hours, please double check it, it may be lost!
Glad this is back again! I started last year's challenge, but because of family reasons I didn't keep logging (I was still paying down my debts an using YNAB though!)
Aiming to clear as much off my Credit Cards for the year - According to my paydown plan, I could actually clear all my CC debt by December, however I know life will get in the way, so 80% of that is a target I'll be happy with, which would be £17K and put me well into the 4-figures owing mark :)
Good morning! It looks like the Google sheet is still having some issues. My entry from yesterday is still there (line 383) but I noticed that from line 236 through 350 most of the lines are blank. There's one line about halfway through that batch with an entry.
Yesterday I started looking at how my husband and I can pare back on our variable expenses. We spend WAY too much money on food and booze (we are admittedly beer snobs). We're really good about meal planning and cooking at home. We don't eat out much, but we buy expensive ingredients and craft beer. There are some areas where I won't compromise, but I have loads of stuff in the freezer and cupboards that we can work around for meals. I also realized that as much as I love to support my neighborhood grocer, I'm probably losing up to $30/week compared to shopping at the basic Giant Eagle. (I always hit Aldi first, regardless, for whatever I can get there.)
So this week we're doing an experiment. We don't need a ton of stuff, but it is my husband's birthday so there are costs for ice cream, cake ingredients, etc. I am doing curbside pickup from the Giant Eagle, which is helpful because I can see the total for my shopping cart as I add items to it, and then hitting the local grocer afterward for the things I couldn't get at Giant Eagle (my favorite local coffee, lettuce from a local supplier who's never had a recall, free-range eggs, etc). I think I'm going to save about $40 compared to what it would be if I JUST went to the local grocer. That's a substantial savings, and I'm planning to put it toward debt.
I also make a little extra money writing on the side for Medium, and am hoping I can funnel that into debt as well (as opposed to using it to make it through to the end of the pay period).
So Happy I found this challenge! I love tracking and spreadsheets.
This is the year I am finally going to get serious about paying down my debt. My husband and I have cut our living expenses dramatically and putting all extra money towards our smallest debt first then, we will roll that payment over to the next smallest debt. I have 5 debts in all, two are personal debt and three are from our business.
Total Debt: $49,400 Woah!
All minimum payments = $1,225/mo if I only pay the minimums it will take 3 years and 3 months to pay it all off. Not Fast enough...so in January YNAB has helped me budget an extra $925 towards the debt! so Excited to see how fast I can pay it all off!
Hi all, joining for the first time, been using YNAB since September 2019. 2020 is going to be crazy for us. First baby on the way, joining the business I've been working at for 1.5 years as a partner and expanding the same business at the same time. We have two debts, one a small personal loan without interest, the other are taxes.... from the past :/
Personal goal is to have tax bills done before the baby arrives at around the end of May and the personal loan shortly thereafter.
Thing is, in order to grow our business I'll be taking on another 'bigger' personal loan so once that kicks in it'll be smackdown time for that.
In January I've already put aside around CHF800 towards the tax-payoff.
I'm really glad I found YNAB and its community! Really changed the way we handle our finances, especially after I got the wife on board a couple months in :) cheers
I am considering on joining, since technically I am doing this in a big way this year, (and started last month when we paid off our home).
Not sure if it would be "Fair" or not since we are kind of going all "Dave Ramsey" over our debt these last couple months. By the way, I am an old YNAB 3, turned YNAB 4 user, who also tried the Soft Launch of YNAB Online, but decided it wasn't for me, user.
Since we just paid off the house last month, and due to a forced Employer job change, (our division sold to a competitor), we decided that it is time to do what Dave Ramsey has prodded us to do. What that means is that since I am forced to sell company matched Stocks, and also instead of rolling over my 401K, I am going to cash it out (I am 60, so tax hit is 10% less).
As such, I expect both Distributions this week, and so I decided to try a "fresh start" on this online version due to my paying off the last of our Credit Cards, loans and such in the coming week or so. To be honest, I am having a very hard time moving from YNAB 4 where it is so much easier to see months ahead, versus the YNAB Online way, so I'll be doing both for a while yet. Mostly due to the huge problem with SFTF (Stealing From The Future) issue this version has, and apparently the developer refuses to address, even though they are saying they are still working on it. (After 3+ years of knowing about it?).
But since I work Graveyard and had the time, I really "boned up" on how the Online version works by reading and watching a lot of videos, I understand more fully now. I am going to try very hard to fully implement the 4 rules, and live the Online YNAB way of budgeting. I would jump in both feet if the SFTF wasn't a "feature", but since it is not fixed yet, I'll still use both YNAB versions as my safety net because the Online version is untrustworthy still.
Regardless of all that, If you all consider it fair that I join your Goal Group, I'll give it a try, add my current, as of today debt, which will drastically drop in a few days, but I will still have about 50K of Car debt that is left that I will be paying off over the course of the next 18 months.
Is that fair? should I join?
