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 :)
Balance from last month: $2953.00
Paid down this month: $160.00
New balance: $2793.00
Debt Smackdown Totals: $2,793.00/$3885.24 = 28.11%
So my job and income is safe right now. I'm VERY grateful for this. I have been dealing with some bouts of anxiety that this will change, though I have been reassured by my employers that this is very unlikely. I still just feel overly anxious, the state of the world today is just a bit too worrying for my paycheck to paycheck life. (More inspiration to get back on track to get out from under any debt once this craziness ends, right? So I'm more prepared for the next storm.) I've taken my entire stimulus check and stuck it right away into savings, just in case. I did manage to pay a bit extra on my paydown this month, but not as much as usual. I'm very happy I managed that; I'm okay just paying minimum payments for the moment until things calm down and get a bit more back to normal.
Sweet Tangerine said:
PS- I am in healthcare (a practitioner in an ICU) and our salaries were just cut for the next 3 months. Can you believe it?!
No I can’t believe that. Are you serious. OMG. Do they have any idea what you are going through. Up here in Canada there have been a few cases of PSWs and long term healthcare staff walking off the job because their pay is not worth the risk of dying. Of course many are not in it for money alone so there have been good people who have stayed on to help. But the nurses and doctors here are working their tails off and to be honest I haven’t heard or read a single complaint from them (aside from complaining about the lack of PPE).
Starting debt: £21655.14
Paid in April: £817.23
Paid YTD: £2839.62 (13.11%)
So April was another record-breaking month for me - I paid down more in April than any other month this year, mainly by diverting funds from monthly expenses I'm not having to pay whilst in lockdown: My monthly train ticket, my Daughter's swimming lessons, money I put aside for buying lunch at work...
I'm also fortunate in that the company I work for is actually able to do business during the lockdown and although a few of my colleagues have been placed on Furlough with 90% of their salary, I haven't, so I'm still earning my normal salary.
I just wish they'd hurry up and say that the British Formula One Grand Prix at Silverstone is cancelled this year - I've got a nice amount of money sitting in a True Expense category for spending at the race that I'd love to throw at the debt. In my mind it should, and will be cancelled this year (a mass gathering of over 100,000 people in very close proximity in July? Not going to happen...) However, sanity has never been a strong point in Formula One (They only cancelled the Australian Grand Prix on the first day of practice after a couple of the pit crew came down with the virus).
Hope everyone is staying safe - It's been inspirational reading your posts here.
April Check in:
Starting debt: $3,6010.86
Paid in April: $62.15
Total paid: $1740.06 (48.19%)
I really wanted to hit the 50% pay down mark this month but it just doesn't make sense right now. There's talk of my department being laid off at the end of June and we still have no idea when we'll be able to open again (think arts and culture org) so I'm focusing on building up my savings and with my last paycheque funded a significant portion of May's expenses so I can hopefully not create any more debt.
23,537now 17,094.75 and counting
Personal Loan (2):
4,573GONE in April
Personal Loan (3):
4,2083,435 0 Int CC: 4,763GONE in March
Total Debt I want to pay off in 2020: $35,000 and be consumer debt free in 2020
- Focus everything extra on
Personal loansmallest debt to payoff in 2020 - avg 3K a month.
This was my March goal but in light of the global crisis I decided to switch back to focusing on smaller debts first. The point here is that if my salary is reduced (or eliminated) that I have fewer bills to cover. My goal is to be done with my next debt by June and then spend the rest of the year eliminating my personal loan. God willing I stay employed and can complete my debt goal.
- Focus everything extra on
April check-in. I was feeling nervous about the whole situation this year, but after I opened YNAB and input what I have to my budget, I actually felt much calmer. Things felt doable when I laid it all out. I refinanced my loan to 0% interest so I can breathe a little easier and take my time. Making minimum payments. Good luck to everyone here! It will probably be a long road ahead, but we'll get there eventually.
I'm a hot mess in debt.
Personal Loan 1: $32,500
Personal Loan 2: $25,500
Car Loan: $17,400
Consolidated Student Loans: $53,200
Credit Cards: $41,000
Aiming to pay off: $37,000 this year
Some of its according to payment plans but $8,400 will be to my credit cards, and this assumes that I don't get any bonuses or my lawsuit settlement this year (was bicycling and hit by a car, messed up pretty good).
I rent so no Morgage to pay, I am retired and the wife is on SSD due to Early-onset Alzheimer's my job is to take care of her.
We have about 7500.00 in CC debt and I owe 33,000 on my new car, and 5300.00 in student loans I am doing the debt snowball smallest debt to largest, it will take some time but we will get it done my focus right now is getting to the point of double car payments and rid of all of it.
