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 :)

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  • Like 11
  • So hard to watch my investments take a nose dive!  On a brighter note - I was able to complete my $1000 emergency fund with the money I'm saving from not doing anything!  Now I will continue with $50 into it biweekly and pour more onto debt!! I do love how Covid is helping us to focus on needs vs wants, and the realization of how many wants I normally fulfill that I shouldn't be.  

    Like 9
      • Wiecked
      • Happy Happy
      • Orchid_Tiger.5
      • 7 mths ago
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      GroceryAddict agree 100% on all fronts

      Like 1
      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 7 mths ago
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      GroceryAddict So true!! My grocery & wine budget was way over but still within the parameters of my monthly budget for all my daily needs. Don't need to spend any money at all on quarantine. Have food & wine. I just did my budget today and all my TBB went to bills, debt, and TE, not anything else. My tank is full and can't even go anywhere to take advantage of the record low gas prices. Oh well. Time to buffer. 

      Regarding your investments, don't panic. Just rebalance them to your set ratios. For example, my index funds are set at 40% bonds, 60% equity (Cdn, US, Global equally). I sold bonds to buy more equity. They are all on SALE. They will go up & we will get through this. This is the best time ever to save for long term investments. Check out this article:

      https://www.savvynewcanadians.com/coronavirus-canada-money-investment-financial-advice/?utm_source=Savvy+New+Canadians+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4192eecb65-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_02_28_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5e3a50d676-4192eecb65-145342333&ct=t(EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_02_28_COPY_01)

      Like 1
    • GroceryAddict I love that you're looking at the silver lining during this time. Reflection on priorities has been happening in our household too!

      Like
      • Cyan Yeti
      • Cyan_Yeti.6
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      GroceryAddict Finding the "bright side" of covid  is an uplifting way of looking at things.   I was thinking almost the same thing but was not brave enough to say it.  Thank you for the courage to speak up!  Prayers for all.

      Like
  • March Update:

    I paid $697 to debt this month.  This was all scheduled before I was laid off both my jobs in the service industry.  After finding out, I moved one loan from 13.54% to a Citi Flex Loan at 9.99%.  My other loan is still at 0% interest until the end of the year.  From here on out I will just be paying the minimums and avoiding new debt.  

    Total paid in 2020: $4,797

    Total Remaining:

    Citi Loan - $8,170

    Private Student Loan - $1,832

     

    During this time, if you are financially able to, please consider supporting all locally-owned restaurants and other small business.  You can buy gift cards and order delivery.  Many of these business have gofundme pages set up to compensate their hourly staff.  These businesses may not survive lengthy closures with little to no income.

    Like 7
    • Little Green Ghoul yes! I'm so worried about local businesses right now. Love the message for everyone to do what they can. It's such a difficult time for so many people. If you're lucky to be okay, pay it forward!

      Like
    • Little Green Ghoul I'm so sorry to hear about the layoffs. That sounds like an excellent plan, as things develop. There are many communities banding together to figure out the best ways to do so. We have a neighborhood spreadsheet for folks to donate their skills to local businesses that need help with moving online, e-commerce, social media, etc. Plus, the ones you've mentioned! I'm keeping everyone in the service industry in my thoughts.

      Like 2
  • Checking in for March. Added a little bit of debt and adjusted my payoff accordingly. While not ideal, it's something I'm willing to live with. Other than that, extra payments remain steady, and should ramp up here in the near future.

    Like 6
  • Hey guys! I just started using YNAB about a week ago and familiarizing myself with it and it's fantastic!

    Here are my current debts:

    Credit card: $1,389.94 - just paid off $975.75 so current balance is $432.19

    Line of Credit: $9,839.20

    Claiming A427.

    I'm going to tackle the credit card balance first then I'll work on paying off the line of credit! I'm writing here to hold myself accountable and my debts NEED to go. 

    Like 6
    • Welcome to YNAB, Pink Song ! We're so glad that you've decided to join us.

