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 :)

1457replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • To quickly find your line in the spreadsheet, use ctrl+F (or command+F on a Mac) it will open a search bar and you can type in your name.

    Like 4
  • Hey Everyone! 

    Since the sheet is so huge now I wanted to share a top tip to quickly find your row - if you bookmark the link somewhere in your browser, you can add a cell reference to the sheet to quickly focus on your own row.

     

    By adding "&range=[yourRow]" you can jump straight to your line in the sheet.

     

    E.g, I am on Row 6 - so my link is this.

     

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1NzAKcA1i9j3QTPAd_NpdJHYQ2rvTYJRUxf173sEXKRU/edit#gid=0&range=a6

    Would take me straight to my cell. If you change the number for whatever Row you are on (that's the google row number) it will always take you there :) 

     

    You can then bookmark that and you're good to go. 

    Like 9
    • BritishMuseum Fantastic tip! Will pin this to the top. 🙂

      Like 1
    • BritishMuseum Thank you SO much!

      Like
      • Wiecked
      • Happy Happy
      • Orchid_Tiger.5
      • 21 hrs ago
      • Reported - view

      BritishMuseum brilliant!

      Like
  • Aaaand for everyone joining - there's a few formula in the sheet that aren't quite right. Going to solve that in the new year (after 🍷) but do shout if you can't get in and edit. 

    Here's to 2020 :)  

    Like 8
    • BritishMuseum The Google Sheet isn't working. Many many lines are missing and don't see mine anymore for the January check in. :)

      Like 1
      • Gray Major
      • Gray_Major.9
      • 4 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Purple Foal same

      Like
  • Glad to be joining this year!

    Currently, I have 3 non-mortgage debts - 2 credit cards and a personal loan to my parents. Originally the loan was to help me get out of credit card debt for good last summer. And it did for about a month. As I wasn't budgeting then and continued the habits that got me into debt in the first place, I quickly fell back into charging and spending more than I made.

    I am not going to try and pay back the totality of the loan to my parents this year. I have a monthly automatic transfer that will help me with that over the next few years. My main goal this year is to pay off the debt on the two credit cards I have AND not accumulate any more. I think paying off my current debt will be the easy part. (I'm also going to work on using YNAB consistently this year and aging my money. I hope those two habits will help me battle the urge to charge!)

    CC1 - $660.00

    CC2 - $1165.00

    Total Amount to Pay Off (and keep off): $1825.00

    Here goes!

    Like 10
    • Peripherie You've got this! We'll all be here cheering you on in 2020.

      Like 1
    • Peripherie not taking on any new debt is a really worthy goal, and it pays off more in the long run, even if your payments end up smaller on the existing debt.
      Way to go for making the commitment!

      Like 2
    • Peripherie sounds familiar!

      Like
  • Line Claimed. 🍷

    This year with the car loan looming over my head its time to nuke that from orbit. Goal is to have it gone in 8 months. I'm going to tone down my Mortgage payoff goal a tad, due to the funneling of funds to the car loan.

    • Car Loan: $0.00/$7,349.19
    • Mortgage: $0.00/$3,000.00
    • Total: $0.00/$10,349.19
    Like 9
    • Madkat-Z SAME. The car loan has got to go.

      Like
      • J. Wellington Wimpy
      • I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.
      • J_Wellington_Wimpy
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Madkat-Z You only have $3,000 left on your mortgage?? That's AMAZING! You go, you!

      Like
      • Madkat-Z
      • madkatz
      • 1 mth ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      J. Wellington Wimpy I wish that was the case.😂

      I have a long way to go still. That is just the chunk I want to nuke this year. 😎

      Like 3
  • Line claimed!

    We 'only' have mortgage and one auto loan.  In 2020 I'm looking to match and exceed our 2019 debt payment of $13,836.  We are also planning on approximately another $20k of budgeted spending in 2020 on top of normal spending: several home improvement projects, a big vacation 4 years in the making, and orthodontia for one of the kids, all without adding to the debt.  When I started YNAB a year ago, I couldn't have imagined making these kinds of plans without huge amounts of trepidation and angst, and certainly not all in one year.  

    Like 8
    • Technicolor Cheetah PLEASE promise you'll share about this vacation! I love when we get to see dollars in our budgets add up to something great.

