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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  • Kind of confused...I claimed line 145 last week and now I am on line 150.   With so many people I find it easy to just scroll to my number, but now I'm worried my number will keep changing.  馃

    Like
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      amystylin 

      In the thrill of signing up for your first debt smackdown, you may not have noticed that there are both ID #s and the line #s.  The top five lines are for the headers and totals, so the two columns of numbers don't match.  You are still listed as being on #145, so the 145th person to sign up, but ID # 145 is on line # 150 of the spreadsheet.

      Like
      • amystylin
      • amystylin
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      HappyDance Got it!  I think yesterday when I looked the page was "scrolled" over a bit and the 145 wasn't showing. 馃う鈥嶁檧锔

      Like
  • This sounds very inspiring. I've got plenty of debt to shed. I got into the spreadsheet on my phone, but not quite able to make heads or tails of it, is there a step by step to use it? Thx

    Like
    • Hi Silver Inspector !

      When you're starting out, you only need to add your username in the 1st column, the type of debt you plan to pay off in the 3rd column, select your currency in the 4th column (if you aren't using USD) and enter your goal in the 5th column.

      Each month, you'll enter the total amount of debt you paid off. So in the January column you'll enter how much you paid off in January, in February you'll enter the amount paid off in February, and so forth. (You'll skip the "formula" boxes, as the spreadsheet calculates those for you automatically.)

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

      Silver Inspector 

      Yikes.  I can't imagine trying to update the spreadsheet on my phone. I even find doing it on my iPad an annoyance and give up in frustration. You really need to use a desktop or laptop to work in the spreadsheet.

      Like 1
  • I'm not going to lie, today was a lot harder than I expected. Does anyone else struggle with clicking the submit button?

    The good: I paid off one whole student loan, in full... The bad: That category is a lot emptier now..

    The good: Those funds were budgeted for and did their job.. The bad: It was a lot of money.

    The good: That payment brought my total student loan balance under $40k!

    The bad: There's still almost $40k to go 馃槶

    Despite the underlying want to cry, the first step has been made - spreadsheet updated!

    $3,000 down, $17,000 left to go - parting is such sweet sorrow.

    Like 9
      • auntdar
      • auntdar
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Faness I don't see a reason to cry but a reason to celebrate:) You are getting on top of your debt and that is fantastic!!! Just keep your eyes on the road and see that finish line of no longer having to pay this loan, imagine the freedom!!  Well done, you've got this!!!!!

      Like
      • Stacy C
      • nursepower
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Faness Congratulations!! It is sad to see money go, but that's x amount less that you now owe!!! That's got to feel pretty darn good!

      Like
    • auntdar After just that one payment, I'm definitely looking forward to the day I never have to pay it again. Thank you!

      Stacy C Thank you! I was so used to ignoring my student loans that this payment was the moment it truly sank in that I'm tackling them. I didn't think they'd be so heavy, but it feels a little better with them being a little lighter. :)

      Like 3
    • Faness Hooray for being under 40k! It's a lot of money at once, but less interest paid over time鈥攚hich was a motivator for me. Especially if you compare to the "If you pay this off in 30 years... you pay X in interest". 馃槀

      Like
    • Faness That's a huge win! Celebrate!!!

      Like
    • Faness Congratulations. When i feel like crying i come here and read other people's comments and i tell myself "see, no one is saying it's going to be easy breezy, you are not alone" and other positive stuff and i perk myself right up. 馃槃 

      Like 4
    • Nicole Those numbers give me nightmares! 馃槪

      Purple Foal Thank you! :)

      Tomato Moose I'm adding that as a cheer - tactic. Thank you! :)

      Like 1
    • Faness Woohoo!! That's so exciting! I'm a day late to your update here (thanks for all your replies earlier!), how does it feel now that it's had a day to sink in? Cheers and keep up the great work and inspiring us all here!

      Like 1
    • Spider Plant I purposefully didn't enter the payment so that I could watch it import and see the balance turn to zero. 馃槅 

      I love seeing everyone tackle the same villain here. In less than a month there's already been so much progress!