      Like
      • Pink Song
      • Pink_Song.8
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Nicole Thanks! Since I can't edit my post, I'll make the correction here. My starting balance for the loc is actually $10926.08

      Like 1
  • Hi Everyone, 

    March check-in.  Managed to pay down $2028.77 this month, bringing me to 29.5% of goal. I'm now three months into superfocus mode and really appreciating the movement on this journey. 

    Like 4
    • auntdar That super-focus is paying off!

      Like
      • auntdar
      • auntdar
      • 7 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

       Update on my post, found another bit of money at the end of the month, so total payment for March is $2552.23.

      Like 4
      • Wiecked
      • Happy Happy
      • Orchid_Tiger.5
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      auntdar that's awesome! 

      Like
  • March check-in:  March is my favorite financial month!  In addition to my tax refund, it's when I get my annual bonus.  However, this year it's a chaotic month, as we are in the process of moving to a new house.  I withheld a couple thousand of my bonus as a hedge against moving expenses, deposits, etc.  But we were still able to reduce our debt by $4,374.60!  My credit card balances have blasted their way through previous lows, and things are looking great.

    Like 10
      • Wiecked
      • Happy Happy
      • Orchid_Tiger.5
      • 7 mths ago
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      Max Green LOVe THIS!

      Like 1
    • Max Green Fantastic progress! Especially in such a hectic month. Hope your move goes smoothly!

      Like 1
  • Hi everyone! 2020 has been a bit crazy for me and now things are even more out of whack so I'm just now updating my line on the spreadsheet.

    I am making my regular car payments and focusing on paying off my student loans. Since January, my SL balance was about $9000 and as of last week I am at about $7800. Not quite where I want to be because I am now going to continue making regular payments and moving cash into savings for the time being. I will have 3 checks in May so hopefully things calm down by then so I can make extra payments again.

    Like 6
    • thebookishknitter I definitely understand the crazy feeling! 2020 has been that type of year, so far, but hopefully it shifts in the near future. :)

      It's great you've been able to make progress on your student loans with everything going on! I think keeping your savings padded during this time is a good move - this year is a professional at throwing unexpected curve balls.

      Like 2
  • My favourite day of the month (aside from Pay Day).

    Paid down £784.23 this month, the most I've paid down in a single month this year :)
    Debt paid off so far: £2022.39 (9.34%)
    To go: £19,632.75

    Pleased with myself this month - I had an unexpected bonus from work, but we also went to Disneyland (before it closed). I had earmarked an extra £150 to pay off my debts, but that went on additional spending money.

    No regrets though - I didn't incur any extra debt which is the most important thing :)

    Hope everyone is safe and well.

    Like 7
  • March Check-in

    Truck and Car payments were made as planned (minimums, until camper is paid).   Camper was minimum + 1300.  New camper balance:  $21,474.44.  True expenses are still being funded.

    Work shift:  Due to Covid-19, we've shifted from hauling retail freight to hauling essential freight for 3rd party shippers.  Our social isolation takes place at home as well as in the truck.

    Prayers that the virus will be stopped soon & forever.

    Like 10
    • Coral Mare Thank you for all that you do! 

      Like 3
      • Wiecked
      • Happy Happy
      • Orchid_Tiger.5
      • 7 mths ago
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      • Reported - view

      Coral Mare Thank you for keeping our country going! 🙏

      Like 2
    • Coral Mare Really glad there are people like you who are able to help!

      Like 1
  • March check-in.  Earlier this month, we received a huge bonus that we had been expecting.  As planned, we put over $15,000 on debt.  Now, I am off work due to Covid-19, but my husband is still working and probably will continue.  We are using some savings that we had set aside for vacations this year to make up for my lost income.  There is another savings that we can tap into if necessary, but I surely hope not.  We are so fortunate that we had this set aside.  Part of me wishes I had that bonus tucked aside as a safeguard, but most of me realizes that eliminating the debt is the better freedom.  Especially since we do have some buffer.

