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 :)
July Monthly Check In
- Construction Loan: Balance $0!
- Medical Loan: Paid $405 - Balance $595
- #2 Medical Loan: Paid $300 - Balance $5,800
I had enough money to finish paying off the first medical loan. But unfortunately my fridge went out so I had to use the money to buy a new one. I'm glad to be able to cash flow this expense and hopefully I'll find some windfalls and knock out the loan next month.
Total paid this month $705. $9,475 / $15,870 - 60% complete for the year!
☀️June Check-In ☀️
I'm 93% of the way to my debt payoff goal. Halfway through the year and I'm almost done with what seemed like an impossible goal. I'm a little ... speechless. So, so grateful to YNAB and this community.
Debt paydown progress in 2020:
Total progress: $8636.55
Student loans: $20,121. 18 (in covid forbearance, so I'm redirecting the payments to cc's)
Credit Cards (3): $36,480.02
July checkin: Paid $567.16 (includes P&I)
I'm taking advantage of the student loan forbearance and moving the regular student loan payment amount of $376.65 to a category called Student Loan Payments on Hold, so my debt payments are lower than normal. I'm happy to report that since starting YNAB in March 2018, I have now reduced my outstanding debt by over $20k! I was so very stressed when I started. I remember thinking getting off the credit card float was going to be impossible. When I started I also just kept thinking that if I got rid of the credit card debt, i'd be fine. I've learned since then the importance of saving for the expected and unexpected irregular expenses in life, even if I have debt. Still plugging along on my debt smackdown journey, my current total debt outstanding in $69,375.60. And I'm looking at houses to buy maybe this summer/fall as a first time homebuyer, which will increase my debt, but feels like a good move for me if I find the right property.
Things have gotten a bit tight, but I'll find out if I'm out of covid wages next week. I am a bit behind doing some gig work so haven't gotten paid for that. I hope that I'll sort my work out better this month so I can actually increase my wages. Otherwise I'm really really behind in clearing my cc. But $500 in June. I honestly need to be putting 2k, so I must accept I'll start getting some interest payments in the fall. It is what it is. As long as I clear all the other expenses off my cc and get myself back to being balanced I'll be happy.
Eeeee!!!! I just made my usual payment to the outstanding debt I have, and it's below $300! That's the lowest "personal" credit card debt that I have ever had, or at least had in a LONG, long time. I'll wait and post my official update when I add the extra that I'm adding onto my car payments later in the month, but I just had to post that little update! It won't drop under $200 for another 2 months, but this is a nice milestone right now!
June Check In
Auto Loan: $4,788.28 - $4,788.28 = $0!!!!!!!
Well I definitely typed out a June check in, but I guess it didn't post?! Anyway, June was a GREAT month. I was able to get my Honda CR-V paid OFF! It has been a sprint the past few months, but so well worth it. :D Now to save that " minimum payment" towards future vehicle replacement!
July Check-In...Paid $200 towards 1 credit card and Parent Plus Loan (both currently at 0%), bringing total to 62% debt paid. I threw the bulk of extra money this month towards my Buffer (this is where my Home and Car Maintenance categories are, my Gift Giving, Medical, Pets, and Christmas). I also made the last ever tuition payment for my son (I choose to cover my kid's Undergrad and they have to cover Graduate degrees). So...next month I'll be rolling in dough! Just kidding...but I will be able to make more of a dent in my debt. I'm more than ready to delete my Debt Sucks ;( Category!!
Hoping everyone is continuing to stay safe!
"Be kind and have courage." Anne Frank
I'm a bit late to the Smackdown party but better late than never! 😜 I'm currently focusing on paying off my lowest credit card (now $2391) and if things keep on the track that they currently are, it will be paid off this year. I'm also trying to boost our emergency savings at the same time so it's a balancing act. I'm quite proud that we have already paid off $200 on top of minimums and we're only in the middle of July! I'm counting that as a win 🤑
Hi All, July check in, I was able to pay more this month ($3299) and get one of the credit cards paid off, I did shift some of this debt to a 0% interest card so not "truly" paid off but at least I'm not paying interest on it! And I'll have the 0% one paid off before the promotion ends. Next month I'll start working on getting the Truck paid off! Undebt.it says I'll have that done by Jan 2021 but hoping to find some windfalls to get that done this year and get back on the "before covid" track.