April has been full of both good and bad news. Good news - $500 towards my bulk debt, bringing that down to 3.9k. Bad news is I just got word that I'm being 0-houred. So next week I get to apply for unemployment. We've been extra careful with money all month because my boyfriend has been unemployed as well, so he's been cooking more and we're not going out or spending money on daycare. It helps to lessen this devastating blow to our finances and mental health haha.
February Balance: $11,523.46
March Payments: $3,044.22
March End Balance: $8,479.24
Student loans are DONE!! YEAAA! I thought seeing a zero balance would be unattainable, but the day before my birthday, I made the last payment! Next are my personal loans. I am super thankful to be working amidst this crazy time allowing me to keep working on my debt goals. Aiming to pay off everything by November if employment, etc. stay the same!
A little under my target of £700 for this month. We've been focussing on putting money into some buffer categories instead. I've been looking back through our history (it's so nice to have a year's worth of data in YNAB now) which has helped to set up these categories, but I've probably still forgotten something!
The recent discussions in the debt bootcamp around keeping a hold of any extra money to help prevent future debt rather than chuck every spare penny into pay off credit cards has been making an influence :)
April Check In
Auto Loan: $10,544.28 - $1,723.69 = $8,820.59
I'm the kind of person who needs a goal...or a "next thing". COVID-19 has taken away two things I was really looking forward to in 2020. So, since we are very blessed to have had no income changes, I'm choosing to be laser focused on knocking out this debt. I NEED a win here! Hoping to have it gone by the end of July if all circumstances remain the same.
April Check In
Credit Card: $1,100 - $1,100 = $0 (PAID OFF)
Auto Loan: $3,700 - $100 = $3,608 (adjusted w/ interest)
Hit my first goal of 2020. I still have the same income sources so thought I'd just get rid of the credit card debt. I was initially going to put the same amount of money that I used for the credit cards to pay the auto loan but I am going to slow down and put money into my emergency savings until there's more stability. I do plan to finish it off this year so I'll see you guys next month!
During April, I paid off $3,285.70! My waterproofing loan is finally PAID OFF! I'm so glad that's behind me. I also paid off a refrigerator that I ended up having to get this year, much earlier than anticipated.
I have 2 medical bills left- $888.36 and $850.74.
I also have student loans, but am enrolled in the public service student loan forgiveness program and have decided to make the qualifying payments for the remaining 6 years (already completed 4 years) and have the rest forgiven, so I am not going to work to pay extra.
I'm really feeling the urge to get the medical bills knocked out, but then also think it would be wiser to pay minimums right now since there's no interest on them and with these being uncertain times. I'm still working my full time job. My side jobs have slowed down- one is on hold currently and the other I've chosen to limit due to the risk there. I have a hard time not making extra payments.
April check in:
LOC $200 paid: $30.19 interest pad, $169.81 on principal. Balance $15,620.43
Mortgage $364.24 paid: $113.72 interest paid, $60.16 property tax paid, $13.04 insurance paid, $177.32 on principal. Balance $56,533.01.
I'm super proud that right now I have an AOM of 29 days which is the highest I have ever achieved since I started my YNAB journey back in 2017. Also I was able to budget $969.37 towards May when I got paid on Friday. With the reduction in spending because of the Covid-19 I have been focusing on getting a month ahead. Next will my setting up an emergency with fund with approximately a month worth of wages in it.
In May I normally get my raise so I am hoping to find out about that next week. My game plan is to take the increase in income (if it happens) and increasing my bi-weekly debt payment amounts. The other though is to use that increase in income to speed up the process of getting a month ahead and getting my emergency fund funded. My ultimate goal is to be completely debt free by 45 which is only 10 years away. (Just turned 35 last Friday) Any recommendations of what strategy I would take? Increase debt payments or get a month ahead/fund emergency fund
Good morning Ynab's, I hope you are all staying safe during this uncertain time. I am so thankful I found Ynab at the beginning of the year to be able to deal with my complete loss of income being in the travel industry. I know travel will eventually come back but the outlook is for a long road ahead.
Since I started ynab, my age of money for my personal is now at 46 days and 30 days for my business account. I was able to add another $250 to my equity principle since I was able to use some of the stimulus money for my debt. So that is a bonus for this month.
I have many stress in life right now, like all of us do, but the one stress I do not have is about money and how I am going to pay the bills, thanks to Ynab!!!
Here is a picture I took in Sedona a few years ago that gives me peace and calm and hope for future travels.
Orchid Display said:
I've taken my entire stimulus check and stuck it right away into savings, just in case. I did manage to pay a bit extra on my paydown this month, but not as much as usual. I'm very happy I managed that; I'm okay just paying minimum payments for the moment until things calm down and get a bit more back to normal.
Totally support this. Here’s a helpful article that affirmed this approach for me: https://www.youneedabudget.com/should-i-pay-off-debt-or-save-cash-right-now/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=weekly_newsletter&utm_campaign=weekly_roundup&utm_content=weekly_roundup_211