    Like 7
      • Wiecked
      • Happy Happy
      • Orchid_Tiger.5
      • 7 mths ago
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      Steel Blue Screwdiver (e62dac0d365b) Sending virtual hugs. I know the feeling. Cash on hand sure feels safer right now. I'm glad your husband is still working. 🤗

      Like 2
  • Paid $2488.17 for March!  I have way more debt than is listed on my line.  I had hoped to pay that "Smack-down"  line down quickly but several things have put an end to that I think (hopefully not).  I will continue to pay at least the minimums plus whatever else I can because I have other debt and the requirements to fund on an IFFY income.  (I know, Join The Crowd!)  Good Luck Everyone in these uncertain times!

    Like 6
  • Thanks to my work bonus, I was able to pay down my auto loan by $4,700.  If all goes well, I might be paid off by June!

    Like 10
    • Keith Borders Love the "Debt To Be Crushed"!

      Like
  • In March we paid $5,331.77 to principal. 

    Like 6
    • Turquoise Vacuum Well done! 🎉

      Like
  • We paid off both cars ($16,496.00 and $10,999.01)

    We paid off the last medical bill $2,044.29)

    We paid $6,758.47 towards the HELOC

    💃🤑Total Debt Payoff in March: $36,612.90  🤑💃

    We have the rest of the HELOC and the Mortgage to work on next. 

    Onwards...

    Like 10
    • Wiecked You've made amazing progress!

      Like 1
      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 7 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Wiecked Impressive!! Pour a drink & do your celebration dance!! If you haven't done it already...

      Like 1
      • Wiecked
      • Happy Happy
      • Orchid_Tiger.5
      • 7 mths ago
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      • Reported - view

      Nicole Super yay to the hubby and his big fatty bonus this year! So grateful for it! 

      Like 2
      • Wiecked
      • Happy Happy
      • Orchid_Tiger.5
      • 7 mths ago
      • 3
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      Purple Foal I must say, we did a full 3 minutes of happy dancing and poured some malibu rum into some pineapple juice and then stared at each other with a slight nod.... #yeababy

      Like 3
      • Wiecked
      • Happy Happy
      • Orchid_Tiger.5
      • 6 mths ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      April Debt Payment Totals

      April paychecks have all come in and we managed to send $4,258.26 to the HELOC plus our mortgage payment which takes total debt paid off this month to $4,912.21.

      2020 Debt

      Yoda Car Debt: $16,496.00

      Ruby Truck Debt: $10,999.01

      HELOC Debt: $23,854.12 ---> $12,910.77 👍

      Medical Bills: $883.59 + $2,044.29 

      Mortgage: $369,063.55 ---> $367,707.82

      Onwards...

      Like 6
    • Wiecked  Amazing progress!

      Like 1
      • Wiecked
      • Happy Happy
      • Orchid_Tiger.5
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Alice Blue Yeti awe shucks, thanks 🤗

      Like
  • Just joined (Line 429). Trying to get rid of that PMI!

    Current Progress $0.00/$33,619.4

    Like 8
  • Welcome to the challenge, Salmon Pony .You'll get there! We just removed our PMI last week.

    Like 1
  • March Update: $250 paid against my student loan. This is less than the agreed upon minimum. I'm lucky that my debt is with my dad and he said pay as I can because I've lost shifts at work. 

    Like 4
  • March Check In

    Credit Card: $2,400 - $1,300 = $1,100 (0% interest)

    Auto Loan: $3,777.08 - $100 = $3,674.80 (adjusted w/ interest)

    Total: $4,774.80 

    Happy I was able to pay on my debt with everything that is happening. Hope everyone is ok. 

    Like 5
      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 7 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Tishy Wishy Good job! Keep trying your best. That's all any of us can do. :)

      Like 1
  • March Check In

    Auto Loan: $11,567.49 - $1,023.21 = $10,544.28

    Getting so close to the single digits (in thousands)! My loan is through a credit union and I have been going into the branch to make my principal only payments on top of the auto drafted minimum payments. With all that is going on right now, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to keep making principal only payments because I didn't want to pay the fee they charge for phone payments. I decided to give them a call anyway to determine my options and they waived the fee "given the circumstances"! Every $ toward that debt helps!