      I have 10 separate loans (9 now!!), and I'm enjoying seeing that one $0.00. Here's to the next one! :)

      Like 6
    • Faness Awesome! I enter everything manually, but I can definitely relate to the excitement of watching that number turn to $0.00!

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

      Faness 

      Just think of all the interest you won't have to pay on the chunk of that 3K that went to principal!  All those extra dollars means that your money going forward will be able to pay more to principal every month!

      It's not a lot, but every month I'm paying $3 and change more to principal than the month before on my mortgage.  $3 isn't a lot but it all adds up!

      Like 1
    • Technicolor Cheetah I calculated the interest saved thanks to a push from Spider Plant 's breakdown, but not the overall savings from the domino effect of making increased principal payments. I know it's all for the better, but I want to send past me an angry letter for taking out so many loans.

      Like 3
  • Decided to join the challenge :) But with a quite conservative goal for now - I just started using YNAB last week and need to get the "big picture" first!

    I've decided to pay off $19,000 off my wife's student loan and two car loans.

     

    Oh and got myself ID 151 ;-)

    Like 6
    • GalleYNAB welcome to the crowd! You're in good company! It's wise to start conservative until you have a handle on how YNAB works for you, the learning curve is roughly 3-6 months, with a full year being the time when you can really dig in and use it to your best advantage. Feel free to message me if you have any funky questions, I've gone through lots of learning curves and have quite a few tricks that can save time and effort for someone else.

      Like 2
    • GalleYNAB Seeing the "big picture" can take a few re-adjustments of the lens, and it's great you're making debt a priority in that picture! 

      'm happy you're joining us! :)

      Like
  • January Check In:

    $4,000 to Amazon Chase Visa

    I *may* have bought two new pair of running shoes with the refund from the return of another item BUT I didn't take on more debt so that's a win! These two pair of shoes should last me for all my runs this year.  

    Like 6
    • DontSpeakDefeat Sometimes you gotta do what you need to do. If running is your jam, then investing in good running shoes is worth it. Running in bad shoes can lead to injury, which means you can't run and it costs you money. Some investments are worth it, even if they aren't as funded as you'd like in the moment. (I work in barns, and the $80 I stretched myself to spend for rubber boots recently was WELL worth the stretch of having to scrounge up the funds. Sometimes you just gotta do it!)

      Like 4
    • DontSpeakDefeat History tells me that Varying Terrain + Bad Running Shoes = Shin Splints (if not worse). It's a win to take care of yourself without taking on new debt! :)

      Like 1
    • Faness farfromtheusual thank you both!  I have suffered with posterior tibial tendinitis for a while now and I finally found shoes that keep it under control, they just aren't cheap.  

      Like 1
    • DontSpeakDefeat I've got orthopedic foot challenges that mean I really need 2 different size shoes to be close to comfortable... so yeah, I feel your pain!! Sometimes there are things that you just have to do in order to be well and functional, and at that point debt, or not debt, it doesn't matter.

      Like
  • So I forgot that I had put some of the Christmas money that I received towards the debt for this month since I was mentally applying it to the stone that we got for the driveway, which was purchased in December, but the checks weren't deposited until January. So I've paid off more than I thought I had, which is nice to know!

    So here's the adjustment:

    Visa -  $1420.60      $250.00      $1170.60

    MC -       $717.46       $61.00          $656.46

    Total - $2138.06                              $1827.06

    Like 4
    • farfromtheusual That's a nice added chunk! Good going! :)

      Like 1
    • Faness Thanks! I was trying to figure out why my numbers didn't match... I forgot I stuck that there!

      Like
  • 1. List the amount of total debt that you owe.  $46,387.65 (credit cards, taxes, auto loan, personal loan)


    2. Post in this thread the total amount of debt you would like to pay off during the 2020 calendar year. $25,000 (pay off taxes and personal loan, and a huge portion of credit cards and auto loan). Any raises/bonuses/extra income along with regular monthly payments will go toward this goal.

    3. Check in monthly in this thread and report on how your debt smackdown is going. Am bummed I missed the YNAB bootcamp, but perhaps this is a blessing in disguise since I am not crazy about posting on FB with my real name about my debt, but also want to be accountable. 

