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 :)
Hi everyone! Just checking in for February. I paid $3213.20 toward my debt this month. That puts me at $5863.20 of my $40k goal. I'm hoping to build some better momentum in March. I've been hesitant to pay much more than minimum payments with the hubby still on workers comp pay. It's hard to get into this too much when I'm not confident how much he will be paid right now. Hoping to see him go back to work at least light duty by end of March. Everyone PLEASE keep your fingers crossed! Then we can get this party started!! Keep up the good work everyone 😎
February Check In
I paid 1014.01 to debt, bringing my total percentage paid up to 17.70%.
$700 to personal loan 1.
$84.78 to the first credit card I will pay off.
Minimum payments to other two credit cards.
Personal loan should be paid off in April, and credit card one should be paid off by June. After that I'm not entirely sure the rate at which the next two will be paid off, because I'll need to switch most of the personal loan payments to funding a sinking fund for my college tuition.
I actually signed up for YNAB to achieve this goal.
I have $19465.31 debt across 1 credit card, 1 personal loan and 1 car loan. As a grad student I don't think I'll be able to get rid of all of it this year but want to have it all gone by the time I finish my masters. I set my 2020 goal to $11465.40
We are slogging through. My IDR for student loans got recalculated. It's $763 more per month. This is going to slow things down even more. Grateful for the little things though. I did get a career out of it. Just keep swimming. This month has been pretty bad, we made $0 progress towards debt paydown and have spent it hunkered down to recover from last month's move. We will be living on one income indefinitely at this point, so I'm going to be turtling my way through these next few months. Our goal is to decrease debt, but primarily not to add any in this season! Happy Black History Month (USA)!!
Line claimed. Total debt owed: a scary €14,186.
I paid off Credit Card 1 in 2019. 🎉
Credit Card 2 is owed €7147. I have arranged for the balance to be transferred to a new card that is interest-free for 12 months, so I will take advantage of that window and pay it off ASAP.
I also have a general loan that I used to get a second-hand car and some dental work I needed. I've paid off almost 4k on that thus far. The current balance is approx €7039 (though that figure jumps around depending on interest.) I pay €282 on this a month and am happy to continue doing this until the credit card is paid off.
All this to make me as attractive as possible to banks when I apply for a mortgage later in 2020.
February check-in: this month was a lot of unexpected or one-time expenses (over $1000 in medical costs, paying fees for my licensing exam, travel, etc. ) According to undebt.it I paid $6000+ towards my debt, but I also took on almost $3000 in new debt towards the end of the month, though most of it is reimbursable by insurance or work. Feeling down about how out-of-control things felt when my kids got sick while we were on vacation, really hard to keep focus on my budget when so much else was going on. That's a skill I'm still learning.
February was definitely tighter than January but I managed to stay on track. March will also be a challenge because of some compromises I made for February, but I think I will be able to stay on track just fine. Onwards and upwards!
- January Payment: $1,900.00
- January Loans Remaining: $16,100.00
- February Payment: $1,650.00
- February Loans Remaining: $14,450.00
I had my kickoff and January update already posted but I guess it was also deleted in the "big sweep"!
Here's what we have so far through February:
- CC debt from home renovations (0%) - paid $840.43/$2,935.87
- Car payment - $951.62 / $5,771.87
- Student loans - $1,542.42 / $9,235.67
- House - $1,458.92 / $8,873.10
It's bonus time at work so it will be split towards paying off the credit card (I know, it's at 0%, but I just want to get those house renovations behind me!) and building our Roth IRAs and emergency fund! Woohoo!!
Thanks for all of the motivation here. It's great to see everyone do his/her best each month.
February check-in: Our overall debt was reduced by $1,986.02 from last month, thanks to the debt snowball/snowflake, plus in January I received an extra paycheck, which generally just adds to the snowflake. Got my (very small) income tax refund, which will go towards the March payments. Still haven't gotten our windfall from the child support. We do know that DHS got "some money", but he is appealing the decision, so his accounts are still frozen until March. Again, this could be up to around $33,000, we just don't know yet. Could also be more like $33, lol.
February Check-in: My debt increased by $1880 dollars to a total of $51,754 credit card debt. I knew this was going to happen though, because I had already scheduled and paid for most of a conference I attended, supporting my business. This shouldn't happen again, because I'll save money for such expenses in the future. Next few months hopefully will see a steady decrease in my debt.
I was about to pay 799.63 towards my CC debt bringing my total down to 860.00.