      Sidenote, your name coloration in the spreadsheet brought me much joy 🌈 It's the little things.

      Like
      • Technicolor Cheetah
      • Not sure when I became a cheetah...but I'll run with it
      • technicolor_cheetah
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Veronica I'll share!  The vacation won't be all fun and games, there's going to be a lot of driving and a lot of being (we all need downtime and to not go-go-go all the time.  Yes, it would be fun to go to that sight or this fun thing, but maybe a trip to the park is a better choice instead...).  And it's going to be a huge stress, my husband is already having panic attacks, and my son is autistic so all the change is difficult.

      If I could change the colors of the font in my name here, I would, too.  Alas, it is not possible.  Because it's the small things that bring me joy as well and I believe I'm a better person for it.

      Like 1
    • Technicolor Cheetah (okay, it's possible manually, but I wish we could keep it, too 😂)

      I'm a firm believer that our family vacations are significantly more successful when we commit to staying in, resting, reading, enjoying time together and the environment where we are every other day. We tend to do one explorative activity day followed by one day of complete rest in the most peaceful place we can find. There's nothing like it.

      Like 5
  • Did last years (2019) challenge and loved seeing if I could get to my goal. I have the following debt:

    Student Line of Credit:     $50,096.95

    Amex Loan:                               $7,816.44

    Mortgage:                               $75,620.07      

     

    I am hoping to pay off $12,000 in my Amex Loan and Student Line of Credit. I wouldn't be able to pay off anything completely, but knowing I am paying down my debt is a great feeling. I am hoping that by the time my mortgage is up for renewal (July 2024), that both my debts are paid off, leaving only my mortgage (though I know I have to buy a car before then as mine is 13yrs old this year).

    Like 8
    • Ivory Wildebeest My car will be 11 years old in the coming year and while I know the time is coming, I'm not quite ready to let her go. I have a small chunk in a Car Replacement fund, but I'm going to put off using it for as long as possible. I'm hoping your car holds on for a while! :)

      Like
      • Technicolor Cheetah
      • Not sure when I became a cheetah...but I'll run with it
      • technicolor_cheetah
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Faness 

      Our oldest car is 19 and despite wanting to put off replacement for another few years, it's leaking every time it rains or snows.  Spouse has just caulked the sunroof but if that doesn't help, it's time.  I'm hoping to put it off until fall.  I didn't want to buy yet, as we purchased our first new (and possible last new)  car in late 2018 and we still have a car note from that.  I don't want two!  So ideally we'll buy something 5 years old with cash, but possibly with a small car loan.  

      Like 1
    • Technicolor Cheetah I hope the caulking holds, but (if not) I think being rained on inside the car is a safe place to draw the line. Fingers crossed it holds for a bit longer! Not having a car note is a huge part of why I don't want a newer car. 😅

      Like 1
      • Technicolor Cheetah
      • Not sure when I became a cheetah...but I'll run with it
      • technicolor_cheetah
      • 1 mth ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Faness 

      Spousal unit reports that the carpet is no more wet today than it was before it rained off and on for 2 days straight; even if we have to re-caulk quarterly, that's totally a win.  Wiping condensation off of the inside of the windows in the morning is a pain, not to speak of the potential for mildew.  I've also pools of water at my feet (carpet should not squelch) and had water dripping from the rearview mirror and on my feet from somewhere under the dash when I go around corners.  Fun fun.  Not!  

      I'm still going to keep my increased funding to new (to me) car category even if it doesn't start leaking again.  If nothing else, I'll have new drivers starting in 3-4 years (!) and it will be good for them to have an inexpensive car to drive, especially when they can chip in for insurance when they get jobs.  Ain't nobody getting a new car for graduation here!  And unlike a buddy of mine in high school, my kids won't be driving a Saab at 16.  

      Like 3
    • Technicolor Cheetah Wait, we have a Saab! It's now 14 years old and hasn't run in over a year, but it's there! Any 16 year old that wants to get it running is welcome to it. 😂 (Deciding its fate is on my to-do list for the first quarter of the year.)

      A car that you can swim in is still a car (as long as it's running). I was a teenage cliche and put a nice dent in the family vehicle after getting my license, so I think having an inexpensive first car is a great way to keep the newer cars safe.