    4. Post monthly on the 2020 Google Sheet to track your progress. Claimed a line and posted my details :)

    Like 5
  • Hey! I hope I'm doing this right. Here are my stats:

    1. I owe $4,712.90 + $2,702.46 + $6,788.63 ($14,203.99)

    2. In 2020 I aim to pay $9,615.36

    3. Well, I haven't done much yet but sign up for this awesome challenge. I'm calling this a win.

    4. Line 160 is mine.

    Like 6
    • Turquoise Wildebeest Welcome aboard - joining definitely counts as a win! Glad you're joining us! :)

      Like 1
      • Turquoise Wildebeest
      • No one has ever called me a turquoise wildebeest before and Im into it.
      • Turquoise_Wildebeest.4
      • 6 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Turquoise Wildebeest 

      PS: in January I paid a total of $775 on these. It's really cool to see the spreadsheet calculate that as 8% of my total. That's really encouraging.

      Like 2
    • Turquoise Wildebeest and, btw, 8.33% is the exact amount you need to pay each month to stay on track and meet the goal by December 馃檪 (In case you were wondering..... LOL)

      Like
  • ~$13K in credit card debt.  I'm inspired!

    Like 5
    • Hot Pink Beat Thanks for joining us!

      Like
  • January checkin! I've kept to my schedule and managed to pay 拢1,013 to my rent arrears (the maximum amount I can without putting my parents over the yearly allowance for untaxed extra income). I'm planning to put any extra money I have at the end of the month towards my other debt, but I'll post a reply to this when it comes time for that.

    Adding together my rent & arrears, I'm now spending more than half my paycheck each month on rent, and I'm feeling the squeeze, but if I continue at this pace I'll have paid off my arrears by May and should be able to afford to be a little more relaxed in paying the rest off.

    Current status:

    • Rent arrears: 拢1,013/拢4,788.35
    • Other debt: 拢0/拢8,724.00
    Like 5
    • Quantum Jump Yay for staying on schedule! Managing to put half of your paycheck towards debt is a huge feat! Looking forward to see how your numbers line up at the end of this month! :)

      Like
    • Got a late cheque from my grandparents for christmas, combined with some extra money I'd set aside to go towards my stretch goal, totalling to 拢500!

      Current status:

      • Rent arrears: 拢1,013/拢4,788.35
      • Other debt: 拢500/拢8,724.00
      Like 2
  • January check in

    Just made my first payment - and that payment completely paid off another CC! Woot! That makes THREE cards that I've completely paid off since starting YNAB a couple years ago. The rest of this year's challenge will be paying off the full balance of yet another CC. That will leave me with only the two that I use day to day (that have some higher balances that I want to pay down eventually so they're truly day-to-day use without a ton of interest. That'll have to be my challenge for next year lol)

    So, here are my current numbers after this month's payment (my starting balance is slightly different than I originally set for myself, there was a small interest charge that hadn't been added in yet) -

    Starting balance: $3885.24
    Paid down this month: $342.24
    New balance: $3543.00
    Debt Smackdown Totals: $3543.00/$3885.24 = 8.81%

    Like 8
    • Orchid Display Hooray! Congrats on paying off card #3.

      Like
  • New to this! Happy to have found it though 馃槃 been slowly bashing away at it... glad to have a group to share the amazing ness that is YNAB.

    • Credit card # 1 = 拢1,308.16 (Not nice %)
    • Credit card # 2 = 拢1942.21 (Not nice %)
    • Credit card # 3 = 拢5,648.00 (0%)
    • Kitchen Loan = 拢10,047.68

    Starting Total - 拢18,946.05..... eessshhhhh

    # 158 on the sheet, so far 拢598.26 paid, Target for the year 拢8,000

    拢598.26/拢8,000 = 7.47%

    Like 8
  • Hello all!  I'm happy to have come across this post and group.  Kinda wish I had found it earlier, because I sure do need some accountability.  I'm a former YNABer and have fallen off the train a couple of times, but hoping 2020 is the year to knock down a good piece of this nasty debt.  I have more debt than I'm listing below (student loan, another car payment and mortgage), but these are the two I'm hoping to knock out first.