    Like 6
    • CTheJoy Now is the time to go after every extra $. :)

      Like
    • CTheJoy So many places are doing lots of things like this, and it's really helpful!!

      Like
  • March check in - paid about $4100, which included some on my annual bonus (rest going to true expenses like HVAC replacement and prefunding next car so we can avoid another loan). I'm proud of our progress so far this year, but we just got hit with some life this month - husband (secondary income in our house who funded extra payments) is currently furloughed with unemployment and our infant was diagnosed with a milk allergy that will bring unknown ambulance, ER, and allergist bills that will wipe out our HSA early in the year despite starting fully funded. I am so thankful for how YNAB has prepared us, but feeling it's more important to avoid new debts now than getting to be as aggressive on old ones until we get a better idea of our new reality.

    Like 8
      • Wiecked
      • Happy Happy
      • Orchid_Tiger.5
      • 7 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Silver Router That's so smart. What a scary situation with your infant. I'm so glad your HSA was fully funded! It creates some sadness that the HSA took a hit, but you won't have to worry about up and coming medical bills. They are the scariest most unknown kind of bills out there.

      Like 1
  • March Check-In: Paid $324.56 towards my CC debt, which is a little less than half of what I was able to throw at it in January and February. All my money is going to food and sundries. 🤣 I am working from home and am blessed to still have a steady income but I have not been able to be as diligent against impulse buying (even with not going out - hello Doordash).

    The good news is that my one remaining CC is now at $535.44. I'm hoping to redouble my 'no splurge spending' efforts in April as this work stuff becomes the new normal and pay it off in full. I HAVE the money in my account to pay it off today but I am trying to also increase my monthly buffer and safe for true expenses.

    After this CC is gone I will work on my stretch goals - smartphone installment plan, personal loan, and the principal on my mortgage.

    My best wishes to all during this trying time. We will get through it, hopefully better because of YNAB!

    Like 6
  • Hello Ynab's,  March check-in.  I  paid $1600.  towards the equity and best buy.  I have almost all of April's bills buckets filled.  With my income ceased due to Covid19 I am looking at paying all necessary bills and hope to not have to use the credit card.  I am planning on nine months of no income besides child support so it will be a long road but as long as the minimum gets paid to the debt, I will be in ok shape. Thanks for the checkin and support. We will all get through this together. 🙂👍

    Like 6
  • March check-in (so far)...  Our vacation (Scotland/Ireland we will come visit you sometime!!!) was cancelled for May so I used the money in my vacation savings to pay down a bit of debt and kept the rest as an emergency fund.  Paid $1,850 so far on cc debt and plan to add more at the end of the month.   

    The uncertainty in the world right now is such a huge reality check for why we need to be debt free and have emergency funds/3-6 months of expenses saved up!!! My husband is getting on board with savings finally.  It's too bad it took such worldwide tragedy to open his eyes.

    Like 8
    • Orchid Cup It is a shame it takes a tragedy to open people's eyes, but I am thinking there will be a lot of shifts in people's thinking once the dust settles from this. I think it will be much less socially acceptable to show up to events and family functions while sick, along with a lot of other things. I am looking forward to those positive changes, and very sad that it has taken something like this in order to get people to wake up.

      Like 2
  • Just getting warmed up, easing back into the whole budgeting thing.  Had to retire early, lost track of things.  I've lump summed all the things i don't want to continue making payments on, so included things are credit cards, car loan, and the mortgage on a rental. Total is about $54k.  My game plan is a 3-year payoff, so 2020 will be about a third of that at $18k.  If I reach my goal in three years, I'll be shopping for a motorhome.  I really, really want a motorhome...  ;-D

    Like 7
    • Beige Stallion Welcome aboard! I'm glad you're joining us! :)

      I love that you have a plan and, even better, a reward for completing that plan! Extra points for added motivation! ;)

      Like
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