After being encouraged to do so, I'll grab line 234 and add mine.
- Credit Cards, misc credit at about $33000.00
- 2 car loans at about $44564.00
There would be more added to this, but I instead am moving items to be paid my by forthcoming Distributions directly into my budget, so they will not ever hit the debt category, just future budgeted items that I'll save the money for out of the Distributions i am getting. So by end of this month or early February, I'll drop off the 33K and be working on the other 45K over the next 18 months or less.
the more money I have the more trouble I seem to get in. LOL I am better when I have guidelines and limits.
How did you get inside my head already? LOL
Seriously, though, Thank you so much for your kind words. They give me a bit of hope. Once this current depressive episode is over, i will probably want to pick your brain more!
Also, bless you for fostering. It's not easy but so very necessary in rescue. I "fail" fostering LOL These are my 2 (the rottie was a gift from a breeder friend, the black dog is my latest "fail"
Hi guys! Happy to join you from Lisbon, Portugal.
Last year I bought an apartment and made some modifications so I'm in debt to the bank and my mother...
My total amount of debt is 218,340€.
My mother: 10,300€
My savings: 2,157€
The bank: 205,883€.
At the end of the year, I want to have finish pay to my mother and my savings account.
January check-in: Credit cards are still at $0! (My big accomplishment from 2019. I’m really focused on keeping them at zero going forward, and am hoping that mentioning it in my check-ins will keep me on track). I paid a total of $567.91 towards my personal and car loans, and $40.02 in interest, for a net debt reduction of $527.89. Not as much as I had hoped I could, and not enough to be able to reach my goal if I stay at that amount monthly, but it’s a start and about $200 more than I had been paying. I’m planning to put a chunk of my tax refund towards the payoff, and then will calculate how much extra I would need to pay each month in order to meet my goal, so that I at least have something to aim for. I may not be able to hit it each month, but I can certainly try!
1. My total (not including the mortgage) is $72,911. Holy .....
2. This year I plan to pay off at least $24,600 of it. That will pay off 1 medical bill, 1 loan from a friend (to replace our A/C last year), and 1 large DMV fee; and will contribute to what we owe on 8 credit cards, 1 car loan, and student loans.
3. Since it's already near the end of January, I've paid off $1,788.77 so far, with another $300 going out by the end of the week.
Honestly, I've had YNAB for a few years now, but I think I haven't actually been properly using the tool, 'cause I never seem to get ahead of this. But the realization came today when I realized I would have over $700 of 'extra' cash per month if I didn't have the interest payments on my all various debts. So, I'm here to be honest and accountable to myself about it.
So, here goes, (Line 242 claimed)
Total current debt (not including mortgage)
Personal Loan: $4,359
Total (gulp) $74,439
My goal is to pay off $7,000 this year. I'm going to use the snowball method, so hopefully, I can pay off that personal loan ASAP and then move on to the others. It's been a lot of frivolous spending that got me here, so I'm going to try to use YNAB and the 4 rules more effectively and get me back on track.
Claimed my line. Hopefully I did it right and it's not too late to jump in.
1. List the amount of total debt that you owe: $9,939.69 all in CC debt. It's not as much as some others here are paying off, but it's nearly $10,000 of lost money just from poor spending habits and that makes me kind of sad. Especially since I have nothing in savings and am constantly stressed out about money. I want to make 2020 the year I learn better money literacy.
2. Post in this thread the total amount of debt you would like to pay off during the 2020 calendar year: All of it. Maybe it's too big of a goal, but the more debt I can have out of my life this year, the easier it will feel to breathe. I have exactly zero plan on how I'm going to do this as I'm brand new to YNAB, but excited to learn.
January debt payment: $385.23
January interest accrued: $229.79
Net January debt payment: $155.44
Before now I had not been taking interest into account when figuring out how much I paid on debt each month. It doesn't make sense to use the actual paid amount when interest adds back to the debt. So I will be going for the Net payment each month. Maybe that will keep me more in tune with how much interest I am paying and work at getting the debt paid off as quickly as I can so I can stop paying so much in interest each month. My priority debt is a personal loan that is the highest dollar amount debt and also the highest interest rate debt. It definitely needs to get paid off as fast as I can. I've gone back to the spreadsheet and changed the amount I paid on debt this month from $385.23 to $155.44 to more accurately reflect what portion paid is decreasing my debt.
Hey everyone! Have been and fixed some errors and formula problems in the sheet - hopefully things are looking back to normal.
All the things that rely on Formula I've now locked - but shout / @ me if there's any obvious issues with it!
At some point next week I'll expand the currency list - so shout if yours is currently missing!
And last thing, I've just made some edits to number formats - since there are multiple currencies in play, for consistency, I've tried to remove a currency symbol from a number (calculated bits and the check in bit). The main row in Row 5 should now have an up to date conversion in $ though!
Shout if there's anything extra you want the sheet to do -and I'll have a crack at it!