      Like 1
      • Technicolor Cheetah
      • Not sure when I became a cheetah...but I'll run with it
      • technicolor_cheetah
      • 1 mth ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Faness 

      My buddy's Saab was fairly new.  I myself was driving a Datsun when I learned to drive that was 2 years younger than myself and Little Train that Could-ed it's way up hills.  There are lawnmowers with bigger engines, I needed a pillow to see over the steering wheel, and $10 filled the tank.  Ah, those were the days. 

      I'm mostly thinking that an inexpensive but safe older car may help with the pain of putting teens on our insurance, especially since I have 2 boys (and one of them has the common sense/attention span of a flea).  

      Like 3
    • Technicolor Cheetah If you can get the bulk of the water dried out, I heard about a trick of taking an old sock and filling it with rice and leaving it on the dash, it's supposed to prevent the foggy windshield, no clue if it works but it sounds like a decent theory. It might help you to get some of that last moisture out once everything has mostly dried out. I hear you on the rain, though, it won't stop raining here either.

      Like 1
    • Technicolor Cheetah I laughed much harder at this than I should have. My friend has a car with a lawnmower engine - so much so that the cruise control would cut off going up hill. Despite any "I think I can" chants, it could not. 😂

      Like 1
      • Technicolor Cheetah
      • Not sure when I became a cheetah...but I'll run with it
      • technicolor_cheetah
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual

      I'd fear we'd have mildewy rice if I didn't pull it out and microwave dry it.  One morning I had to squeegee my windows both inside and out.  I usually keep an old prefold cloth diaper in the car, they are great for mopping up, and it was very wet when I dried off all the runlets I'd made.  I try to leave the windows down in the driveway on sunny days after it rains, that helps.  

      Faness 

      There were very steep and long mountain grades to both the north and south of my hometown.  If I wanted to be doing more than 30mph at the top, I'd have to floor it well before the grade started since the car simply couldn't maintain speed, it didn't have the torque.  So I'd be doing 85 at the base of the grade and 55 if I was lucky at the summit.  If there was any traffic whatsoever and I had to slow, that was it, game over, I was in the right lane with my hazards on, blinking my way up the mountain at a snails pace in like 2nd gear.  I shudder to think of trying to drive the Grapevine on 5 in that car.  

      Like 2
    • Technicolor Cheetah That might still be an option once you get more of the water out. And microwaving it might not be a bad thing. Rice is pretty cheap in the greater scheme of things, and having a dry car is a good thing! It'll mold/mildew even without the rice if the moisture stays in it.
      I hope you're able to get it dried out a bit better soon! We've been dealing with lots of rain here, too, and that's not fun at all!

      Like
  • I'm back again this year to smack down more of my debt with you all.  I've claimed line 7 and my monthly debt payment goal is $1,250 (includes both P&I). The goal feels like a stretch now that I understand more what my true expenses are (including vet visits, medical expenses, car maintenance, holiday spending, etc.) and also striving to save up funds to bring my Age of Money to 30 days +.  Happy New Year everyone!

    Like 5
    • Hot Pink Admiral I like your balanced approach here, paying down debt, saving up more True Expenses and aging money all at the same time. 

      Like 1
  • I decided not to join last year because I was still in the denial phase of telling myself my student loans weren't Really debt - yes, of Course they are, saying that just made me feel (toxically) better 😰. I've paid off the interest every year, but want to take a chunk out of the principal this year.

    Line 8 claimed. 

    Like 10
    • Faness I'm pretending our basically brand new mortgage isn't real debt for a while longer 🙈

      Like 1
    • Faness The best feeling I've ever had is when I got the letter from the government telling me my student loan was paid off.  I'm cheering for you from my corner!

      Like 3
    • Pixel spender Thank you! When the time comes, I may frame that letter. 😆

      Like 1
    • Faness I was long in the "it's okay because it's 'good' debt camp, but for the past two years have really pushed to pay down those loans. A mentor in grad school also suggested I not worry too much about them, as they're kind of the price I pay to be doing the work I want to be doing. And on some level, I'm okay with both those things (the second one more than the first, especially because that 'good' debt caps the annual tax write-off at $2,500 per year, and I'd rather be putting that aside in a tax-sheltered retirement account to work for me instead of it working for the loan companies, but I digress).