    • 1. SoFi personal loan for $33408.28 - goal is $10,000 for the year.  This is a loan I took out to consolidate  credit cards and brought them to a $0 balance.  I'm telling you guys, my credit score shot up (probably a 60-ish point jump into 800+ territory) after doing this.  But I do make sure that every bill I pay is on time because that is a big part of a good score.  I guess personal loans have less of an effect than credit cards on your debt-to-income ratio.  So yay to that!
    • 2. Car loan for $3735.88

    Looking forward to our collective progress! 馃

    Like 8
    • Gfamily46 Welcome. The best time to start on this is right now, and I'm excited to see your progress (and everyone else's!).

      Like
      • Gfamily46
      • Forest_Green_Python.5
      • 6 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Matthew Thanks!  Okay, I totally forgot to add a couple of credit cards to the mix here that I should (hopefully) have paid off by March.  I'll update my line here shortly.  Definitely want to include these in my progress.

      • 3. Visa 1 for $267.46.  This will definitely be paid off by the end of January.
      • 4. Visa 2 for $1349.56.  I have a bonus coming up at the beginning of March that should erradicate this one. 
      Like 2
    • Gfamily46 That's just more headway for you to make this year! Excited to see you knock those out, too! :)

      Like 1
      • Gfamily46
      • Forest_Green_Python.5
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Faness Me too, thanks! :)

      Like
  • WHOOP WHOOP!!!!!

    YNAB WIN!!!!!!!!

    I am receiving a nice check for almost 7k in the next few days. This was an expected check, however, I was going to throw most of it into savings for a specific reason. But after playing around with the magic of math, I realized that if I use that money to pay off my debt, I will need to put LESS money/month into saving for that purchase than I am paying my debt (150$ instead of 500$).

    So besides my student loan which is not in repayment for another year...

    I AM DEBT FREE BABY!!!!
    Now to join the savings spreadsheet :)

    6903 - Extra income
    5662 - Remaining balance on final CC
    240 - Remaining balance on phone tab
    STILL leaves me with 1001 to put into savings!

    Good luck to everyone else still on your journey! You can do it!

    Like 14
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 6 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Ica Paige 

      Awesome!  I think this may be the fastest debt smackdown 100% complete I've seen.  The best part about getting these marvelous windfalls and gifts after getting into the habit of budgeting is being able to execute on a longer-term plan and not wasting a precious dollar.  Go you!

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

      Ica Paige Well done!!!!!!

      Like
      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 6 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Ica Paige Amazing! And without the mindset you have, that $7k would be blown. Am I right?? Maybe start saving for your student loan now so you will have a chunk to pay off the principal off that bat. :)

      Like 2
      • Ica Paige
      • Pink_Cornet
      • 6 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Purple Foal 
      That's the goal!
      I still have one more semester ending in December and then repayment doesn't start until 6 months after. I am really hoping to have at least 1/2 of my student loan saved up and ready. (Approx 20k in student loans)

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

      Ica Paige Good for you! You are well ahead of so many others with student debt! :)

      Like 1
    • Ica Paige Yoohooo AWESOME!!!

      Like 1
    • Ica Paige wahoo! Congrats!!!!!

      Like 1
      • Coral Mare
      • Rolling Along on this Debt-Free Journey
      • Coral_Mare.6
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Ica Paige WAHOO!!!

      Like
    • Ica Paige Congratulations!! 馃帀馃帀

      We're still in January, so I'm counting this as one of the best ways I've seen to start off the year - with a debt-free bang! :)

      Like
    • Ica Paige Congratulations! What an amazing way to start off the new decade. 馃帀

      Like
  • Hi everyone my husband and I are planning to pay off 3 credit cards this year totaling 64020.28.  I have a student loan I would like to payoff as well that's 15376.01 for a grand total of 79396.29.  I don't think I will be able to get the student loan paid off but my goal is to definitely get the three cards paid off by Dec. 31, 2020.  Whatever is left of the student loan will be tackled in 2021.  I forgot to post; I claimed a line but didn't post to this thread.  My original starting debt for 2020 was 81127.92 but I have paid little and will be able to throw about 7200 more by the end of the month!

