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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  • Oh boy, October! This year has been such a drag. 馃ぃ but I paid off a student loan today! Posting my update for the month earlier than usual, because I don鈥檛 foresee making any additional debt payments through the end of this month. I was unexpectedly accepted to start Nursing school in the spring (!!!) which is exciting but also nerve-wracking. So I鈥檓 shifting slightly from aggressive debt payoff mode to saving some money for school. I will receive some scholarship money from work which will help, but the rest I鈥檒l be paying out of pocket. I don鈥檛 want to take out any additional student loans. 


    2020 Starting Debt: $30,766.04

    October Debt Paid: $2,366.12

    Current Debt: $15,777.49

    Debt Smackdown: $14,988.55 / $15,000 (99.92%)

    Like 8
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 6 days ago
      • Reported - view

      zoebby congratulations on getting into nursing school.  And great idea to do it without loans.  Its going to be hard but if you make all your decisions with no new debt as the guiding principle then it will be awesome.  You can do it!!!!

    • zoebby Congrats!! A loan paid off & an acceptance to nursing school. Which will be harder: the studying or staying out of debt? Equally challenging but you've got this! :)

    • zoebby Congrats!!!! It's fantastic that this time you can choose how you want to do it, rather than being at the mercy of needing the loans. Way to go!

    • zoebby wow - congrats!!  You're doing great :)

  • October Update

    Paid off my car loan 馃帀

    I am officially debt free! So happy for the support of this community. I began my journey in April 2018 and paid a total of $26,158.46 (combination of credit card and auto loan).  Some days it felt overwhelming and there were a few tears but I was persistent regardless.  I've gotten a good head-start on my emergency savings and I am tracking my progress in the savings challenge. 

    Wishing everyone continued success. You've got this!

    Like 10
      • Peripherie
      • Tomato_Captain.11
      • 6 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Tishy Wishy Congrats! 馃コ!!!

      You stuck with it for the long haul and I know it feels so good to get to this point! Good luck with the savings challenge!

      Like 1
    • Tishy Wishy AMAZING!! 鉁煉 Congratulations!

      Like 1
    • Tishy Wishy wahoo!! Congrats!!

  • I continue to plug away at my one family loan left.

    BUT - a big personal accomplishment in relation to debt!

    Large medical bills (multiple bills in the hundreds) and even larger cat vet bills (multiple bills in the thousands) came at me this month and I paid them all ... without using debt or having to ask family for help!

    It has been rough to take away from my savings but it feels fantastic to be able to deal with what came and then be done with it. No lingering shadow of the bills in the form of debt and interest.

    Thank you YNAB. I rolled with the punches and I'm still okay.

    Like 6
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 6 days ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view


      Like 2
    • Peripherie THAT is HUGE!!!!! Way to go!!!!

  • Ok... whoosh! YNAB newbie here, just  joined last month and soooo... here are the stats:

    Started the year with approximately $36,000 of consumer debt

    Started YNAB mid-September with approximately $24,000 of consumer debt 

    Now that I鈥檓 really tracking... let's get rid of the 鈥渁pproximately鈥...  before I start my October payments:

    Current debt load: $23,531.56

    end of year goal: under $21,000 

    on track to beat that goal and then some.... so let鈥檚 be ambitious and shoot for under $19,000!

    my ultimate goal is to have zero consumer debt by the end of 2021 馃巿馃帀馃嵕馃帄 

    Like 5
    • Violet Yeti wahoo!! Welcome to the party!

  • It has been several months since I checked in. While I haven't been tracking here, you can still bet I've been working on my debt still! Little backtrack of my year: I was laid off at the beginning of April and was on unemployment until middle of August. I did get the extra money which ended up being more than I had been making previously. I was able to save a lot of it and grow my emergency fund. Also with federal loans being on hold until Jan 1, I had been putting my monthly bill still in that category. When I was hired for a new position in August, YAY!, I was then able to take that little nest egg and use it to tackle some credit card debt. Since then, I've been able to get that credit card down to $364 with my first payment this month with another $200 locked and loaded for the end of this month if I don't end up needing it somewhere else. Hopefully this means I'll be able to pay that card off in November! So close I can taste it! My new job is also the highest salary I've ever had so I should be able to keep being aggressive on my debt and start tackling my second/larger card. While I won't make my more aggressive goal this year of all my cc debt, I am excited to have at least 1/5 of my debt categories paid off by 2020. Also feeling very thankful that now I'm settled back in a permanent position and in a much better financial situation than I was at the beginning of the year. I'm already looking ahead to 2021 and I'll be working on that 2nd card and hopefully cutting into a consolidation loan! 

    Like 4
    • Green Song That's amazing! Those are some huge steps forward, congrats!!

  • Since I just scheduled my payment for my car with the extra funds on it, I'll go ahead and update my debt smackdown for October:

    MC -       $168.46       $61.00          $107.46

    Total -   $168.46        $61.00         $107.46

    Extra -                             $50.22

    REALLY excited that technically in November I don't even have to pay $61, I could make a smaller payment. I think I'll keep it at 61 just for the heck of it, but we'll see.

    I'm still really amazed that I've been able to get through this, AND pay extra on my car loan. THAT officially goes into the debt smackdown for 21! I need to set it up in and figure out how to track that specifically. I might just do principle since I'll know how much I'm paying extra on the loan ever month. We'll see. It probably won't be a big chunk, but even if I can keep up the $50.22 every month that will be a good thing.

    Like 2
  • October update: Line 500

    Paid $2052 towards my credit cards, truck loan, and RV loan.  

    With that, I am officially over $10k in debt paydown since April when I kicked off my divorce! That feels SO GOOOD. 

    There is a small chance that my ex's house refi finally completes and I get a huge lump sum payout this month as well, but I am not holding my breath about it. If that comes in, I will make another update because it will clear all of my credit cards and most of my RV loan!

    It's been a very low-cost month as I camp my parents' driveway. But eventually, all good things and family patience comes to an end so this weekend I'm hitting the road to go adventuring. That will bump up my fuel costs, but I am really looking forward to seeing Redwoods and Crater Lake so it ain't no thing. :D 

    Like 2
  • October Check in. Reduced the amount owed on my cards by $980.05. Bringing the number from $25,880 in June to $21,903  in just five months.

    Like 3
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