But I also started to look at my total debt picture a little different. Originally I was only planning on focusing on my credit card debt. But I have come to see (or really look at clearly for the first time) my overall debt picture.
I bought my phone with an installment plan. I pay $32.00 a month on top of my phone bill for it and currently still over $379 overall. After I have crushed my CCs I am going to work on getting rid of that.
Next, I have a personal loan from my family of which I owe $13,030 on. There is no interest or rush and I have a dedicated payment of $260 a month going to them but I want to start to chip away at it. Once the CCs and phone are gone I am going to use the snowballed money to up my payment to $400 or $500 a month which will pay it off faster.
And then there is my mortgage which I still owe $91,705.96 on. I thankfully don't have PMI anymore but after all this other debt is a bit more manageable I would like to throw more towards my principal.
So, overall, I have done well in February but my desired total of debt paid has also gone up as my 'view' has widened. It sucks to take a realistic picture of where I am versus just saying 'I only have two CCs' but it also feels freeing to have a true understanding of what I am capable of tackling now and in the future.
So I have two main debts my line of credit $$16,327 and my mortgage $57,328. I have started a side gig in 2020. Once I get my vacation funded my extra funds from my side gig will be going towards my line of credit. In May I normally get a raise so instead of just absorbing my raise I am going to increase my mortgage payment by 10% to help pay it off sooner. My boyfriend is also moving in with me in June. I will have some funds freed up because he will be contributing towards some of the bills that I currently cover at a 100%. Those funds will be going to wards my line of credit. So far I have paid $1,410 towards my debt this year.
Updating my February to March check-in. I stayed the course and didn't spend on any of my credit cards (barring the interest payments, but I can't quite help that). I made my $1200 of payments, I didn't use my credit cards to make any purchases, and I got my tax return a few days ago to help me stay off the paycheck to paycheck cycle. My next major objective is to raise my AoM to keep myself feeling safe.
Doing my check-in for Feb a little late. Found out I will get a good raise this year and also that I overpaid taxes in my first year as a new business owner, so not only will I get a good refund, but I'll be able to bring home more of my income this year since I have correct tax figures. Hoping to exceed my goal for this debt smack down with this new information.
I've been dreading my February check in for a while now, as it was a particularly expensive month for me. $160 on a 6 month supply of Flea/Tick/Heartworm for my dog, a $200 trip with my friend that I'd had planned for a couple months but hadn't properly budgeted for, and $100 for my dog's neuter at 1 year. I also had a ~$40 HelloFresh charge for a box I accidentally forgot to skip. I've since just cancelled the entire account so this doesn't happen again. So February, at best, was a wash. Overall, I backslid ~$200, which was my fault. However, I still have high hopes for March! at the very least I should have a small bit of tax refund coming my way.
I'm a little late for the February check-in as well. We had a bit of a rough moment when I learned my company wouldn't be paying out management bonuses this year. (No apparent reason other than that they preferred to pay the shareholders rather than their management team. I was bitter, to say the least, considering I've taken on substantial additional work over the past three years with no real financial incentive to do so, and basically got repaid with a pay cut this year. We'll get a measly cost of living increase in August that will be eaten up by the increase in insurance contributions in January. And so it goes.) Normally I would put some of my bonus toward debt, so that's an extra payment I WON'T be making. We also had to make a $4000 escrow-only payment in advance of our upcoming escrow analysis to make sure our mortgage payment wouldn't go up, but we had planned for that. In spite of the setbacks, we've paid off 15% of our goal in the first two months (around $4600), so that's good. I'd like to stay a little bit ahead of the game. We'll also get our tax return this month. We're going to wait to see how our escrow analysis plays out before making any decisions about how much of THAT to put toward debt though. We live in an area with ridiculously high property taxes. We moved here assuming we'd be able to deduct the taxes on our federal tax return, but when the new plan capped that deduction at $10K, it no longer made sense for us to itemize, and there we are.
I really struggle with spending on credit cards with that whole line of thinking, "what's $20, I'll have that paid off" about 10 times a month and then I can't pay it off pushing myself farther into debt. I tried to consolidate my debt by getting a personal loan, however I failed to then stop spending on those same cards when I had available credit again...FAIL. So I'm looking to pay off this year all of my current card balances..AND KEEP THEM DOWN. Also I would like to kill another $1000 off my student loan this year.
Does anyone have any tips on how to get out of that spending mindset? Love any and all advice.
$1613.88 first card
$5382.98 second card
$6553.23 personal loan to consolidate credit card debt
$18,123.41 student loans