    Like 6
    • Cyan Wizard I love big goals! Shoot for the moon - even if you miss, you'll land among the stars. I'm looking forward to your updates! :)

      Like 3
  • January Check In!  I was finally able to pay the snowball amount to my Visa CC this month after 3 month of just paying the minimum after my hubby switched jobs.  So nice to feel like I'm back on track for debt smacking!  I paid 2, 872.68 towards my 3 debts (CC, Truck, Mortgage).

    Like 7
    • Grey Tux I hope your husband is settling in nicely to his new job! That's a good chunk thrown at those debts! :)

      Like
  • Happy January, all!  I'm staying on top of funding True Expenses in order to prevent future debt.  To accumulate additional funds for debt paydown, we've been shopping the pantry, fridge, and freezer.  Progress is steady so far.

    Like 6
    • Coral Mare Preventing future debt is an important part of tackling current debt. Slow and steady wins the race. :)

      Like 1
      • Coral Mare
      • Rolling Along on this Debt-Free Journey
      • Coral_Mare.6
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Faness I certainly hope so.  Slow and Steady are abundant!

      By the way, today I learned that I can smoke a turkey at home.  WaHOO!!

      Like 1
    • Coral Mare My husband is a huge smoker (the food kind) and it's always delicious. Smoked turkey sounds amazing! Did you use a grill or buy a smoker?

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

      Coral Mare Faness

      My husband smoked a duck for Thanksgiving last year.  It was so.so.good.  Bonus - the wood for smoking (cherry, FWIW) was free since I told him to scavenge any usable wood from the neighbor's cherry tree branch that fell onto our fence last spring.

      Like 2
      • Coral Mare
      • Rolling Along on this Debt-Free Journey
      • Coral_Mare.6
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Faness We had "new pellet grill" in our budget.  It was partially funded.  A friend had a garage sale, so I was able to raid the grill savings line and give her grill a new home.  It was both a YNAB win and a new hobby!

      Like 1
    • Technicolor Cheetah He has never roasted a duck and I'm now putting that on his list of things to feed me. 馃槀

      Coral Mare Smoked meat tends to go further in our household - either as leftovers or used in another meal. Maybe this new hobby can even stretch your Groceries category. :)

      Like 1
    • Coral Mare  we asked for a pellet grill as a Christmas gift, it's amazing!

      Like 2
  • HI all i'm also in the boot camp. that's where I discovered this thread. I have far too much debt.

    $59305 to be exact! not including our mortgage and our car. We both have good incomes have had far too many medical bills which have put us behind but also have not said no enough times to our kids. SO here goes our kids have been told NO a lot since I refreshed Jan 1st and will be told NO a lot more. I have also told myself NO on a number of occasions over the last couple of weeks so keen to give it a red hot crack. 

    Id like to pay off $10,000.00 of this debt if not more 

    Like 5
    • Lavender Dragon Also adding I did pay off a student Hecs loan of $25000 in 3.5 years so this had been eating away at our income as well

      Like 5
      • Coral Mare
      • Rolling Along on this Debt-Free Journey
      • Coral_Mare.6
      • 6 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Lavender Dragon Hello from Bootcamp to Smackdown!  I, too, am in both.  Let's crush this!

      Like 2
    • Lavender Dragon Your forum name sounds perfect for demolishing that debt! :)

      Great job on how far you've come, and here's to how far you'll go! 馃帀

      Like
  • We have $48,000 in credit card debt.  The goal is to pay off $30,000 in 2020 and finish it off in the first 1/2 of 2021.  It will take a lot of focus to achieve this.

    Like 8
    • Steel Blue Screwdiver (e62dac0d365b) You can do it! 馃帀I've found this challenge to be a great motivator. Hope you find the same!

      Like
  • So everything has been paid/interest posted for January. So I can mark down a total of $421.82 paid off in the month. It doesn't sound like much, and is only 3.37% of my annual goal. 