      Part of what really motivated me though, was hearing from a colleague who'd just retired that he was still paying his student loans. I'm so grateful he told me that, though, as it gave me extra motivation to get these behind me. Glad I joined this group this year, we can do it!

      Like 4
    • Spider Plant Thinking about paying student loans into retirement was a painful jolt, but it makes me feel better about the payments I've made thus far. That will not be us! :)

      Even with an aggressive pay-off, I'm pretty sure I'll still max out that "good" debt cap, but I'm hoping I won't be able to say that after this year.

      Like 4
    • Faness Same here! I think my loans were originally for 25 year terms, which as a grad student I was like "Sure, that's fine". This year is year 10 of paying them off and 2019 I think is the first year I won't max out the write-off. I re-fi'd them to 5 years, which lowered the interest rate (and of course upped the payment) but if I can keep it up, I should be done in about 2 years from now. Unless I'm able to really go to town and crush them in less! I'm excited to keep this momentum with the group here, and will post my balances over on my journal every month too.

      Like 1
    • Spider Plant Isn't it funny how much easier it is for things to be "fine" in student logic? I remember having the same train of thought, and a counselor who told me it wouldn't take me that long to pay them off. But you went from 25 years, to 5 years, to 2! You're so close to the finish line! 🎉

      All of mine still say 30 years because I left them on the minimum repayment plan. My goal for this year includes paying off the loans with the highest interest rates, but if I can manage that, I'd love to refinance the remainder next year.

      I'll be watching your journal for your update! :)

      Like 1
  • Super excited about the new thread. Nerd alert! haha 

    I still have over $53,000 to go, so yes, I'm back at it again this year. All of my debt is credit cards except for about $6,000 in a student loan. (I'm saving the loan for last.) I've been at this for a bit now. I actually originally had almost $75,000 in debt, so progress is happening. But this year I'm ready to kick it in high gear. My goal is $17,000 which isn't a crazy amount for me, but I'll have to stay very focused. (I'll also be simultaneously saving up a one-month buffer.) 

    Good luck to everyone! I look forward to sharing my journey and cheering you all on!

    Like 9
    • MoneyMonster Progress is definitely happening. If you haven't yet, join the 2020 savings challenge for that buffer - especially if you like spreadsheets and new threads!

      Like
  • I am back this year for the final laps. Killed $11,000 of my $14,000 plus debt from last year, and looking forward to destroying the rest. I started with more than $28,000 debt, and am so ready to be debt free.  Best of luck to everyone.

    Like 10
    • Schiaparelli Hat You've come so far!! Did you participate in the Debt Smackdown before last year?

      Like
      • Schiaparelli Hat
      • Wear your best shoe on your head
      • Schiaparelli_hat
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Faness  Thank you. I also did the 2018 Smackdown, which helped me kill just under 50% of my original debt load. Tracking and sharing the payments have kept me focused on paying more than the minimums.

      Like 2
    • Schiaparelli Hat That's Impressive! Debt Freedom is right around the corner for you (and I can't wait to watch you get there!). :)

      Like
      • Technicolor Cheetah
      • Not sure when I became a cheetah...but I'll run with it
      • technicolor_cheetah
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Schiaparelli Hat 

      Have you thought about what you're going to do with all the money once the debt is gone?  I also love hearing about people's plans for their 'extra' money when they no longer have payments over their head.  

      Like 1
      • Schiaparelli Hat
      • Wear your best shoe on your head
      • Schiaparelli_hat
      • 1 mth ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Technicolor Cheetah A portion goes into Job Loss category, some will go to maxing my 403b, and the rest to enjoy things like finally visiting friends in Dallas, taking some weekends away with my sister, etc.

      Like 3
      • Krys
      • I like bacon and sarcasm
      • Krys
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Schiaparelli Hat Congratulations on your spectacular progress last year, and best of luck knocking it out this year! I'm curious about your "Job Loss" category - is that like an emergency fund, in case you lost your job? Or is it something else?

      Like 1
      • Schiaparelli Hat
      • Wear your best shoe on your head
      • Schiaparelli_hat
      • 1 mth ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Krys Hi Krys,  And thank you. I have an EF and a job-loss fund. My ideal for the Job Loss fund is to have three months of living expenses, just in case. My EF goal is smaller, at about $3000.