Not my official July check in, but my wife and I did pay off our credit card yesterday! Made a final payment of $1,459. Will be focusing on my car loan next. May get it paid off this year, may not. It will be close. If not, it will be some time next year. Either way, it will be 1.5 to 2 years early!
Also, not directly related to the budget smackdown, but we did increase the limits on our credit cards by a combined $22,500 and decrease the APR by 4% on our most used (which, per above, now will be paid off each month to not incur the interest charge) credit card.
Celebrating the small wins during the pandemic!
July - and final!!! - Update! I made a payment of £99.35 and closed the credit card!
I suppose technically – technically – technically – I still have student loans. But for those of you who aren't in the UK, they work a little different here. They basically function as an extra tax. A % of my income above a threshold is deducted automatically from my paycheque before the money hits my bank account. If I don't pay off all my loans within X many years – and I would need to be very well paid to do that – the student loans are cancelled. So those debts are basically invisible to me, as I said, they just act like an extra tax.
I cracked open the debt free whiskey I've been saving up and enjoyed a glass of that last night but it doesnt quite feel real yet. I'm keeping one (no monthly fee) credit card open for large or online purchases, as in the UK there's extra protection on credit cards.
Now onto building an Emergency Fund!
I honestly have not posted in a few years. Life is just too crazy for me. But I wanted to encourage everyone. I am in my second year of No Spend, which means we buy NOTHING that we don't actually need. So far in the past 2 years I have bought only new walking shoes. But the biggest news is after much consideration of our life, I took the balance of our mortgage out of my Roth-IRA and paid off our home. I had paid an extra $50,000 on the mortgage in 2018 and 2019 and I just thought why am I waiting. I still have my 401K, some left in my IRA and my husband's IRA. I am 62-1/2, my husband 61. He has cancer that right now is well controlled, but I do have a fear that it may decide to spread. He is still working at our business that is pretty well in this COVID environment. It's really amazing to commit to a No Spend, it now is a habit and since I hate wearing a mask I have no desire to shop anyway. My husband usually picks up anything we need on his way home from work. So stick with it. We are way too late in our debt free journey. Do it now young people, you won't regret it!
I haven't posted any updates here in a few months. But I have PHENOMENAL news. For the first time in 3 years, my net worth is ABOVE zero. While I haven't officially paid off my debt, because I'm trying to keep an emergency fund as well as some liquid assets on hand just in case I get laid off (again).
I'm doing my best to maintain this new financial health. I am making sure to budget out money for things like rent and other bills a month in advance. I'm also attempting to stay in the habit of paying off my revolving credit cards at the end of every month.
But I really am so excited that I actually have a chance of paying off my debt by the end of this year. I started 2020 with a payoff goal of $5,664 (the total amount on my balance transfer card). I have officially paid off $3546! Only a little over 2k left and I'll be debt free!
Truck and Car payments were made as planned (minimums, until camper is paid). Camper was minimum + $4350. New camper balance: $6.917.30. True expenses are still being funded.
Work update: No change since June. Still running lots.
In the spirit of upgrading shiny objects before retirement, the appliances have been replaced. Most were floor models, which saved vs buying new-in-box, so there's that. There had been a line item that was *mostly* funded.
The mortgage is being refinanced from a 20-year (3 down, 17 to go, 4.95%) to a 15-year at 2.75%. Hoping to close soon. This will save over 100 a month on the required payment.
MILESTONE CELEBRATION: The camper balance dipped under 10K! The end is in sight!
Prayers that the virus will be stopped soon & forever.
July check-in: Continued to pay down credit card balances as budgeted ($500 plus $192 interest on Card 1; Card 2: $334, which is interest plus about $254). I've been using Card 1 for my Walmart Grocery Pickups (a lifesaver in Land of Covid), but now also pay off each month's new balance to stay on track with the debt pay down. If I keep up this pace, I'll be credit card-debt free by late 2022. I so want this.