     

    BUT! I had ZERO overtime on either of my regular paychecks this month, my "gig" side-hustle came up wayyyy short of usual because of holiday stuff.  And this is the first month since I've joined YNAB in October 2018 that I didn't ADD debt. So hey, I'm counting this as an awesome first step in the right direction. 

    Keep killing it, folks! 

    Like 7
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 6 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Matthew Hayes 

      Debt smackdown is not always a steady, predictable monthly rate.  Every step forward is equal in effort regardless of the amount.  Nice start to your 2020.

      Like 2
    • Matthew Hayes Not adding debt despite your limited funding is a WIN!!!

      Like 1
  • Hi I have a question, when entering on the spreadsheet do we minus interest from our payments? I鈥檝e set my goal but I鈥檓 a bit confused.... 

    Like
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 6 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Lavender Dragon 

      Entirely up to you.  I didn't bother separating interest from principle and just reported total paid to debtors, You could always do a hybrid, too.  Report the total on the spreadsheet and break it down when you post in the thread.  No rules here other than those you set for yourself.

      Like 3
    • Lavender Dragon On the spreadsheet, I enter the amount that my total balance went down during the month. So, my amount reflects payments made and interest applied. FOR ME, this gives the most accurate representation of my progress. I've got a couple of stupid-high interest loans and just entering the amounts which I paid would give me a false sense of progress. 

      As HappyDance said, there are no rules here.  Figure out works best for YOU and rock with it. 

      Like
  • January check-in: $1,041.

    Not a bad start considering that I also set aside $500 to go toward my one-month buffer. 

    Like 3
    • MoneyMonster Nicely done! Paying off debt while still setting aside funds to prevent future debt is tackling debt from both ends!

      Like
  • Last year... well, minimum payments were made, a baby was had, and more debt accrued. This year, I'm going to focus solely on our credit card debt and once that is done away with, there's the student loans, but we have time for that.

    As of today:

    Credits cards -$8731.51

    The difficulty I find is staying accurate with the pay off. About 2500 of that debt is revolving debt, bills that get paid through the credit card because we cash in on the miles. So it's constantly fluctuating. My question is how to account for the rise and fall of the debt? Hope to do better than I did last year and actually pay something down instead of getting more debt. 馃槀

    Like 3
    • Hi PeculiarBella !

      Congratulations on your new little one! :)

      Are you riding the credit card float? If so, getting off the float is a great first step in making sure that debt is being paid off. If not, then watching those balances decrease each month should be a downward slide towards debt freedom. 

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    • PeculiarBella this is tough when you are using a credit card that is carrying debt all at once.
      My solution is to make 2 accounts - One that is CC Debt, and the other that is CC Purchases. You'll need to start using this only at the point when you have paid whatever is outstanding on the card currently. Whatever is left is what you've been floating. Use the CC Purchases account for any purchases that are budgeted. This should get paid to zero every month (or every payment if you like paying things more frequently). At any given point in time you should be able to add the total of the two accounts and come to the total balance on the account itself. This has dramatically helped me manage my budget and not have things get too messy. Each month, you can easily add funds to the CC Debt account and watch that number go down. It's given me a much greater sense of my progress, and kept me from over spending on my every day purchases (or not funding them enough).
      If this doesn't make sense, message me and I'll be happy to explain further.

      Like
    • farfromtheusual I want to make sure I'm understanding your set up. You split your one credit card into two credit card accounts in the budget - one account with the balance from before YNAB and another to track the balance after starting YNAB, is that right? 

      Credit Card Goal is meant to have that same effect (helping YNABers pay down previous balances while budgeting for current spending) without splitting the account, so there's less math between split accounts to follow.

      Like 1
    • Faness Yes, I did split them. I actually don't use goals because they irritate me. There is no way to tell YNAB that there is a date I will be able to fund them, so they sit there unfunded and that annoys me because it feels like I didn't do enough soon enough. I would rather be able to tell it the date that I want to fund it because I almost always know the next date that the money is coming in on. And some things I split up, so I fund half at a certain time and the other half the next time I get paid.