      Like 3
      • Krys
      • I like bacon and sarcasm
      • Krys
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Schiaparelli Hat Thanks for the clarification. I am working on my EF now, and will be contributing toward a larger, 3-6 month EF (what I see you're calling the "Job Loss" category) after that. I wasn't going to call it anything different, though. Do you find value in separating it from the EF?

      Like
      • Schiaparelli Hat
      • Wear your best shoe on your head
      • Schiaparelli_hat
      • 1 mth ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Krys I do find it helpful to keep them separate in my budget and my mind. EF gets hit first, after my What Fresh Hell?  category which I have for stuff i forgot or those things that bite me in the butt.

      Like 3
  • Claimed Line 14! So for 2020 my goal is to pay $25K to debt. This will incorporate the remainder of my Credit Cards which are at 0% interest, as well as my just under $18K auto loan. I will also be paying minimums on my student loans, however the ultimate goal is to part with the CC and auto loans FOREVER! 

    Like 10
    • SapphireSweetie It sounds like 2020 will be a big year for you!! 

      Like 1
      • SapphireSweetie
      • Changing my financial future!
      • Sapphiresweetie
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Veronica Yes it will! I have to get rid of these loans so that I can aggressively start paying my student loans! I am a few years away from debt freedom and these challenges help me stay consistent and motivated!

      Like 1
      • SapphireSweetie
      • Changing my financial future!
      • Sapphiresweetie
      • 3 wk ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      SapphireSweetie $2630.76 sent to debt this month. Not a bad start however, I did add 887 of debt to my plate this month due to adding a very necessary vacation. I have been going hard on debt payments for the past year with no time off and have been feeling burnt out. I had reallocated some funds and already out $300 to this debt and the remainder will be paid off by my next pay on 2/14. Once that is complete, no more new debt!

      Like 3
    • SapphireSweetie sometimes you have to do a little self care to stay afloat. Good for you for already having a plan for managing it!

      Like 1
  • Good morning and happy New Year! I discovered YNAB last year and since that time, I've been playing with the software.  A few weeks ago I finally realized that while it's been fun playing, it's now time to use it as a serious tool. Learning to use YNAB  has helped me become more aware of my debt and even helped me payoff a car loan 4 months early. This led to me to do some serious soul searching about where I am with my finances and what I actually wanted vs what I thought was possible. Debt doesn't have to be a fact of life for me.  It will take some discipline and following my budget.  It sounds so easy but can be oh so difficult at times.

    So, I'm in. I look forward to participating in this community and chatting with you all. Line 9 claimed.

    Like 9
    • Angel's Mom I'm so glad you're here! I know what you mean about spending the first few months playing around with the software, but I'm glad you decided to dig in. You've got some big goals for debt payoff in 2020 and I hope this year is super successful for you. We'll be here to cheer you on!

      If you haven't already, take a look at our 34 day challenge - it's just a small prompt every day in January and a bit in February that helps you connect with your budget and set your intentions for the year. 

      Like
  • Line 15 claimed! Last year my goal was 15k. I hit 71.69% of it with $10,753.41 paid off. The end of 2018 to mid-October 2019 was a hell of a financial mess. Job losses and a horribly bad roommate situation just about destroyed us. 

    I'm taking our  finances back over for 2020 tho!! We only have 3300 left on our car payments and hoping to definitely get that one knocked out in the first quarter [possibly with our tax refund]. My goal for this year again is 15k. Hubby and I both have stable, well paying jobs and we're hoping to finish playing catch-up with somethings that the roommates left us with. 

    We're hovering around 54k with all debts. 

    Car loan $3300 - will free up $300 a month

    Tires Plus $143 no interest for 6 months - will free up $27 a month

    Hubbys Chase card $460 - will free up $35 a month

    I'm going to start with these three and hopefully be able to add more once we can start knocking stuff out. 

     

    BritishMuseum even tho I dropped down to USD, when I try to enter money for January, it turns it into pounds. 

    Like 8
    • Aerie 2020 is your year. I love that you listed out how much you would get back into your budget from paying off those debt - it feels like a true motivator. 