      I would also rather clearly SEE the amount that is debt specifically vs funded spending. YNAB doesn't break this apart, and that has frustrated me for a long time. It's great if you can stop using a card and leave the debt as debt, but sometimes on the float that would actually cost more money or there may not be an additional card available to use. This way I can see the amount that is debt clearly and still use the card with a quick check of the math. Use of a spreadsheet will even do the math automatically for me. :)

      I might be strange, but this is what I need in order to keep a handle on things easily. I would love it if YNAB would come up with a better way to keep an eye on what is debt vs what is funded spending, but until then, this works for me.

      Like 1
    • farfromtheusual Thank you for sharing this! We want YNAB to be flexible enough to work in different scenarios and it's helpful to know exactly why credit card goals don't hit that mark for you. We have a number of things planned to improve goals, so I'm going to take this feedback to the team. I definitely agree that a breakdown of past vs. present for credit cards would be helpful! The goal outlines how much needs to be budgeted but having a clearer break down might add an extra push for knocking down those balances or jumping off the float. 

      Like 1
    • Faness thanks, I'm glad you're able to pass it along. The separation of standing debt vs funded spending (and the transition from spending to over spending) would be helpful if it were more clearly defined. I don't entirely have an answer for what would help me visually, I know that having 2 separate numbers (even if I have to add them together to get my balance) helps me to really know what my float is (or was). For some people it doesn't benefit to stop using an account because the float isn't costing them anything, and I've seen so many people struggle to figure out what their float is. It sounds silly, or too simple, but it's not nearly as clear as it should be.

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    • farfromtheusual That's an interesting way of doing it. How do you start? This month I am short on my payment, would I take the amount I have and create a separate account? Also, are your accounts linked or just manually entered. I am interested in making this easier to keep track of. Already since I added my debt I have about 125 more than I started with. My husband and I are in a weird time right now where we're having to spend money to make money (my husband is in school and I'm about to transition to working from home). It seems like we'll never make more than we spend. 

      Like 1
    • PeculiarBella you have to wait until you get to a point where you've made a payment to sort of create a break, and start from zero in the account you're going to use as the "working" account. I keep all my accounts unlinked, and I don't think you could do this the same way if they were linked. I'll shoot you a message with some more details that might help you.

      Like
  • 1.  We have $48,200 on credit cards

    2.  We are going to try to pay off $25,000 principal in 2020 using monthly budgeted payments plus a big chunk from bonus and tax refund (and most importantly not just racking up more debt as we pay down). 

    My wife and I just discovered YNAB at the beginning of January. We are very excited about this great system and tool.

    Row 167

    Like 4
    • Turquoise Vacuum Welcome to YNAB, the Support Forum, and the Debt Smackdown! I'm glad you're joining us! :)

      Like 1
    • Turquoise Vacuum welcome to the YNAB family! Give yourself some time to get used to the system. It takes about 3 months to get a loose handle on things, then about another 6 months to figure out if you're doing what you really need to be doing, and a full year to have a real handle on what your actual expenses really are (reports are SO much fun at this point!). So be gentle with yourself, and don't hesitate to reach out to folks if you are feeling stuck or confused!

      Like 2
  • We claimed line 169.

    This is our second debt smackdown, having paid over $12,000 toward our car and student loan debt in 2019 (over 80% of our goal of $15,000).  We have about $235K in student loans between the two of us, and not quite $12,000 left on the car.  (We aren't including our mortgage in the smackdown, although we pay regularly on that, too.)

    This year, we are going for a goal of at least $20,000 toward our student loans and our car (including both principal and interest), with a stretch goal of $25,000.  We only have about $2400 left on husband's largest interest student loan, and then we will put the focus on paying off the car so that it is an asset instead of a liability before turning back to the other student loans.

    For the first time ever, we are truly a two-paycheck family, so this year should be very doable.  We are looking forward to starting to really make a dent in our debt!

    Like 5
    • Duke and Duchess Congrats on your progress from last year! Other than the mortgage, student loans are my biggest balance to tackle, too! If you're snowballing the car loan payment and the payment for the high interest loan towards the rest of that debt, those balances are going downhill fast. :)

      Like
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