      Like 1
    • Aerie The fact you juggled job losses and personal situations and still managed over 70% of your goal says a lot! Great job persevering and coming back for the next round! :)

      Like
    • Aerie Ah, whoops that was my formatting mistake! Think I chucked in a £ symbol before I copied the formatting over.

      Have removed the currency format from that section as it should be 'currency neutral'! 

      Good luck for this year :)

      Like
    • Veronica Totally agree! Love the freeing up money!!! Well done Aerie!

      Like
  • It's only January 1st and I think this might be my favorite thread already. There's so much hope and motivation here!

    I was only planning on joining the 2020 savings challenge this year, but I took a closer look at my interest rate on one of our car loans and I'd rather get rid of it. We made so much progress in last year's debt smackdown and I think we can just get rid of this payment, freeing up ~$300 per month in our budget.

    I claimed line 16, and we're tackling $6,415.09 - one entire car loan.

    Our whole debt picture is a brand new mortgage and one more car loan. Part of me wants to be the person who pays off a mortgage super early, but our priorities just aren't there in this stage of life and the interest is low enough to be okay. We're aggressively saving for now!

    Like 9
    • Veronica On one of the YNAB podcasts, Jesse says that off debt is better than saving when you look at the interest rates and money back in your pocket once the debt is gone. So don't feel bad if you aren't "saving" much, since getting rid of any debt is saving in reverse. :)

      Like 4
    • Purple Foal I really like "saving in reverse"

      Like 2
  • I've claimed line 18! I joined this last year, and then life went kerplooie, I lost track on here, and my total debt actually went UP. So I'm back this year with a drive to send that number back down and contribute to this group and to our individual/collective success. 

    I've got nearly $51K in total debt. There is about $6K in student loans, and the rest is a combination of credit cards and unsecured/personal loans. This stuff HAS to go. My conservative goal is to pay off a little more than 20% of the total -- $12,500. 

    Let's do this!

    Like 7
    • Matthew Hayes Kerplooie is a great way to make bad things sound more fun. And with the kerploo behind you, 2020 is wide open for tackling that goal! ;)

      Like 1
  • Claimed line 19.

    Below are the current consumer debt amounts that we owe:         

    • Credit card # 1 = $2,900.00 (0% promotional APR for balance transfer ending July 2020). This is the last of our random spending from years ago.
    • Credit card # 2 = $1,028.94 (0% promotional APR for balance transfer ending June 2021). This card enabled our dog to get surgery he needed.
    • Credit card # 3 = $18,533.00 (0% promotional APR for balance transfer ending December 2021). This card enabled us to move forward with a home improvement project that we could no longer put off for safety reasons.
    • Auto loan = $17,298.90 (3.24% APR).

    In 2020 our target goal is to pay off credit cards # 1 and 2 in full ($3,928.94), roll that debt snowball into paying off a chunk of credit card # 3 ($8,100.00), and make regular payments to our auto loan ($4,616.64). That makes our 2020 debt payoff goal = $16,645.58.

    We got this!!

    Like 5
    • Ivory Tiger You're set up for a great year! I'm sure it was tough, but I'm glad you prioritized your dog and house safety, knowing that you have the tenacity to pull out of the debt when the timing is right. It sounds like 2020 will have great progress for you.

      Like
    • Veronica It was so, so tough to make the decision to use credit cards # 2 and 3 in November/December 2019, especially because we were looking forward to paying off credit card # 1 (our "last" credit card) and tackling the auto loan this year. But life happens, and we are focusing on paying these 0% APR cards off within their promotional periods. If the worst occurs and we can't finish credit card # 3 within the 24 month period, then we'll just transfer that sucker to another 0% card and deal with it. We accepted the onus of repaying nearly $19k for a home improvement project in 2 years knowing we didn't prepare properly for it. Lesson learned.

      Like 3
      • Technicolor Cheetah
      • Not sure when I became a cheetah...but I'll run with it
      • technicolor_cheetah
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Ivory Tiger 

      I kind of look at it this way: what have I learned from this lesson?  And what will I change in the future to prevent this?  So I bet when you're done with repayment, you'll be plumping up the true expenses that got you with new debt in 2019.  I also hope that you're feeling good about your budget and that your plan is working for you; I know I love knowing that mine is showing me so much clarity about where we are and where we want to go in the future.

      Like 1
    • January check-in (complete): Paid off $1,320.47 as outlined below.

      • Credit card # 1 = $500.00
      • Credit card # 2 = $85.75
      • Credit card # 3 = $350.00
      • Auto loan = $384.72

      Total debt paid down YTD: $1,320.47.  

      Below are the remaining balances for these consumer debts:          

      • Credit card # 1 = $2,400.00 (0% promotional APR for balance transfer ending July 2020). 
      • Credit card # 2 = $943.19 (0% promotional APR for balance transfer ending June 2021). 
      • Credit card # 3 = $18,183.00 (0% promotional APR for balance transfer ending December 2021). 
      • Auto loan = $17,106.54 (3.24% APR).
      Like 3
      • Technicolor Cheetah
      • Not sure when I became a cheetah...but I'll run with it
      • technicolor_cheetah
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Ivory Tiger 

      At that rate, you'll be sitting pretty before the promo rates end!  

      Like 1
    • February check-in (complete): Paid off $1,320.47 as outlined below. 

      • Credit card # 1 = $500.00
      • Credit card # 2 = $85.75
      • Credit card # 3 = $350.00
      • Auto loan = $384.72

      Total debt paid down YTD: $2,640.94.   

      Below are the remaining balances for these consumer debts:           

      • Credit card # 1 = $1,900.00 (0% promotional APR for balance transfer ending July 2020). 
      • Credit card # 2 = $857.44 (0% promotional APR for balance transfer ending June 2021). 
      • Credit card # 3 = $17,833.00 (0% promotional APR for balance transfer ending December 2021). 
      • Auto loan = $16,769.68 (3.24% APR).
      Like 3
  • Hi everyone,

    I've got line 21! I'started last year and then kind of petered out, but I am back with a vengeance this year. Working a new two year (and a bit) plan to get me debt free that started today. I've realized that I would like to retire in 10 years and can't do that with debt and no savings, so it's time to get real. It's going to be a very lean two years with little to no frills, but this is an important goal for me.

    I managed to knock some of the debt down last year, and am currently sitting at $39,615.89 in total debt on lines of credit. 

    My goal for this year is 18,314.04, but on the spreadsheet I've made a stretch goal of 20,000. 

    Looking forward to the journey!

    Carla

    Like 6
    • Ten years to retirement, Carla! I love this goal.

      I'm just picturing you starting next year's debt smackdown with your total debt cut in half, under $20k and feeling ready to tackle anything! 

      Like
  • Claimed Line #22

    This will be my first time participating in the debt smackdown! I am looking forward to it! I am planning to pay off  10,000 of 26,757.78 in Credit Card Debt... I have been CC free before and then a bunch of mishaps occurred that I had not saved for so here I go again.  I feel like joining this challenge will help to keep me accountable, because we are all trying to get rid of debt! It easy to sit around and talk with people about the debt, but if they are not on the same path the talk is cheap! So I will be picking up more hours at work to increase my shovel to get rid of the debt! Good Luck to Everyone! Happy New Year! 🎉

    Like 4
    • Powder Blue Foal You've got this! 

      Like 1
  • Happy New Year everyone...I'm fairly new to YNAB and this will be my first challenge.  We are planning to build a house this year and I need to pay down my debt to make that possible!  I am going to pay off $10,000.00  (both my credit cards and start to pay down my student loans).  Good luck to everyone!

    Claimed line 23!

    Like 6
    • Pushy Possom Building a house is one of my bucket list items! I hope you'll share more of the process with us when the time comes. Maybe a journal here?

      Like
    • Veronica We are excited but the process is new to me so I'm learning as I go..... 😁 A journal would be a cool idea! 

      Like
  • Claimed Line 24.

    I'm back again for the Challenge.  It was very motivational for me in 2019.  I got to 100% of my goal, which was CCs and a car loan - all gone!  I've been off the CC float for a while, but yesterday decided to pay all my cards down to $0 just to end the year that way.

    This year it's the HELOC on my condo.  I have more available to pay down now because of freeing up funds from the above payoffs, but it's still a stretch.  I'm also trying to build up some sinking funds so I can stay away from CC debt.

    The check-ins here are really great - everybody trying to do their best, with some months being really tough and others more successful.  Here's to good health and debt-kicking in 2020!

    Like 7
    • TC Jackie WOW! You saw that you were on the float and just took care of it. 2020 is off to a great start.

      Like
  • First year in the challenge. I have a credit card with just under 4k. Paid 3 other cards off last year and this is my last one. I randomly budget payoffs instead of a firm amount every month, so we’ll see how this goes.

    Like 5
    • Hot Pink Mainframe It sounds like your plan worked out pretty well for you last year with three cards out of the way! Good luck this year

      Like
  • Line 31 claimed!

    Current total debt = $164,254.78 (Car and student loans only. We have no mortgage or CC debt. Yay for student loans... 🤢)

    Goal for 2020 debt payoff = $22,000 (my spreadsheet projection is $23,365 but I'm including in some wiggle room for interest calculation errors or changes of priority over the year)

    We are getting fairly aggressive with debt payoff beginning these past few months. The overall goal/plan is to pay off the car ($41,441.27 - we super crazy love the car and are so happy with it, but ouch) by Oct/Nov 2022 and all the student loans ($122,813.51) by March 2026. (I love spreadsheets. 😄)

    Detailed payoff goals and progress breakdown:

    Car loan = $0/$17,987

    My combined student loans = $0/$4,468

    My H's combined student loans = $0/$909

    Like 4
    • Regina Phalange I love a good spreadsheet. Do you use undebt.it? I found it helpful for that type of visualization as well.

      Like
    •  I have checked it out, but haven't played with it yet. I have a massive spreadsheet with all the loan amortization tabs and extra payments, etc. so I have just been working with that for now.

      Like 1
    • Regina Phalange sounds excellent!

      Like
  • Total Debt:  623,708

    Mortgage: 538,035

    401(K) Loan: 48,597

    Personal Loan: 23,537

    Personal Loan (2): 4,573

    Personal Loan (3): 4,208

    0 Int CC: 4,763

    Total Debt I want to pay off in 2020: $30,000

    1. 0 Int CC by March when the interest kicks is goal one.  
    2. Refinancing my mortgage to a lower fixed rate to free up cash is goal two.
    Like 4
    • Tomato Barnacle Excellent goals. Good luck in 2020!

      Like
  • Hi everyone! I've claimed line 34 and this is my first year participating in the debt smackdown! My goal for 2020 is to pay off the remaining balance on my student loans while still making my normal monthly car payment as these are my only debts. I need to stay extremely focused this year as I also have some savings goals that I want to meet.

    Student loans -- $8,988.67
    Auto loan -- $17,416.47 (this is the outstanding principal and with my regular payments I anticipate putting about $4500 towards this)

     

    Good luck to everyone!

    Like 4
    • thebookishknitter You can do it! If you haven't already, join in the savings challenge also for extra accountability.

      Like 1
  • Line 32 - I'm going to be working on $22,000 worth of credit card debt this year - I want to work through $7500 or an average of $625 a month. I'm hoping to be able to do more, but that will pay off one of my credit cards. What I'd really like is to be credit card interest-free by 2021. 

    Like 5
    • Rhiannon Debtfree It sounds like you've got an attainable goal and a stretch goal for the year. Way to set your sights high!

      Like 1
  • I've claimed line 36! This is my first time participating in the challenge, and I'm so stoked about it! I have 3 non-mortgage debts (car loan, interest-free cc balance, and student loans) totaling $56,312. My goal is to contribute $525/month towards debt payoff, for a total of approximately $6,300 for the year. Wish me luck! 

    Like 6
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Violet Rain 

      You've got a goal, awareness, and a YNAB budget. You are making your own good luck right there.  I'll be cheering you on.

      Like 2
    • Violet Rain Welcome! We're glad you're joining us!

      Like 1
      • Violet Rain
      • ElectroNecroMancer
      • Violet_Rain.3
      • 3 wk ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Well, I didn't quite hit my goal for January. Only made minimum payments. But that's still $487 towards debt payoff! I'll see if I can increase that for February.

      Like 4
Like84 Follow
  • 84 Likes
  • 37 min agoLast active
  • 1457Replies
  • 4989Views
  • 311 Following